DURHAM, N.C., Aug. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Addrenex Pharmaceuticals ( http://www.addrenex.com ) has made three strategic hires this month to further its goal of identifying and developing as many new drug candidates as possible over the next 18 months.
The fast-paced timeline they have set for drug discovery mirrors the company's recent successes in developing two new drugs, Clonicel(R) for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and CloniBID for hypertension, over the past two years. A new drug application has already been filed for CloniBID, with Food and Drug Administration review expected by December 2008, and Clonicel is in phase 3 clinical trials. Commercial rights to both drugs have been granted to Atlanta-based Sciele Pharma.
The additions of Steven Butts, M.B.A., as vice president of commercial operations and Gary Bream, Ph.D., as senior director of scientific affairs will strengthen Addrenex's ability to pursue additional drugs to treat conditions such as menopausal flushing, pain, addiction, aggression, and post traumatic stress disorder, said Moise Khayrallah, Ph.D., cofounder and chief executive officer of Addrenex. Yuki Prescott has also joined as clinical trials manager and will enhance the clinical team's ability to oversee a growing clinical program.
"We now have a solid partnership in place with Sciele that will enable us to develop our lead compounds and to pursue additional compounds in our portfolio that target the alpha-2 adrenergic receptors," said Khayrallah. "We're using our lead compounds to power the rest of the portfolio. The highly skilled team we have now assembled gives us the capability to deliver on our commitments and meet our fast-paced timelines."
The indications being targeted by Addrenex are each associated with an overactive adrenergic system, a group of hormones produced by the adrenal glands that regulate the body's reaction to stress, hormonal fluctuations and myriad environmental factors.
To identify new drug candidates, Addrenex will delve into its vast library of 400 adrenergic compounds, housed at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Addrenex licensed the rights to the portfolio in December, and the company has already produced a new drug candidate-ADX415-from the portfolio. The new compound will be developed for the treatment of hypertension and other potential indications.
Bream will work with University of Nebraska scientists to further analyze various compounds for their affinity to alpha-2 adrenergic receptors and subreceptors that might enhance efficacy or reduce side effects of current alpha-2 compounds. He will be responsible for advancing several drug candidates through the preclinical and early clinical phases.
Butts will work in tandem with the scientific group to identify indications where Addrenex can fill an unmet medical need, Khayrallah said. His expertise in commercializing drugs will help prioritize the most viable drug candidates in the pipeline. Butts will also oversee commercial efforts in the company's current and future partnerships.
"The convergence of commercial and scientific expertise is essential to optimizing our portfolio of drugs," said Khayrallah. "We're now in a position to carefully assess which compounds and which receptors are the best targets for addressing a desired indication."
Gary Bream brings to Addrenex a decade of regulatory affairs experience and 11 years of clinical research experience. Bream most recently served as senior director of regulatory affairs and strategic drug development services at Constella Group. He also served in the areas of regulatory affairs, clinical operations and clinical research at Constella, formerly Lineberry Research Associates and now SRA International. Bream's career includes scientific positions at Merck Research Laboratories in West Point, PA, and at Burroughs Wellcome in Research Triangle Park, NC. Bream holds a doctorate in molecular biology from the University of California at Berkeley.
Steven Butts has 13 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, having held leadership positions in marketing and brand management, sales, new product planning and business development at Eli Lilly and Company, Glaxo Wellcome and Braintree Laboratories. He was the U.S. marketing director of Lilly's ADHD medication Strattera(R), leading the product from phase 2 clinical trials through its second year in market. Butts joined Addrenex from Biobehavioral Diagnostics in Boston, where he served as vice president of marketing and sales. He holds a Master of Business Administration from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Yuki Prescott came to Addrenex from Constella Group, where she served as project manager and clinical research associate. In her early career, Prescott was a practicing physical therapist in both inpatient and outpatient settings. She has a master's degree in physical therapy from East Carolina University and a bachelor's degree in biology from Binghamton University in Binghamton, NY.
|SOURCE Addrenex Pharmaceuticals|
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