SAN DIEGO, Jan. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: HALO) today announced the appointment of Athena Countouriotis, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer where she will be responsible for directing Halozyme's research, clinical development and regulatory activities.
"This is an exciting time for Halozyme as we focus on advancing our PEGPH20 clinical program and Athena's experience and expertise make her a valuable addition to our team," stated Dr. Helen Torley, President and Chief Executive Officer. "The depth of Athena's medical expertise and her successful track record of advancing novel oncology treatments through the clinical development and regulatory processes make her ideally suited to take on this important role as we seek to execute our growth strategy in 2015 and beyond."
During Athena's career, she has participated in or led the clinical development and approvals of three oncology assets (Bosulif®, Sutent®, and Sprycel®). Most recently, Dr. Countouriotis served as Chief Medical Officer at Ambit Biosciences (acquired by Daiichi Sankyo in November 2014) where she was responsible for clinical development, and regulatory affairs. In this capacity, Dr. Countouriotis provided leadership to the development and clinical operations strategies for quizartinib, currently in Phase 3 development for Acute Myeloid Leukemia, and served as a key contributor to the successful initial public offering in May 2013. Prior to her role at Ambit Biosciences, Dr. Countouriotis served as global clinical leader for the Oncology Business Unit of Pfizer Inc. In this role, she led late-stage clinical development and the approvals for Bosulif in Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML). In addition, Athena was a clinical leader for Sutent, participating in a successful U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory committee meeting leading to the approval of Sutent in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.
Prior to joining Pfizer, Dr. Countouriotis served as a clinical team director at Bristol-Myers Squibb supporting the development and approvals of Sprycel for the treatment of CML. She began her career at Cell Therapeutics, Inc.
"Halozyme is a leader in understanding the critical role that hyaluronan plays in the tumor microenvironment. I am encouraged by the strong non-clinical data and early stage clinical data with PEGPH20, and look forward to working closely with the team to maximize the potential of PEGPH20 for patients with multiple different solid tumors including pancreatic cancer and lung cancer," said Dr. Countouriotis.
Dr. Countouriotis received her M.D. from Tufts University School of Medicine and her bachelor's degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. She received her initial training in pediatrics at the University of California, Los Angeles, and additional training in the pediatric hematology/oncology program at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Halozyme Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing and commercializing innovative products that advance patient care. With a diversified portfolio of enzymes that target the extracellular matrix, the Company's research focuses primarily on a family of human enzymes, known as hyaluronidases, which increase the dispersion and absorption of biologics, drugs and fluids. Halozyme's pipeline addresses therapeutic areas, including oncology, diabetes and dermatology that have significant unmet medical need today. The Company markets Hylenex® recombinant (hyaluronidase human injection) and has partnerships with Roche, Pfizer, Janssen and Baxter. Halozyme is headquartered in San Diego, CA. For more information on how we are innovating, please visit our corporate website at 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 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 developments in clinical trials (including potential additional safety events), 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 Halozyme's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 10, 2014.
Susan Neath Francis