SAN DIEGO, Aug. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: HALO), a biotechnology company developing novel oncology and drug-delivery therapies, today named Michael J. LaBarre, Ph.D. as chief scientific officer, succeeding Dr. Michael Shepard, who was appointed a Research Fellow for the company.
The move broadens Dr. LaBarre's responsibilities to include research and development of early pipeline assets, in addition to his role managing product development and ENHANZE platform partnerships.
"Mike has deep experience characterizing early stage assets, making him an ideal leader for our research organization as we invest further in our promising pipeline," said Dr. Helen Torley, president and chief executive officer. "We have a full agenda for the second half of 2015 as we broaden the study of our investigational new drug PEGPH20 in multiple tumor types and prepare for our pivotal phase 3 study in pancreatic cancer patients. I am pleased to have a proven leader of Mike's caliber to guide our research efforts as we invest for future growth."
Dr. LaBarre's career comprises more than 2 decades of biotech drug discovery and development experience, including work on successful approvals of commercial therapies such as RITUXAN. Prior to joining Halozyme in 2008, he served as vice president, product development at Paramount BioSciences LLC; director, analytical and protein biochemistry, discovery research at Biogen Idec; and director analytical and formulation sciences, research and development at IDEC Pharmaceuticals. He earned his B.S. in Chemistry from Southampton College of Long Island University and Ph.D. in Bioinorganic Chemistry from the University of Arizona.
PEGPH20 (PEGylated recombinant human hyaluronidase) targets the degradation of hyaluronan (HA), a chain of natural sugars that can accumulate around cancer cells, inhibiting other therapies. By degrading HA, PEGPH20 may increase the access of co-administered chemotherapeutic and immunotherapeutic agents.
FDA granted orphan drug designation to PEGPH20 for treatment of pancreatic cancer and fast track for PEGPH20 in combination with gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel for the treatment of metastatic pancreatic cancer. Additionally, the European Commission, acting on the recommendation from the Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products of the European Medicines Agency, designated investigational drug PEGPH20 an orphan medicinal product for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.
Halozyme Therapeutics is a biotechnology company focused on developing and commercializing novel oncology therapies that target the tumor microenvironment. Halozyme's lead proprietary program, investigational drug PEGPH20, applies a unique approach to targeting solid tumors, allowing increased access of co-administered cancer drug therapies to the tumor. PEGPH20 is currently in development for metastatic pancreatic cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, metastatic breast cancer and has potential across additional cancers in combination with different types of cancer therapies. In addition to its proprietary product portfolio, Halozyme has established value-driving partnerships with leading pharmaceutical companies including Roche, Baxalta, Pfizer, Janssen and AbbVie for its drug delivery platform, ENHANZE, which enables biologics and small molecule compounds that are currently administered intravenously to be delivered subcutaneously. Halozyme is headquartered in San Diego. For more information visit www.halozyme.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
In addition to historical information, the statements set forth above include forward-looking statements (including, without limitation, statements concerning the possible activity, benefits and attributes of PEGPH20, the possible method of action of PEGPH20, its potential application to improve cancer therapies and statements concerning future actions relating to the development of PEGPH20) that involve risk and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements are typically, but not always, identified through use of the words "believe," "enable," "may," "will," "could," "intends," "estimate," "anticipate," "plan," "predict," "probable," "potential," "possible," "should," "continue," and other words of similar meaning. Actual results could differ materially from the expectations contained in forward-looking statements as a result of several factors, including unexpected expenditures and costs, unexpected results or delays in development and regulatory review, regulatory approval requirements, unexpected adverse events and competitive conditions. These and other factors that may result in differences are discussed in greater detail in the Company's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 10, 2015.