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NewBridge Pharmaceuticals Completes $12 Million First Close of Series B Financing, Announces Senior Executive Appointments

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- NewBridge Pharmaceuticals FZ-LLC of Dubai, UAE announced today that Joseph W. Henein has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the company's Board of Directors. Mr. Henein is a senior executive who joins NewBridge after a career extending over 29 years in multinational pharmaceutical corporations, holding a number of senior positions covering many geographies including; US, Europe, and Middle East.  

Most recently Mr. Henein was the head and Managing Director of Wyeth for the Middle East and Africa (MEA).  Joe led Wyeth MEA to an unprecedented growth during his time; the affiliate structure grew from 150 employees to over 500 employees and increased revenues multi-fold to around $450 million in the five-year period from 2004-2009. These record achievements marked the MEA as one of the top fastest growing affiliates in Wyeth.

Prior to his role with Wyeth in Dubai, Joe led key global therapeutic areas, from the World Headquarters of Wyeth in the US, most notably infectious diseases as VP and Global Commercial Chair, and served in a senior operational role for MEA and Central Eastern Europe (CEE). Joe also served in various corporate and industry committees; including Wyeth Development Council, Wyeth Development Strategy Board, and Wyeth European Operation Council. On the industry level, he most recently served as the Vice Chair for the PhRMA MEA Committee and the Chair of the PhRMA MEA Ethics Review Board.

"I am excited to join NewBridge at such a critical point in its growth," commented Mr. Henein. "I look forward to working closely with the Board, Management, and employees of NewBridge to establish a strong regional presence, expand the breadth of our commercialization excellence, and build value for the company, shareholders and our customers in the region."

NewBridge also announced the appointment of G. Garrett Vygantas, M.D. as Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Business Development. Prior to that Dr. Vygantas served as the interim CEO since the company was founded.

In addition, NewBridge announced the close of $12 million in Series B financing, bringing the total amount raised to-date to $16 million.  The Series B round was led by Kuwait Life Sciences Company (KLSC), a subsidiary of National Technology Enterprises Company of Kuwait with participation by the previous investor Burrill Life Sciences Capital Fund III, L.P.  In conjunction with the financing, Mr. Qais Marafie, Chairman of KLSC was appointed to the company's Board of Directors. In addition, Victor A. Hebert, Managing Director, Burrill & Company has succeeded G. Steven Burrill, CEO, Burrill & Company as Chairman of the Board.  Mr. Burrill will continue to serve on the Board of Directors.  

"Joe Henein brings to NewBridge exceptional leadership and track record of commercial success in the pharmaceutical and medical products industries. Joe has the skills needed to build and grow a successful company," said Mr. Hebert.

"The Board also wants to thank Dr. Vygantas for his leadership and contributions since the company was founded and is pleased that Garrett will remain active with the company as Vice President of Strategy and Business Development," added Mr. Hebert.

"KLSC is pleased to join Burrill & Company as an investor in NewBridge and we are very pleased to have Joe Henein as the CEO.  KLSC is dedicated to building one of the region's most promising pharmaceutical companies," Mr. Marafie said.

About NewBridge Pharmaceuticals

Based in Dubai, UAE, NewBridge is a specialty pharmaceutical, biologics, medical devices and diagnostics company serving the Emerging Markets of Africa, Middle East, Turkey, and Caspian regions (collectively, AfMET) to address the unmet medical needs in diseases with high regional prevalence such as cancer, diabetes, renal and cardiovascular diseases and other metabolic disorders. NewBridge in-licenses and commercializes FDA and EMA approved therapeutics, devices and diagnostics. NewBridge is led by an experienced management team and backed by top-tier investors including Burrill & Company and Kuwait Life Science Company.

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SOURCE NewBridge Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
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