Sucampo Pharma, a Subsidiary of Sucampo Pharmaceuticals Appoints Kunihiko Soneoka as President and CEO
Long-time Pharmaceutical Industry Executive to Lead Japanese Subsidiary of Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
TOKYO -- Sucampo Pharma, a wholly-owned Japanese subsidiary of Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCMP - News), an emerging pharmaceutical company developing prostone-based therapies for age-related and other diseases, today announced the appointment of Kunihiko Soneoka as Representative Director, President and Chief Executive Officer, effective November 2, 2007. In his new role as head of SPL, Mr. Soneoka, 59, with more than 35 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, will help to lead the international expansion of Sucampo Pharmaceuticalsâ€™ prostone-based therapies in the Asia-Pacific region.
Mr. Soneoka joined SPL in November 2006 as Senior Vice President of Clinical Development responsible for the clinical development, strategic planning and budgeting associated with the development of prostones, including lubiprostone, in Japan and other Asian countries. Prior to that, he enjoyed a long and distinguished executive career with Fujisawa Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (now Astellas Pharma Inc., the third-largest pharmaceutical company in Japan). Mr. Soneoka began as a specialist in Fujisawaâ€™s clinical research division in 1971, and was promoted to positions of increasing responsibility including Manager of Scientific Affairs (1985-90), Manager of International Product Development (1990-93), Vice President of Drug Development (1996-98), Director of Global Development (1998-2003) and Associate Executive Director of Development (2003-2005). His achievements include serving as global project leader for the successful international launch of one of Astellasâ€™ flagship products, ProtopicÂ® (tacrolimus) ointment, into Japan, Europe and the United States.
â€œMr. Soneokaâ€™s vast knowledge of international pharmaceutical development makes him the ideal candidate to head our SPL subsidiary as we plan for the expansion of our products to overseas markets,â€ said Ryuji Ueno, M.D., Ph.D., Ph.D, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sucampo Pharmaceuticals. â€œHis expertise will be invaluable as we execute our international business strategy.â€
Said Mr. Soneoka, â€œI believe my knowledge and experience will enable SPL to develop AMITIZA efficiently in Japan and the other Asian countries and will help to foster strategic alliances for our products throughout the Asia-Pacific region. I am honored to serve as President and CEO of SPL, and I look forward to continuing to contribute to this dynamic organization.â€
Misako Nakata, SPLâ€™s current Representative Director, will continue to hold that position within the company. She also was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Intellectual Property Officer. Ms. Nakata has been representative director for SPL since June 2004. She has a long career in strategic intellectual property planning and execution including prostones, for more than 10 years, which has led to the successful prosecution of more than 500 patents worldwide. She also has been involved in various research projects and licensing for Sucampo. She holds a Pharmacist license.
About Sucampo Pharmaceuticals
Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an emerging pharmaceutical company based in Bethesda, MD, focuses on the development and commercialization of drugs based on prostones, a class of compounds derived from functional fatty acids that occur naturally in the human body. The therapeutic potential of prostones was first identified by Ryuji Ueno, M.D., Ph.D., Ph.D., Sucampo Pharmaceuticalsâ€™ chairman and chief executive officer. Dr. Ueno founded Sucampo Pharmaceuticals in 1996 with Sachiko Kuno, Ph.D., founding chief executive officer and advisor, international business development. Sucampo Pharmaceuticalsâ€™ first product, AMITIZAÂ® (lubiprostone), received marketing approval from the FDA in January 2006, for the treatment of chronic idiopathic constipation in adults. To learn more about Sucampo Pharmaceuticals and its products, visit www.sucampo.com.
Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Sucampo Pharmaceuticals are forward-looking statements made under the provisions of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the words â€œproject,â€ â€œbelieve,â€ â€œanticipate,â€ â€œplan,â€ â€œexpect,â€ â€œestimate,â€ â€œintend,â€ â€œshould,â€ â€œwould,â€ â€œcould,â€ â€œwill,â€ â€œmayâ€ or other similar expressions. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors described in Sucampo Pharmaceuticalsâ€™ filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including the quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the period ended June 30, 2007, the final prospectus relating to Sucampo Pharmaceuticalsâ€™ initial public offering and other periodic reports filed with the SEC. Any forward-looking statements in this press release represent Sucampo Pharmaceuticalsâ€™ views only as of the date of this release and should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any subsequent date. Sucampo Pharmaceuticals anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause its views to change. However, while Sucampo Pharmaceuticals may elect to update these forward-looking statements publicly at some point in the future, Sucampo Pharmaceuticals specifically disclaims any obligation to do so, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.