Senesco Announces New CEO
BRIDGEWATER, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Senesco Technologies, Inc. ("Senesco" or the "Company") (SNTI) announced the appointment of Ronald A. Martell as chief executive officer at the 2014 BIO International Convention in San Diego. Martell will be replacing acting CEO, Vaughn V. Smider, M.D., Ph.D. Smider will remain chief scientific officer and a member of the board of directors.
"With the combined assets and investor support in the new company, we have an opportunity to build a sustainable enterprise," said Martell. "Senesco is uniquely positioned with a product in the clinic and a proprietary antibody platform technology that has the potential to yield multiple additional clinical products or partnering opportunities. Additionally, we will look to be opportunistic to acquire clinical stage assets to continue to build our portfolio and enable our strategy."
Senesco acquired Fabrus in May 2014 to create a biologics company with multiple novel drug candidates as well as the underlying enabling technologies able to generate a sustainable pipeline of first and best-in-class experimental therapeutics. The company is using its proprietary technology and breadth of expertise in antibody therapeutics to generate drug candidates targeting difficult target classes like multispanning transmembrane receptors.
"Ronald's deep leadership experience in the biotech industry will position our newly merged company for significant growth in the future," stated Senesco board member, Phillip Frost, M.D.
Added Harlan Waksal, M.D., chairman of the board: "The board implemented a process to identify an optimal candidate to lead the strategic direction of the combined company and Ronald's background, vision and experience in building innovative organizations stood out."
For more than 25 years, Martell has led successful companies in the biotech industry. Most recently he was president and CEO of NeurogesX and sold the company assets to Acorda Therapeutics. Prior to NeurogesX he was chief executive officer of Poniard Pharmaceuticals. Before joining Poniard, Martell served as senior vice president of commercial operations at ImClone Systems. He built ImClone Systems' commercial operations and field sales force to market and commercialize Erbitux® with partners Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck KGaA. Prior to joining ImClone Systems, Martell worked for 10 years at Genentech in a variety of positions, the last of which was group manager, oncology products. At Genentech, he was responsible for the launch of Herceptin® for metastatic HER-2 positive breast cancer and Rituxan® for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Martell began his career at Roche Pharmaceuticals.
Senesco Technologies is a clinical-stage biotech company specializing in cancer therapeutics and immunological diseases driven by a unique combination of gene regulation and antibody therapeutics. Its proprietary gene regulation technology has demonstrated the ability to eliminate cancer cells and protect healthy cells from premature death. The antibody approach is a novel discovery paradigm with the proven capability to identify functional therapeutic monoclonal antibodies against challenging cell surface targets that previously have been highly resistant to therapeutic antibody discovery. The Company is currently in a Phase 1b/2a trial with a product candidate that is designed to treat B-cell cancers, which include multiple myeloma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and non-Hodgkin's B-cell lymphomas. The Company has several antibodies in its preclinical pipeline. The first to move forward is a potentially first/best in class candidate antibody that targets an ion channel important in autoimmunity and inflammation. For more information, please visit Senesco.com or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.
Certain statements included in this press release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results could differ materially from such statements expressed or implied herein as a result of a variety of factors, including, but not limited to: the Company's ability to integrate the Fabrus science and operations; the Company's ability to continue as a going concern; the Company's ability to recruit patients for its clinical trial; the ability of the Company to consummate additional financings; the development of the Company's gene and antibody technology; the approval of the Company's patent applications; the current uncertainty in the patent landscape surrounding small inhibitory RNA and the Company's ability to successfully defend its intellectual property or obtain the necessary licenses at a cost acceptable to the Company, if at all; the successful implementation of the Company's research and development programs and collaborations; the success of the Company's license agreements; the acceptance by the market of the Company's products; the timing and success of the Company's preliminary studies, preclinical research and clinical trials; competition and the timing of projects and trends in future operating performance; and the quotation of the Company's common stock on an over-the-counter securities market, as well as other factors expressed from time to time in the Company's periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). As a result, this press release should be read in conjunction with the Company's periodic filings with the SEC. The forward-looking statements contained herein are made only as of the date of this press release, and the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update such forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.