REINACH, Switzerland, April 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Arpida Ltd. (SWX: ARPN) today announced that Dr Jurgen Raths will succeed Dr Khalid Islam as Chief Executive Officer. Dr Jurgen Raths commands extensive knowledge in the commercialisation of drugs for the treatment of severe infections in hospitals and has successfully built and lead the European Critical Care sales, medical and marketing organisation of Eli Lilly and Company for many years.
At the Annual General Meeting of 7 May, the Board of Directors will propose to appoint Dr Khalid Islam to the Board of Directors of Arpida Ltd. Dr Islam will work closely with Dr Raths for a seamless transition and will continue thereafter as a consultant for the coming years. As a result, his experience and expertise in the anti-infective area and his thorough knowledge of Arpida's programmes will continue to be available to the company. Dr Raths, a member of the Arpida board since 2006, will assume his responsibilities as CEO on 1 May 2008 focusing during the first two months on deepening his knowledge of the company and getting to know Arpida's shareholders and business partners.
Dr Andre Lamotte, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Arpida Ltd., commented: "Arpida's Board, employees, shareholders and business partners owe a lot to Khalid Islam. His outstanding leadership, unwavering energy and deep knowledge have been crucial for Arpida's progress over the past nine years. On behalf of Arpida's Board and staff, I would like to thank Khalid for his vital contributions. I am very pleased that he will continue to serve Arpida both in his function as a board member as well as in his active advisory role going forward. I am particularly delighted and convinced that Jurgen Raths' extensive knowledge of successfully building and managing sales organisations will enable Arpida to move into the next important phase of becoming a fully integrated pharmaceutical company."
Dr Khalid Islam commented, "I am very proud of what we have achieved over the past nine years. Our key programme iclaprim which started out as an early preclinical compound is now under regulatory review. The years ahead will pose new challenges, requiring a different set of skills of a CEO. With this in mind, I feel it is the right time for a change in leadership at Arpida and to hand over the reigns into the experienced hands of Jurgen Raths. It has been a privilege for me to serve this company during these nine years and I look forward to joining Arpida's Board of Directors and to actively support the company in its continuing progress."
The nomination of Dr. Khalid Islam to be elected to the Board of Directors will be put forward to the Annual General Meeting to take place on 7 May 2008 in Basel. With effect as of 1 May 2008, Dr Raths will resign from the Board of Directors. The amended invitation is made available on our website with immediate effect.
About Dr Jurgen Raths
Dr Jurgen Raths studied medicine and dentistry at the Universities of Heidelberg, Bonn and Cologne. He obtained his MD at the University of Bonn. Since 1990, he held several positions in the global pharmaceutical group, Eli Lilly and Company, both in Europe and in the US. While at Lilly, he was involved in developing and analysing product portfolio strategies, in product launches and the build-up of sales organisations. In August 1999, Dr Raths was appointed Head Critical Care Europe, the European hospital-focused business of Eli Lilly and Company. In this function he managed the European sales, medical and marketing organisation of approximately 200 people and was also responsible for the unit's finance and human resources. During this assignment he was responsible for the commercialisation of drugs for the treatment of severe infections (i.e. Xigris). Dr Raths, born 1956, is a German citizen, married, with three children, living in Switzerland. He has been on Arpida's Board of Directors since 2006.
About Arpida Ltd.
Arpida (SWX: ARPN) is a biopharmaceutical company with research facilities in Reinach, Switzerland and in the USA. It focuses on the discovery and development of novel drugs that seek to overcome the growing problem of microbial resistance. The most advanced compounds include an antibacterial under regulatory review and an antifungal in Phase III.
Arpida's leading product candidate is intravenous iclaprim, a potent antibacterial that targets severe infections requiring hospital treatment, including those caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The clinical programme for the first indication, complicated skin and skin structure infections (cSSSI), has been completed. The submission of the NDA to the US FDA was completed in March 2008.
In December 2007, Arpida announced the enrolment of the first patients in a Phase II clinical study with intravenous iclaprim in the treatment of patients with hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP), ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) or healthcare associated pneumonia (HCAP).
In January 2008, the US FDA granted authorisation to progress oral iclaprim into a Phase II 'intravenous-to-oral' switch trial. Iclaprim could be offered not only as an intravenous therapy for hospital use in acute situations, but also as an oral formulation, allowing early patient discharge followed by outpatient treatment. This switch could be a valuable instrument in reducing healthcare costs and enhancing patient comfort.
Arpida's fourth most advanced antibiotic programme, AR-709, targets upper and lower respiratory tract infections acquired in the community setting. AR-709 exhibited potent activity against a large panel of pneumococcal clinical isolates including those resistant to currently used drugs. Promising results of "first-in-man" studies with AR-709 were published in March 2007.
An additional compound, AR-2474, has achieved in vivo proof of concept. AR-2474 has been shown to be effective in eradicating pathogens in preclinical models of skin infection and nasal carriage.
Apart from the antibiotic programmes, Arpida has an innovative antifungal therapy (TLT) which is in Phase III clinical trials in Europe, targeting onychomycosis.
Moreover, the company has several other leads in optimisation and additional discovery programmes derived from its own discovery platform at various research stages.
This press release contains specific forward-looking statements, e.g.
statements including terms like believe, assume, expect or similar
expressions. Such forward-looking statements are subject to known and
unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may result in a
substantial divergence between the actual results, financial situation,
development or performance of the company and those explicitly or
implicitly presumed in these statements. Against the background of these
uncertainties readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking
statements. The company assumes no responsibility to update forward-looking
statements or to adapt them to future events or developments.
Dr Khalid Islam, President and CEO Tel.: +41-61-417-96-60
Harry Welten, MBA, Chief Financial Officer Tel.: +41-61-417-96-65
Paul Verbraeken, Head of Corporate Communications Tel.: +41-61-417-96-83
|SOURCE Arpida Ltd|
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