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Circassia Appoints Stewart Sharpe as Vice President Commercial Operations

OXFORD, England, September 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Circassia Ltd, a specialty biopharmaceutical company focused on allergy, today announced the appointment of Stewart Sharpe to the newly-created position of Vice President, Commercial Operations.  Mr Sharpe, who has extensive experience of leading multinational product launches, will lead Circassia's preparations to commercialise its lead allergy programme.  Circassia plans to begin phase III testing of its lead ToleroMune® allergy treatment in Q4 2012.  

Stewart Sharpe brings 25 years of commercial and marketing experience to Circassia.  Most recently he was Head of Commercial & Business Development at Astellas Pharma's subsidiary OSI / Prosidion. Previously, he held senior leadership roles at Takeda, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Roche and Glaxo Wellcome.  During his career he has led the commercial activities for a number of new products, including the global launch of Xolair® for Novartis.  He also has wide experience of establishing highly performing teams and has a proven record of developing and implementing successful marketing strategies in several therapeutic areas, including respiratory medicine. Mr Sharpe is a Member of the Board of the Oxford Biosciences Network, a Member of the UK Biotechnology Industry Association and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Commenting on the appointment, Steve Harris, Circassia's CEO, said, "I am delighted to welcome Stewart to Circassia at this exciting time in the company's development. We believe our ToleroMune® technology has the potential to revolutionise allergy treatment, and as we move our lead programme into the final phase of development it is the ideal time to ramp up the extensive commercial preparations required for the successful international launch of our first product. Stewart brings to Circassia the senior-level experienceand track record of achievementneeded to help us achieve this ambitious goal, and we look forward to him leading ourcommercial preparations as we progress our novel cat allergy treatment to the marketplace."

About Circassia's ToleroMune® allergy treatments

Circassia is developing a range of allergy treatments based on its proprietary ToleroMune® technology.  This uses small sections of allergens (epitopes) to generate regulatory T cells that suppress allergic responses and create immune tolerance in patients.  The company has successfully completed a number of phase II studies with its cat, house dust mite, ragweed and grass allergy therapies.  Clinical results show that short courses of Circassia's allergy treatments can greatly reduce patients' allergic responses, without the need for adjuvants or other immune stimulators, while proving extremely well tolerated.  As a result, the treatments offer major potential clinical benefits compared with existing therapies, and have significant market opportunities.  More than 150 million people suffer from allergic rhinitis in the US and Europe, and the current treatment market is valued at approximately $12 billion per year.

About Circassia

Circassia was founded in 2006 by a team of highly experienced biotechnology scientists and entrepreneurs, and is chaired by the former Chairman of GlaxoSmithKline, Sir Richard Sykes.  The company is based in the UK on the Oxford Science Park, and its joint venture with McMaster University (Adiga Life Sciences Inc) is located in Hamilton, Canada.  Circassia's ToleroMune technology was developed originally by scientists at Imperial College, London. Having successfully completed five fundraising rounds, Circassia has raised approximately £105 million ($178 million) and is backed by a syndicate of world-class institutional investors, including Imperial Innovations and Invesco Perpetual.

Steve Harris
Tel: +44(0)1865-784574

Rob Budge
RJB Communications
Tel: +44(0)1865-760969
Mobile: +44(0)7710-741241

SOURCE Circassia Ltd
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