TORRANCE, Calif., Feb. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Emmaus Life Sciences, Inc. (the Company or Emmaus), a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative treatments and therapies for rare and orphan diseases, announced the recent promotion of Willis Lee, Peter Ludlum and Lan Tran.
"Each of these individuals has made a strong contribution to furthering our sickle cell disease treatment and to the development of our company. We are particularly grateful for their dedication and commitment," said Yutaka Niihara, M.D., MPH, Chairman and CEO of Emmaus. "Their promotions exemplify our ongoing commitment to evolve as a company and execute our growth strategy."
Following are background on the recently promoted executives:
Willis Lee, MS, has been appointed Vice-Chairman of the Company's Board of Directors. His significant efforts have resulted in approximately $7 million in funding for the Company in recent years from Korea and other Asian countries. He will continue to serve as the Company's Chief Operating Officer. Lee has served with the Company since 2009.
Peter Ludlum, CMA, MBA, currently Chief Financial Officer, has been appointed Co-President of the Company. Ludlum's work has helped strengthen the Company's internal controls and investor relations. He will continue to serve as the Company's CFO. Ludlum has served with the Company since 2012.
Lan Tran, MPH, currently Chief Administrative Officer, has been appointed Co-President of the Company. Tran has led the regulatory process for the Company's projects, including its pharmaceutical grade L-glutamine treatment (PGLG) therapy for sickle cell anemia, and is the primary point of contact to the FDA. She will continue to serve as the Company's Chief Administrative Officer. Tran has served with the Company since 2008.
About Emmaus Life Sciences
Emmaus Life Sciences is engaged in the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative treatments and therapies for rare diseases. The Company's research on SCD was initiated by Dr. Niihara at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Emmaus' SCD therapy has Orphan Drug designation in the U.S. and Europe and Fast Track designation from the FDA. The Company has completed a 230 patient Phase 3 trial. For more information, please visit www.emmauslifesciences.com.
About Sickle Cell Disease
SCD is an inherited blood disorder characterized by the production of an altered form of hemoglobin which polymerizes and becomes fbrous, causing red blood cells to become rigid and change form so that they appear sickle shaped instead of soft and rounded. Patients with SCD suffer from debilitating episodes of sickle cell crisis, which occur when the rigid, adhesive and inflexible red blood cells occlude blood vessels. Sickle cell crisis causes excruciating pain as a result of insufficient oxygen being delivered to tissue, referred to as tissue ischemia, and inflammation. These events may lead to organ damage, stroke, pulmonary complications, skin ulceration, infection and a variety of other adverse outcomes. SCD is an orphan disease in the U.S affecting approximately 100,000 patients in the U.S and millions worldwide with significant unmet medical needs.
This press release contains forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, regarding the research, development and potential commercialization of pharmaceutical products. Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and involve inherent risks and uncertainties, including factors that could delay, divert or change any of them, and could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from current expectations. Additional risks and uncertainties are described in reports filed by Emmaus Life Sciences, Inc. with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Emmaus is providing this information as of the date of this press release and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.