MELBOURNE, Australia and STAMFORD, Connecticut, February 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
Dr Peter Spargo joins as SVP, CMC and Dr Chris Richardson as Director, CMC and Nonclinical Project Manager
Spinifex Pharmaceuticals, a company focused on the development of new drugs for the treatment of chronic pain, today announces that it has enhanced its Chemistry, Manufacturing & Controls (CMC) capability as it continues to build the management team to drive the development of its lead candidate, EMA401, in a number of chronic pain indications.
Dr Peter Spargo has joined Spinifex as Senior Vice President, CMC (SVP CMC). Dr Spargo has been involved in pharmaceutical research and development throughout an international career spanning over 25 years. He has previously acted as an industry consultant, including to Spinifex, and held the role of SVP CMC at Creabilis (Italy and UK) and at Novexel (France). At Novexel he played an important role in the company's US$500m acquisition by AstraZeneca in 2010. His industry career began at Pfizer (Sandwich, UK) where his final position was as Head of Chemical R&D for Pfizer in Europe. In addition to his process chemistry responsibilities, Peter also led Pfizer Pharmaceutical Sciences development teams, embracing formulation and analytical activities, as well as chairing multi-disciplinary human health development teams and being responsible for the company's Worldwide Pharmaceutical Sciences Veterinary Medicines portfolio. He holds a PhD from Cambridge University and completed Post-Doctoral research at Columbia University. Dr Spargo is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and has authored numerous scientific papers and patents.
Dr Christine (Chris) Richardson has joined Spinifex as Director, CMC and Nonclinical Project Manager. Dr Richardson was most recently Global Program Operations Manager at Novartis Pharmaceuticals (East Hanover, NJ, USA). Her pharmaceutical career began at Novartis in New York and she has held a number of positions with the company in the USA and in Europe. Dr Richardson received a PhD from New York University and completed a Masters Certificate in Applied Project Management at Villanova University.
Spinifex's CEO Tom McCarthy said: "In Pete and Chris we have added two exceptionally capable and experienced individuals to our senior management and created a strong CMC capability to complement our clinical development team. We continue to make excellent progress in preparing further Phase 2 clinical trials of EMA401 in postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN) and pain due to osteoarthritis and intend to initiate these studies in the middle of this year."
EMA401 is a novel angiotensin II type 2 (AT2) receptor antagonist being developed as a potential first-in-class oral treatment for chronic pain without CNS side-effects. Current treatments for chronic pain do not relieve pain in all individuals or are not well tolerated and so drugs targeting a new approach to pain treatment are needed.
Positive results from Spinifex's Phase 2 clinical trial of EMA401 in PHN, a painful condition that develops in some patients following herpes zoster (shingles), have been published in The Lancet. Spinifex is planning Phase 2b studies with EMA401 in PHN and PDN, and is also pursuing its development in nociceptive pain conditions such as pain due to osteoarthritis. The Company also continues to lay the ground work for future studies of EMA401 in other indications such as pain due to cancer chemotherapy and is conducting further pre-clinical research on AT2 receptor antagonists through its follow on candidate program.
Spinifex Pharmaceuticals is an Australian-US biotechnology company developing new drug candidates for the treatment and management of chronic pain.
Established in 2005 and based in Stamford, Connecticut and Melbourne, Australia, Spinifex has applied its world-class drug development capabilities to advance product candidates. Its lead product, EMA401, is under development as a potential first-in-class oral treatment for chronic pain without CNS side effects. Spinifex's Phase 2 program for EMA401 includes clinical trials in a number of chronic pain conditions. Spinifex's investors are Novo A/S, Canaan Partners, GBS Venture Partners, Brandon Capital Partners, Uniseed and UniQuest.
------------------------------ 1. EMA401, an orally administered highly selective angiotensin II type 2 receptor antagonist, as a novel treatment for postherpetic neuralgia: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 2 clinical trial, Rice, A.S.C. et al. (2014) The Lancet. 383 (9929), 1637-1647.
For more information please contact:
Dr Tom McCarthy
CEO Spinifex Pharmaceuticals
Email: [email protected]
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Email: [email protected]