SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, March 26, 2014 - Tobira Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company advancing cenicriviroc (CVC) in liver disease and HIV, announced today that Laurent Fischer, MD, Tobira's Chairman of the Board, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer. Christopher Peetz has joined the company as Chief Financial Officer.
"Tobira has established an impressive foundation of data for the company's novel dual chemokine inhibitor program in multiple high-value therapeutic areas. With cenicriviroc demonstrating potent antifibrotic effects in preclinical studies, we are poised to commence a proof-of-concept clinical study in liver disease. We are also pursuing non-dilutive strategies for advancing cenicriviroc in combination with 3TC into pivotal studies as a new HIV treatment backbone, having shown long-term anti-viral efficacy and tolerability in more than a hundred HIV patients treated for up to 48-weeks," said Dr. Fischer. "I look forward to leading our team with a clear sense of strategy and purpose through the next stages of clinical development for cenicriviroc in liver fibrosis and as part of a fixed-dose combination treatment for HIV, as well as in executing against our financing and business development objectives."
"Dr. Fischer brings significant depth of leadership experience in the development and commercialization of new medicines addressing HIV and liver disease. His past accomplishments at Jennerex, Ocera, DuPont-Merck and Roche provide him with an ideal background to lead the advancement of cenicriviroc and maximize the development opportunities for this promising therapeutic," said Founder and Director Eckard Weber, MD, Partner, Domain Associates. "We also welcome Chris Peetz. His blend of financial and business acumen will greatly strengthen the Tobira management team."
The appointments of Dr. Fischer and Mr. Peetz are effective immediately, following the resignations of Andrew Hindman as Chief Executive Officer and Carolyn Loewy as Chief Financial Officer.
Dr. Fischer brings more than 20 years of drug development and commercialization experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. Most recently, Dr. Fischer was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Jennerex, Inc., a private, clinical-stage biotherapeutics company focused on cancer immunotherapy for liver cancer and other tumors, which was acquired by SillaJen, Inc. Prior, as Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Ocera Therapeutics, Inc., he licensed and developed a first-in-class ammonia scavenger for the treatment of complications of cirrhosis. Dr. Fischer held senior management positions at leading pharmaceutical companies including DuPont-Merck, DuPont Pharmaceuticals, and Hoffmann- La Roche with a focus on the development and commercialization of oncology, virology and liver disease products. Among other achievements, Dr. Fischer was responsible for the launch of Sustiva® the first once-daily anti-HIV drug, now part of the triple-combination therapy Atripla® and involved in the launch of Invirase®, the first protease inhibitor approved for HIV. He joined Tobira's Board of Directors in April 2009 and was elected Chairman in 2010, and served on the boards of AIDS Healthcare Foundation for a decade. Dr. Fischer received his undergraduate degree from the University of Geneva and his medical degree from the Geneva Medical School, Switzerland.
Mr. Peetz joins Tobira from Jennerex, where he served as Vice President, Finance & Corporate Development. While there, Mr. Peetz led a $21 million private financing and the sale of the company to SillaJen for up to $150 million including milestones. Prior to Jennerex, Mr. Peetz held positions of increasing responsibility at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (now Amgen), including oversight of financial planning and analysis, corporate strategy, product lifecycle management and commercial roles on Nexavar®, Stivarga® and Kyprolis®. While at Onyx, Mr. Peetz supported public financings of nearly $300 million. Prior to Onyx, Mr. Peetz provided merger and acquisition advisory services at LaSalle Corporate Finance, a part of ABN AMRO, and held positions at Abgenix, Inc. and Solazyme, Inc. Mr. Peetz received an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and BSBA from Washington University in St. Louis.
About Tobira Therapeutics
Tobira Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing cenicriviroc (CVC), an oral potent dual inhibitor of chemokine receptors CCR2 and CCR5. Tobira is initiating a Phase 2 clinical trial of cenicriviroc for the treatment of Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH), a leading cause of cirrhosis and liver transplant. The company has also completed a Phase 2b clinical trial of cenicriviroc in 143 HIVinfected subjects, and the compound is positioned for Phase 3 studies as a novel, once daily, fixed-dose cenicriviroc/lamivudine backbone as part of combination HIV therapy. Tobira is backed by a syndicate of leading life science investors including Domain Associates, Frazier Healthcare Ventures, Montreux Equity Partners, Novo Ventures and Canaan Partners. Learn more at www.TobiraTherapeutics.com.