NeurogesX Appoints New Director to Board
SAN MATEO, Calif., Nov. 24, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- NeurogesX, Inc. (Nasdaq: NGSX), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing novel pain management therapies, today announced that the board of directors has voted to expand the size of the Company's board from six to seven members with the appointment of Steven Nelson, effective November 17, 2010.
Steven Nelson currently serves as chief executive officer of UnitedHealthcare's West Region. In this role Nelson oversees the health care coverage of almost 5 million commercial members. He is responsible for the commercial health plan operations in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington.
Over a twenty-year period, Nelson has held numerous management and executive positions with a variety of health care organizations including publicly-traded national health insurance companies and not-for-profit health care systems. Prior to assuming his current role in August 2008, he served as president of AmeriChoice, a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group. He has previously served as president of the Eastern Region and president of the Senior Products Division at HealthNet; and in a variety of executive roles at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Michigan.
Jean-Jacques Bienaime, Chairman of the NeurogesX Board of Directors, commented, "On behalf of the NeurogesX board, I would like to welcome Steve as our newest director. As we continue with the successful launch of Qutenza and the clinical advancement of NGX-1998, we are pleased to expand our board with an additional director. Steve's depth of experience with the U.S. healthcare system and commercial health plan management will be a significant contribution as Qutenza continues to gain broader market acceptance and U.S. formulary coverage. We look forward to accessing Steve's expertise as an integral and valuable new addition to our Board of Directors." The Board was advised by Heidrick & Struggles on the recruitment.
Nelson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Portland State University in Oregon and a master's degree in both Business Administration and Health Care Management at the University of Michigan.
Mr. Nelson, said, "I'm pleased to join NeurogesX' board on the heels of the U.S. Qutenza launch. With Medicare Part B coverage successfully confirmed and a permanent J-code for Qutenza going into effect at the first of next year, there are fewer barriers and greater clarity on how to file claims and obtain reimbursement coverage. I look forward to leveraging my experience to help cultivate and expand relations with U.S. healthcare organizations in an effort to widen Qutenza coverage, access and adoption."
About NeurogesX, Inc.
NeurogesX, Inc. (Nasdaq: NGSX) is a San Francisco Bay Area-based biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing novel pain management therapies. NeurogesX was founded on the concept that use of prescription-strength capsaicin could help manage the pain associated with neuropathic pain conditions. Since its inception, NeurogesX has leveraged its passion to help people with pain to efficiently develop this concept, resulting in the commercial launch of Qutenza® (capsaicin) 8% patch in 2010. The Company continues to apply its knowledge and expertise in the development of other novel treatments for pain.
The Company's lead product, Qutenza, is a localized dermal delivery system containing prescription strength capsaicin that is currently approved in the United States and the European Union. Qutenza is now available in the United States for the management of neuropathic pain associated with postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). In Europe, Qutenza is being marketed by Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd. (Astellas), the European subsidiary of Tokyo-based Astellas Pharma Inc., for the treatment of peripheral neuropathic pain in non-diabetic adults, either alone or in combination with other medicinal products for pain.
The Company is currently preparing to submit a supplemental new drug application (sNDA) to expand the U.S. label for Qutenza for the management of pain due to HIV-associated neuropathy (HIV-AN) also known as HIV-distal sensory neuropathy (HIV-DSP).
The Company's most advanced product candidate, NGX-1998, is a topically applied liquid formulation containing a high concentration of capsaicin designed to treat pain associated with neuropathic pain conditions such as PHN. NGX-1998 has completed three Phase 1 studies and patient dosing is underway in a Phase 2 clinical trial in PHN patients.
The Company's early-stage pipeline includes pre-clinical compounds which are prodrugs of acetaminophen and various opioids. The Company has evaluated certain of these compounds in vitro and in vivo.
Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements for purposes of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the Act). NeurogesX disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements, and claims the protection of the Safe Harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Act. Examples of such statements include but are not limited to: statements regarding the potential benefits of the new director appointee to the NeurogesX Board of Directors; and the potential submission to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of a supplemental new drug application for label expansion of Qutenza. Such statements are based on management's current expectations, but actual results may differ materially due to various risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to: difficulties or delays in the commercialization of Qutenza, including with respect to manufacture and supply of Qutenza; unexpected adverse side effects of Qutenza; physician or patient reluctance to use Qutenza, despite the Company's efforts and strategies to commercialize Qutenza; and difficulties or delays in the further development of Qutenza and efforts towards label expansion; and potential competitors and competitive products. For further information regarding these and other risks related to NeurogesX' business, investors should consult NeurogesX' filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.