Circassia Announces the Appointment of Dr James Shannon to its Board of Directors

OXFORD, England, January 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Circassia Ltd, a specialty biopharmaceutical company focused on allergy, today announced the appointment of Dr James Shannon to its Board of Directors. Dr Shannon has extensive pharmaceutical development experience, and was formerly Head of Global Development at Novartis Pharma AG in Basel, Switzerland.

"I am delighted to welcome Dr Shannon to Circassia at this exciting point in the company's development," said Sir Richard Sykes, Circassia's Chairman. "Circassia has already achieved impressive clinical results with its novel allergy therapeutics, and Dr Shannon's extensive clinical and regulatory expertise will prove invaluable as the company advances its broad range of products into late-stage development."

Commenting on his appointment, Dr Shannon said, "Circassia has made considerable progress since its establishment in 2006, and I have been impressed by the quality of the development work the company has undertaken to date. Allergy remains an under-served market, and I very much look forward to helping Circassia bring its first products to market."

Dr James Shannon has over 20 years of experience in senior pharmaceutical development roles. He began his industry career at Sterling Winthrop, where he ultimately held the role of Senior Vice President, Clinical Development. He subsequently joined Sandoz as Head of Drug Registration and Regulatory Affairs in Basel, and with the merger of Sandoz and Ciba-Geigy led the integration of the R&D programs to form the Novartis R&D organization. Dr Shannon then held a number of senior roles at Novartis, and ultimately became Head of Global Development. He retired from the company in 2008. During his career he has led the development and subsequent approval of many products, including Diovan(R), Femara(R), Gleevec(R), Lucentis(R) (ex-US), Plavix(R), Reclast(R), Starlix(R), Tekturna(R), Visudyne(R), Xolair(R) and Zometa(R). Dr Shannon received his medical degree from Queen's University of Belfast. He trained in cardiology and is a Member of the UK Royal College of Physicians.

About Circassia's allergy T-cell vaccines

Circassia is developing a range of allergy T-cell vaccines based on its proprietary ToleroMune(R) technology. The company has successfully completed a number of phase II studies with its cat, house dust mite and ragweed allergy products, and its grass allergy therapeutic is in clinical testing. Clinical results to date show that short treatment regimes with Circassia's T-cell vaccines can greatly reduce patients' allergic reactions, without the need for adjuvants or other immune stimulators, while proving extremely well tolerated. As a result, the treatments offer major potential clinical benefits compared with existing therapies, and have significant market opportunities. Over 150 million people suffer from allergic rhinitis in the US and Europe, and the current treatment market is approximately $12 billion per year.

About Circassia

Circassia was founded in 2006 by a team of highly experienced biotechnology scientists and entrepreneurs, and is chaired by the previous Chairman of GlaxoSmithKline, Sir Richard Sykes. The company is based in the UK on the Oxford Science Park and its ToleroMune technology was developed originally by scientists at Imperial College, London. Having successfully completed three fundraising rounds Circassia is backed by a syndicate of world-class venture capital and institutional investors, including Imperial Innovations, Invesco Perpetual, Goldman Sachs and Lansdowne Partners.

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SOURCE Circassia