NEW YORK, Dec. 02, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Anavex Life Sciences Corp. ("Anavex" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:AVXL), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing drug candidates to treat Alzheimer's disease, other central nervous system (CNS) diseases, pain and various types of cancer, today announced the appointment of Ulrich Elben, PhD as Vice President of Preclinical Operations. In this new role, Dr. Elben will oversee the pipeline development and optimization.
"What attracted me to join Anavex is the very impressive pipeline consisting of potential breakthrough therapies for indications with very high unmet medical need like Alzheimer's disease and other indications having potential beneficial impact on patients' lives," said Ulrich Elben, PhD.
"We are pleased to welcome Dr. Elben to Anavex during this exciting time in our growth. He has both experience and a shared passion for bringing promising drug candidates through the development cycle to market in an effort to serve patients with devastating diseases," said Dr. Christopher U. Missling, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer for Anavex. "His expertise in the management of multidisciplinary programs is expected to add valuable depth to our team."
Dr. Elben joins Anavex with extensive experience in global pharmaceutical development and research. His background includes roles as VP of Strategic Development Operations at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, with responsibilities including project and portfolio management as well as the development of an oncology project. In addition Dr. Elben served as a member of the Vertex drug development advisory board and drug product review committee. He was also Chief Development Officer at Avaant Pharmaceuticals, where he led the development of oncology projects across the USA, Europe and India. Earlier in his career, Dr. Elben was CEO of Axxima Pharmaceuticals in Munich, Germany.
Dr. Elben started his career with Sanofi-Aventis (former Hoechst Marion Roussel) in Europe and the USA, where his last position was deputy head of project management overseeing also Alzheimer's and schizophrenia products. He and his teams were successful at bringing several drugs through the international development cycle and ultimately to market. Dr. Elben was also secretary of the Sanofi-Aventis drug development review committee.
Additionally, Dr. Elben has extensive, recent consulting experience with VCs, biotech companies and API manufacturing companies in the USA, Canada and Europe. He is currently a member of several organizations, including the CEO advisory board of the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research, BioFlorida and the Drug Information Association.
Dr. Elben received his PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Bonn, Germany.
About Anavex Life Sciences Corp.
Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (Nasdaq:AVXL) is a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of novel drug candidates to treat central nervous system (CNS) diseases and various types of cancer. Anavex's lead drug candidates, ANAVEX 2-73 and ANAVEX PLUS, the combination of ANAVEX 2-73 and donepezil (Aricept®), are currently in a Phase 2a clinical trial for Alzheimer's disease. The drug combination ANAVEX PLUS produced up to 80% greater reversal of memory loss in Alzheimer's disease models versus when the drugs were used individually. ANAVEX 2-73 is an orally available drug candidate that targets sigma-1 and muscarinic receptors and successfully completed Phase 1 with a clean data profile. Preclinical studies demonstrated its potential to halt and/or reverse the course of Alzheimer's disease. It has also exhibited anticonvulsant, anti-amnesic, neuroprotective and anti-depressant properties in convulsive epileptic animal models, indicating its potential to treat additional CNS disorders, including epilepsy and others. Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) for Parkinson's Research has awarded Anavex a research grant to develop ANAVEX 2-73 for the treatment of Parkinson's disease to fully fund a preclinical study, which could justify moving ANAVEX 2-73 into a Parkinson's disease clinical trial. ANAVEX 3-71, also targeting sigma-1 and M1 muscarinic receptors, is a promising preclinical drug candidate demonstrating disease modifications against the major Alzheimer's hallmarks in transgenic (3xTg-AD) mice, including cognitive deficits, amyloid and tau pathologies, and also with beneficial effects on neuroinflammation and mitochondrial dysfunctions. Further information is available at www.anavex.com.
Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical in nature are forward-looking statements. These statements are only predictions based on current information and expectations and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual events or results may differ materially from those projected in any of such statements due to various factors, including the risks set forth in the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement and Anavex Life Sciences Corp. undertakes no obligation to revise or update this press release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof.
For Further Information Anavex Life Sciences Corp. Research & Business Development Toll-free: 1-844-689-3939 Email: [email protected] Shareholder & Media Relations Toll-free: 1-866-505-2895 Outside North America: +1 (416) 489-0092 Email: [email protected] www.anavex.com