Afferent Pharmaceuticals Names Michael M. Kitt, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer
Afferent Also Appoints Kathleen Sereda Glaub to the Company's Board of Directors
SAN MATEO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Afferent Pharmaceuticals today announced that Michael M. Kitt, M.D., has been named to the newly created position of Chief Medical Officer, effective immediately. In addition, Afferent today announced the appointment of Kathleen Sereda Glaub to the Company's Board of Directors, expanding the number of Company directors to six.
"Michael has an esteemed career in the life sciences industry, having been responsible for advancing numerous products through the clinical and regulatory process"
Dr. Kitt has over 30 years' experience in drug development with a proven record of success in running clinical trial programs and taking compounds through to NDA approval. He most recently served as Senior Vice President, Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs and Chief Medical Officer at Portola Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he led the planning and initiation of an international Phase 3 clinical program for the company's lead product candidate. Prior to this, he was Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Nuon Therapeutics, Inc., as well as Senior Vice President, Development at Theravance, Inc., where he led the filing of seven INDs and two NDAs, including for the FDA-approved product, Vibativ® (Telavancin). Previously, he was Vice President of Clinical Research at COR Therapeutics, where he was responsible for the clinical program for INTEGRILIN® (eptifibatide) injection, which was approved for two indications in both the U.S. and Europe. Earlier in his career, Dr. Kitt served as Senior Vice President, Clinical Research at Sterling-Winthrop, Inc., and held a number of executive positions at The Upjohn Company. He has been the author or co-author of more than 60 presentations, publications and abstracts on clinical research. Dr. Kitt received his B.S. degree in chemistry from the Polytechnic Institute of New York University and his M.D. degree from New York University School of Medicine.
"Michael has an esteemed career in the life sciences industry, having been responsible for advancing numerous products through the clinical and regulatory process," commented Dr. Bruce McCarthy, Chief Executive Officer of Afferent Pharmaceuticals. "We are very pleased Michael has joined the Afferent team. His wide-ranging experience will be critical as we continue to achieve additional progress in the clinical program for AF-219, our lead P2X3 antagonist." Afferent recently announced Phase 2 efficacy results for AF-219 at the European Respiratory Society (ERS) Annual Congress 2013, demonstrating promising, statistically significant results in treatment-refractory chronic cough. The Company also anticipates reporting additional proof-of-concept Phase 2 clinical data in patients with osteoarthritis pain and with interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome by mid-2014 and expects to initiate a challenge study in asthma patients later this year.
"This is a very exciting time at Afferent, with the Company having recently reported unprecedented clinical results in reducing cough frequency in patients with refractory cough," stated Dr. Kitt. "Overall, Afferent's focus on P2X3 antagonism allows the Company to address a number of broad disease indications with substantial unmet needs, and I look forward to the progress of this breakthrough product development program."
Dr. McCarthy further commented, "We also are very pleased to announce the expansion of our Board with the addition of a seasoned industry leader, Kathleen Sereda Glaub. I anticipate her strong track record, including in forging successful R&D partnerships and in helping to advance promising clinical programs, will provide an additional valued resource for the Company."
Ms. Glaub has over 30 years of management and company-building experience for biopharma and innovation-based companies. Most recently, she co-led Plexxikon Inc. as President, a position she held for 12 years. During her tenure, Ms. Glaub was responsible for the business and financing strategy of the company leading its venture and partnership transactions, and ultimately leading the sale of the company to Daiichi Sankyo for nearly $1 billion in 2011. She also played a pivotal role in the company's product development programs, including the development of the company's melanoma drug Zelboraf and its companion diagnostic. She also put in place the commercial infrastructure and sales force to support the co-promotion of Zelboraf for the product launch in 2011. Previously, she served in senior leadership positions and executed numerous strategic transactions, including Chief Financial Officer at Cell Genesys, Treasurer at Genentech, and various treasury and finance roles at Intel Corporation where she started her career. Ms. Glaub received her BA from the University of California, Berkeley, and her MBA from Northwestern University.
About Afferent Pharmaceuticals
Afferent Pharmaceuticals is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company leading the development of first-in-class, small molecule compounds that target P2X3 receptors for the treatment of chronic pain, respiratory and urological conditions. Afferent's singular focus and industry-leading position on P2X3 antagonism enables the Company to widely explore this novel mechanism of action and evaluate its utility in a broad range of indications. These indications include chronic pain in the joints, hyperresponsive airways (chronic cough, asthma) and bladder pain and hyperactivity (interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS), overactive bladder).
Afferent is building on over a decade of research on P2X3 antagonists. The Company currently has a lead clinical candidate, AF-219, in mid-stage clinical testing, in addition to next-generation preclinical compounds and a substantial and diverse library of small molecules that selectively target P2X3 receptors. In 2012, Afferent initiated Phase 2 studies of AF-219 in patients with osteoarthritis pain, chronic cough and IC/BPS. Afferent's differentiated, second-generation P2X3 antagonist, AF-220, is expected to complete IND-enabling studies in 2014.
Located in San Mateo, California, Afferent was launched in December 2009 by Pappas Ventures, Third Rock Ventures, Domain Associates and New Leaf Venture Partners.
For more information on the Company, please visit Afferent's website at www.afferentpharma.com.
Dr. Bruce McCarthy, 650-286-1276
Chief Executive Officer
Burns McClellan, Inc.
Justin Jackson, 212-213-0006, Ext. 327