BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA--(Marketwired - Feb 24, 2014) - Alchemia Limited, (ASX: ACL) a drug discovery and development company, today announced the appointment of Thomas Liquard as Chief Executive Officer following the departure of Charles Walker. Mr Liquard, who joined Alchemia in December 2013 as Chief Operating Officer, brings significant commercial and managerial expertise to the company having most recently served as Senior Director, Portfolio Development Lead Emerging Markets for the Established Products portfolio at Pfizer, Inc. in New York.
"The company has been diligently preparing for its transformation into a broader commercial organization and with our pivotal Phase 3 trial data read-out on the horizon for HA-irinotecan, along with a developing oncology pipeline, we are delighted to make this CEO appointment," stated Santo J. Costa, Alchemia's Incoming Chairman. "Thomas' impressive background and strategic mindset makes him extremely qualified to lead Alchemia through this next stage of corporate growth. On behalf of the Board, I wish to thank Charlie for his service over the last year in helping guide our transition to products beyond fondaparinux."
Alchemia's Phase III trial of HA-irinotecan in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) remains on track to reach its primary endpoint in the first half of 2014. Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world, with over 1.2 million new cases diagnosed annually1 and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the US, claiming more than 50,000 lives each year2. In November 2013, the Company announced that the Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) concluded a scheduled review of patient experience and safety in the Company's ongoing pivotal Phase III clinical trial of HA-Irinotecan in metastatic colorectal cancer. The trial continues to treat patients safely, thus permitting the Company to continue the trial to its completion.
"I am excited to be appointed CEO at this pivotal moment in the company's drug development and commercialization efforts," said Thomas Liquard. "Alchemia's HyACT oncology platform holds great promise in addressing important areas of unmet medical need in patients with cancer. We are excited by the commercial opportunity of our late-stage PIII HA-irinotecan program in mCRC and are focused on ensuring we can execute on that opportunity. I would like to thank the Board of Directors for its support, our investors for their continued confidence in Alchemia, and my colleagues for their inspiring commitment to our development programs."
Mr Liquard joins Alchemia following 7 years with Pfizer, Inc. in New York, where he held various commercial roles of increasing scope and responsibility, most recently as Senior Director, Portfolio Development Lead Emerging Markets for the Established Products (EP) portfolio. Prior to that appointment, Mr Liquard spent 3 years as a key member of the EP US Brands P&L Leadership Team where he engineered the group's 505(b)(2) investment strategy, culminating in the $700M acquisition of NextWave Pharmaceuticals. He also led the NextWave pre- and post-acquisition integration efforts. Mr Liquard also spent significant time in the New Product Planning and Portfolio Decision & Analysis organizations, where he was responsible for informing investment decisions on business development opportunities (licensing and M&A) and internal development programs across multiple therapeutic areas including oncology, CNS and metabolic diseases. Mr Liquard holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Southern California.
Alchemia wishes to thank Mr. Walker for his hard work and commitment to the company over the past year and wish him well for the future. He has attracted several major new institutional investors into Alchemia, and has overseen key projects such as the implementation of the R&D incentive scheme which has benefited Alchemia greatly.
About Alchemia Limited
Alchemia is a drug discovery and development company marketing FDA approved fondaparinux, an injectible antithrombotic in the US, as well as other major markets via partner Dr. Reddy's Laboratories. The Company is also developing a late stage oncology product pipeline with multiple ongoing trials through its proprietary HyACT drug delivery platform, which targets anti-cancer drugs to solid tumours. Lead asset HA-Irinotecan is in a pivotal Phase III clinical trial for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer. HA-Irinotecan is also in two Phase II investigator-sponsored trials, one of which is in collaboration with Merck Serono combining HA-Irinotecan with Erbitux® (cetuximab). Alchemia is also exploring additional small molecule drug discovery targets via an internal discovery platform VAST, based on the Company's deep chemistry expertise. The VAST technology is being developed in collaboration with leading academic institutions and is partnered with AstraZeneca AB.
Erbitux® is a trademark of Merck KGaA.
1 WHO, IARC GLOBOCAN, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide in 2008 at http://globocan.iarc.fr/. Accessed February 21, 2014
2 http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/prevention/colorectal/HealthProfessional/page3. Accessed February 21, 2014.