Dr. Joanna Horobin Joins Verastem as Chief Medical Officer
Cambridge, Mass. – October 23, 2012 – Verastem, Inc., (NASDAQ: VSTM) a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing drugs to treat cancer by the targeted killing of cancer stem cells, announced the appointment of Joanna Horobin, M.B., Ch.B., as Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Horobin was most recently the President of Syndax Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and has been responsible for the development and approval of multiple drugs over the course of her career.
"Joanna's track record of execution across a broad range of products positions us well as we progress towards initiating a potential registration study of VS-6063 in mesothelioma mid-next year," said Christoph Westphal, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman and CEO of Verastem.
Dr. Horobin has 30 years of pharmaceutical drug development experience. As President of Syndax, Dr. Horobin designed and implemented the Phase 2 clinical development of entinostat in metastatic breast and lung cancer.
"Dr. Horobin brings a great deal of successful experience in the design and execution of clinical development programs in oncology," said Jose Baselga, M.D., Ph.D., Verastem Scientific Advisory Board.
Verastem has identified a specific genetic biomarker which it believes predicts sensitivity to the focal adhesion kinase inhibitors VS-6063 and VS-4718. Approximately 40-50% of mesothelioma patients lack this marker. The Verastem development team, led by Dr. Horobin, is designing a Phase 2 trial in this indication that, if successful, may allow for an accelerated approval.
"Verastem is moving quickly to translate the pioneering discoveries of Dr. Bob Weinberg to clinical products targeting cancer stem cells," said Dr. Horobin. "I am excited to join the team and drive these programs forward. With three cancer stem cell-targeted candidates in development, Verastem is taking significant strides towards revolutionizing the standard of care in oncology."
Dr. Horobin was VP, Oncology at Rhone-Poulenc Rorer (now Sanofi, NYSE: SNY) where she led the global oncology business, including the successful global launch of Taxotere® (docetaxel) in breast cancer and Campto/Camptosar® (CPT11) for colorectal cancer. Dr. Horobin also led a successful joint venture with Chugai to launch Granocyte® (lenograstim). Previously, Dr. Horobin played significant leadership roles in the approvals of Lovenox®, Celectol®, Augmentin®, Timentin®, temocillin, Bactroban® and Relafen®/Reliflex®. Dr. Horobin received her medical degree from the University of Manchester, England.
About Verastem, Inc.
Verastem, Inc. (NASDAQ: VSTM) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing drugs to treat cancer by the targeted killing of cancer stem cells. Cancer stem cells are an underlying cause of tumor recurrence and metastasis. Verastem is developing small molecule inhibitors of signaling pathways that are critical to cancer stem cell survival and proliferation: FAK, PI3K/mTOR and Wnt. For more information, please visit www.verastem.com.
Taxotere® and Lovenox® are registered trademarks of Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC. Campto/Camptosar® is a registered trademark of Yakult Honsha Company, Ltd. Granocyte® is a registered trademark of Chugai Pharmaceuticals Co, Ltd. Celectol® is a registered trademark of Rorer Pharmaceutical Corp. Augmentin®, Bactroban®, Reliflex® and Timentin® are registered trademarks of GlaxoSmithKline. Relafen® is a registered trademark of SmithKline Beecham Corporation.
This press release includes forward-looking statements about the Company's strategy, future plans and prospects, including statements regarding the development of the Company's compounds, and the expected timing of certain phase 2 clinical trials and the expected timeline for regulatory approval. The words "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "plan," "predict," "project," "target," "potential," "will," "would," "could," "should," "continue," and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Each forward-looking statement is subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statement. Applicable risks and uncertainties include the risks that the preclinical testing of the Company's compounds may not be predictive of the success of later clinical trials, that the Company will be unable to successfully complete the clinical development of its compounds, that the development of the Company's compounds will take longer or cost more than planned, and that the Company's compounds will not receive regulatory approval or become commercially successful products. Other risks and uncertainties include those identified under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011, and in any subsequent SEC filings. The forward-looking statements contained in this presentation reflect the Company's current views with respect to future events, and the Company does not undertake and specifically disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.