VioQuest Appoints Michael D. Becker as President and Chief Executive Officer
Wednesday November 14, 4:05 pm ET
BASKING RIDGE, N.J., Nov. 14 -- VioQuest Pharmaceuticals a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing cancer therapeutics, today announced the appointment of Michael D. Becker as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective November 21, 2007. Mr. Becker has also been appointed to the Company's Board of Directors.
Mr. Becker joins VioQuest from Cytogen Corporation, where he served as President and Chief Executive Officer since December 2002. Brian Lenz, the Company's Chief Financial Officer, will serve as interim Chief Executive Officer until November 21.
While at Cytogen, Mr. Becker led the company's transformation from a research-driven biotechnology company into a product-focused specialty pharmaceutical company with a growing commercial presence in the U.S. oncology market. During his tenure he played a critical role in securing more than $100 million in new capital for Cytogen.
"The Board of Directors is pleased to welcome Michael Becker as President and Chief Executive Officer of VioQuest. We believe his impressive leadership skills, business development accomplishments, industry expertise, and successful capital raising track record make him the ideal candidate for the job. Further, we have great confidence that Michael's experience leading a company focused on the treatment and supportive care of cancer patients will prove valuable as we work to better leverage our existing asset base and advance new strategic initiatives to accelerate growth and build sustainable value," said Stephen Rocamboli, Chairman of VioQuest.
Mr. Becker stated, "I am excited to assume leadership of VioQuest - an organization that I believe holds an exceptional amount of growth potential. Coming from a specialty pharmaceutical company with a growing presence in the U.S. oncology market, I intend to apply my experience to ensure that we fully capitalize on VioQuest's solid asset base through effective communications with the marketplace, high-quality clinical development initiatives, and selective strategic transactions designed to accelerate growth. I thank the Board for this opportunity."
Prior to his most recent role at Cytogen, Mr. Becker progressed through positions of increasing responsibility, including Chief Executive Officer of AxCell Biosciences, a subsidiary of Cytogen focused on signal transduction pathways, and Vice President of Business Development and Industry Relations. Prior to joining Cytogen, Mr. Becker was with Wayne Hummer Investments LLC, a Chicago-based regional brokerage firm from July 1996 to April 2001, where he held senior positions as a biotechnology analyst, investment executive and portfolio manager. Mr. Becker is Chairman of BioNJ, which was founded in 1994 by New Jersey biotechnology industry CEOs to serve as the voice of and advocate for the biotechnology industry in New Jersey. Mr. Becker is also a member of the Governing Body of Biotechnology Industry Organizations (BIO) Emerging Companies Section.
About VioQuest Pharmaceuticals
VioQuest focuses on acquiring, developing, and commercializing targeted late preclinical and early clinical stage therapies with unique mechanisms of action primarily for oncology and infectious diseases. VioQuest has three targeted drug candidates in clinical development: VQD-002 which inhibits activation of Akt that is seen at abnormally high levels in breast, ovarian, colorectal, pancreatic, and hematologic cancers; Lenocta(TM), an inhibitor of specific protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPases), SHP-1 and SHP-2, which has shown compelling clinical and biological activity in solid tumors and Xyfid(TM), a topical therapy which has shown early clinical promise in the treatment and prevention of chemo-induced Hand-Foot Syndrome (HFS). VioQuest anticipates commencing Phase II trials for VQD-002, Lenocta(TM) and Xyfid(TM) in the first half of 2008. In addition, VioQuest and the U.S. Army are planning to submit a New Drug Application (NDA) to the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2008 for Lenocta(TM) for the treatment of leishmaniasis.
Further information about VioQuest can be found at www.vioquestpharm.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause VioQuest's actual results and experiences to differ materially from the anticipated results and expectations expressed in these forward-looking statements. These statements are often, but not always, made through the use of words or phrases such as anticipates, expects, plans, believes, intends, and similar words or phrases. These statements are based on current expectations, forecasts and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from these statements. In addition, this press release also includes forward-looking statements regarding the timing, progress and results of the clinical development, regulatory processes, potential clinical trial initiations, potential IND and NDA filings and commercialization efforts of VioQuest's drug development product candidates. These statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties and include the possibility that the results of clinical trials will not support VioQuest's claims, the possibility that VioQuest's development efforts relating to its product candidates, including Lenocta(TM), VQD-002, and Xyfid(TM) will not be successful, the inability to obtain regulatory approval of VioQuest's product candidates, VioQuest's reliance on third-party researchers to develop its product candidates, its lack of experience in developing and commercializing pharmaceutical products, and the possibility that its licenses to develop and commercialize its product candidates may be terminated. Additional risks are described in VioQuest's Annual Report on Form 10-KSB for the year ended December 31, 2006. VioQuest assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.