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Leading BioSciences Announces Appointments of James R. Neal and James Sapirstein to Board of Directors
Experienced Industry Executives Provide Company with Broad Life Science Industry Expertise Including Drug Development and Commercialization
CARLSBAD, Calif., Oct. 30, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Leading BioSciences, a drug development company focused on improving human health through therapeutic protection of the Gastrobiome™, today announced the appointments of James R. Neal and James Sapirstein to its board of directors. With more than three decades of life science industry experience each, Mr. Neal and Mr. Sapirstein provide Leading BioSciences with broad expertise in such areas as drug development and commercialization, strategic business operations, financial management and business development transactions.
Mr. Neal, who currently serves as chief executive officer and board member for XOMA Corporation (NASD: XOMA), has nearly 35 years of life science industry leadership experience. His expertise spans such areas as development and commercialization of novel technologies and products, as well as formation and oversight of successful global business and technology collaborations. In his current role at XOMA, Mr. Neal spearheaded and secured the requisite capital to support a strategic transition of the company’s operations to focus on a royalty monetization model. Prior to XOMA, Mr. Neal served as acting chief executive officer of Entelos, Inc, a leader in bio-simulation technologies, at which he was responsible for partnerships with global pharmaceutical companies such as Eli Lilly and GlaxoSmithKline. He was chief executive officer at Iconix Biosciences at the time it was acquired by Entelos in 2007. While at Iconix, Mr. Neal was credited with establishing multi-year collaborations with Bristol-Myers Squibb, Abbott Labs, Eli Lilly and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He also previously served as executive vice president of Incyte Genomics, where he led the global commercial activities with pharmaceutical company collaborators and partners including Pfizer, Aventis and Schering-Plough, as well as sales, marketing and business development activities for the company.
Mr. Sapirstein, who most recently served as chief executive officer and board member for ContraVir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASD: CTRV) has close to 35 years of pharmaceutical industry experience. His expertise spans such areas as drug development and commercialization, having participated in 23 product launches, six of which were global launches that he led. He is also credited with leading numerous business development transactions over the course of his career. Under his leadership, ContraVir advanced a pipeline of novel antiviral therapeutic development programs. Prior to ContraVir, Mr. Sapirstein was chief executive officer of Alliqua Therapeutics. He has also previously served as the founding chief executive officer of Tobira Therapeutics, as well as executive vice president, metabolic and endocrinology for Serono Laboratories. Mr. Sapirstein’s earlier career included a number of senior level positions in the area of marketing and commercialization, including global marketing team lead for Viread (tenofovir) while at Gilead Sciences and director of international marketing of the infectious disease division at Bristol Myers Squibb. Mr. Sapirstein is currently the chairman of BioNJ and also serves on the emerging companies board of Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO).
“We are fortunate to add individuals with the industry experience and track records of Jim Neal and James Sapirstein to our board at this crucial time in our company’s history. With an ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial, which has already delivered encouraging interim results, and plans to initiate a pivotal Phase 3 study by the end of 2018, we look forward to the drug development and commercialization expertise that they can offer to optimize our activities,” said Tom Hallam, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Leading BioSciences.
“I am pleased to join the Leading BioSciences board and am excited about the potential for the company’s drug development pipeline to deliver novel, much-needed therapeutic options to address the myriad health complications that arise when the Gastrobiome is disrupted,” said Mr. Sapirstein. “As someone with extensive firsthand experience in the therapeutic potential of manipulating protease activity, I am particularly impressed with LB1148 and its unique ability to neutralize digestive proteases to protect against GI tissue damage that can occur if those proteases escape the GI tract.”
“The Leading BioSciences team is conducting exciting development work on a novel druggable target with broad potential to address both acute and chronic medical conditions that impact millions of Americans each year. The company’s position at the forefront of understanding the significant impact that the Gastrobiome has on human health makes me excited about the future prospects for its development pipeline,” said Mr. Neal. “I look forward to contributing my experience to assist the Leading BioSciences team achieve the vast potential that I believe the company’s pipeline possesses.”
LB1148 is a patent-protected formulation of a broad-spectrum serine protease inhibitor designed to neutralize the activity of potent digestive enzymes that can cause a range of serious complications if they escape the intestines through a compromised mucosal barrier. The ability to safely and effectively inhibit the activity of digestive proteases can prevent the damage they cause to GI tissues once they escape the intestines, speed the return of GI function and shorten patients’ post-surgery stay in the ICU and hospital. A Phase 2 clinical study of LB1148 in subjects undergoing major cardiovascular surgery is underway and the company is preparing to enroll patients in a Phase 2 trial in individuals undergoing gastrointestinal surgery. In addition, Leading BioSciences is also planning to initiate a pivotal Phase 3 trial in patients undergoing major cardiovascular surgery by the end of 2018.
About Leading BioSciences
Leading BioSciences is developing novel therapeutics designed to improve human health through therapeutic protection of the Gastrobiome™. Leading BioSciences’ initial focus is combatting the interruption of GI function (ileus) following major surgery to reduce recovery times and shorten patients’ length of stay in the hospital. Additionally, the company believes that its programs have the potential to prevent the formation of post-operative adhesions (reducing hospital re-admissions and additional surgeries), as well as to address the myriad of health conditions and complications associated with chronic disruption of the intestinal mucosal barrier.
Learn more at: www.leadingbiosciences.com
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