NEW YORK, Nov. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Immune Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: IMNP) ("Immune" or the "Company") today announced two new additions to its leadership team: the appointment of Miri Ben-Ami, M.D., President of Immune Pharmaceuticals Limited (Israel), a wholly-owned Immune subsidiary, and Executive Vice President (EVP), Oncology; and Monica E. Luchi, M.D., FACR, MBA to EVP Global Drug Development, Chief Medical Officer.
"I am very pleased that two senior industry executives, Miri Ben-Ami M.D. and Monica E. Luchi M.D., will be joining the leadership team of Immune as we accelerate the global clinical development of bertilimumab. We recently announced the U.S. FDA acceptance of our IND for a Phase 2 clinical trial in bullous pemphigoid and the first patient enrolled in Israel in our Phase 2 clinical trial in ulcerative colitis. Both Miri and Monica have a proven track record in clinical development and executive management at large pharma and public bio-tech companies," stated Dr. Daniel Teper, CEO of Immune.
Dr. Ben-Ami and Dr. Luchi will join the Company's executive committee and report directly to Dr. Teper, CEO. Dr. Ben-Ami will be responsible for overall operations in Israel, including clinical trials and other R&D initiatives. She will be responsible for the global development and partnering of Immune's oncology pipeline, which includes clinical stage small molecules, NanomAbs and bi-specific antibodies. Dr. Luchi will be responsible for global R&D strategy and operations.
Dr. Ben-Ami's background includes over 15 years experience in executing broad management and drug development responsibilities for the healthcare industry. Most recently, she served as the CEO for Aposense Ltd., a clinical stage public biotech company developing therapeutics and molecular imaging diagnostics in the field of oncology. Under her leadership, the company refocused its drug pipeline, entered into partnerships with big pharma, and received approval from the FDA for accelerated development of its lead compound. Before that, Dr. Ben-Ami held senior leadership roles during her 9-year tenure at Teva Pharmaceuticals. As Global Head of Neurology, Dr. Ben-Ami spearheaded development strategies for Copaxone, a lead immunomodulator in multiple sclerosis, underlying the successful expansion of the product's indications and market. Currently, Dr. Ben-Ami serves on the governing board of the Israeli Public Companies Association, as Chairperson of the organization's life-sciences division. Dr. Ben-Ami obtained her B.Sc.(Hon.) degree in Medical Biochemistry and her M.D. degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and gained clinical experience during her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology in the UK and Israel.
Dr. Luchi is a Board certified rheumatologist with 15 years industry experience. Prior to joining Immune, Dr. Luchi held senior immunology and inflammation positions at Novartis, Incyte and most recently, Mesoblast. In addition to her biopharmaceutical experience, Dr. Luchi is a local Metro Chapter board member of the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association and continues part time clinical patient care for an academic rheumatology practice. She is adjunct assistant professor of medicine and adjunct clinical assistant professor, University of Pennsylvania.
"Joining Immune will enable me to help patients with severe immuno-inflammatory conditions as well as further Immune's goal to enhance patient access to personalized medical care. My initial focus will be ensuring that both of the on-going Phase 2 clinical trials with bertilimumab are completed on time and to provide guidance for further development in gastro-enterology and dermatology," said Monica E. Luchi, M.D., FACR, MBA, Chief Medical Officer of Immune Pharmaceuticals.
The Company granted an inducement stock option to purchase up to 400,000 shares of the Company's common stock to Monica E. Luchi, the Company's Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. The stock options vest over a period of three years, 1/3 of options vest on the first anniversary of the date of grant and the remainder vest quarterly over a two-year period after the first anniversary of the date of grant. The stock options were granted as an inducement material to employment in accordance with NASDAQ Listing Rule 5635(c)(4).
About Immune Pharmaceuticals:
Immune Pharmaceuticals applies a personalized approach to treating and developing novel, highly-targeted antibody therapeutics to improve the lives of patients with inflammatory diseases and cancer. Immune's lead product candidate, bertilimumab, is in clinical development for moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis as well as for bullous pemphigoid, an orphan auto-immune dermatological condition. Other indications being considered for development include atopic dermatitis, Crohn's disease, severe asthma and NASH (an inflammatory liver disease). Immune recently expanded its portfolio in immuno-dermatology with topical nano-formulated cyclosporin A for the treatment of psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. Immune's pipeline also includes NanomAbs®, antibody nano-conjugates, for the targeted delivery of chemotherapeutics. Immune's non-core pipeline includes AmiKet, a late clinical stage drug candidate for the treatment of neuropathic pain. For more information, visit Immune's website at www.immunepharmaceuticals.com
This news release and any oral statements made with respect to the information contained in this news release contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You are urged to consider statements that include the words "may," "will," "would," "could," "should," "believes," "estimates," "projects," "potential," "expects," "plans," "anticipates," "intends," "continues," "forecast," "designed," "goal" or the negative of those words or other comparable words to be uncertain and forward-looking. Such forward-looking statements include statements that express plans, anticipation, intent, contingency, goals, targets, future development and are otherwise not statements of historical fact. These statements are based on our current expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or developments to be materially different from historical results or from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause actual results or developments to differ materially include, but not limited to: the risks associated with the adequacy of our existing cash resources and our ability to continue as a going concern; the risks associated with our ability to continue to meet our obligations under our existing debt agreements; the risk that clinical trials for bertilimumab or AmiKet will not be successful; the risk that bertilimumab, AmiKet or compounds arising from our NanomAbs program will not receive regulatory approval or achieve significant commercial success; the risk that we will not be able to find a partner to help conduct the Phase III trials for AmiKet on attractive terms, on a timely basis or at all; the risk that our other product candidates that appeared promising in early research and clinical trials do not demonstrate safety and/or efficacy in larger-scale or later-stage clinical trials; the risk that we will not obtain approval to market any of our product candidates; the risks associated with dependence upon key personnel; the risks associated with reliance on collaborative partners and others for further clinical trials, development, manufacturing and commercialization of our product candidates; the cost, delays and uncertainties associated with our scientific research, product development, clinical trials and regulatory approval process; our history of operating losses since our inception; the highly competitive nature of our business; risks associated with litigation; and risks associated with our ability to protect our intellectual property. These factors and other material risks are more fully discussed in our periodic reports, including our reports on Forms 8-K, 10-Q and 10-K and other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. You are urged to carefully review and consider the disclosures found in our filings, which are available at www.sec.gov or at www.immunepharmaceuticals.com. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, any of which could turn out to be wrong due to inaccurate assumptions, unknown risks or uncertainties or other risk factors. We expressly disclaim any obligation to publicly update any forward looking statements contained herein, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
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SOURCE Immune Pharmaceuticals, Inc.