MONTREAL, QC--(Marketwired - January 29, 2014) -
Clementia Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a privately held clinical stage biotechnology company dedicated to serving those afflicted with severe, rare diseases by the development and commercialization of innovative treatments, announced today the appointment of three key executives with extensive rare disease and orphan drug expertise: Donna Grogan, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer, Jeff Packman as Chief Development Officer and Eric Grinstead as Chief Commercial Officer.
Dr. Grogan, Mr. Packman and Mr. Grinstead join Clementia at an important time for the Company following the recent closing of its $22.5 million Series A financing with Orbimed Advisors and BDC Venture Capital, preeminent U.S. and Canadian healthcare venture capital funds, respectively. Clementia has been working closely with leading experts in the Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP) community, as well as with the International FOP Association to develop a robust investigational plan to advance its lead product candidate, palovarotene, a retinoic acid receptor gamma agonist (RARγ), into clinical trials. FOP is a rare, severely disabling and life-shortening disease characterized by spontaneous and recurrent episodes of heterotopic bone formation.
This team, which brings a proven track record that includes the successful development and commercialization of orphan drugs, will report directly to Clarissa Desjardins, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Clementia. Dr. Grogan is responsible for implementing the Company's clinical strategy and the design of Clementia's clinical trials for its lead product candidate palovarotene; Jeff Packman, the Company's global regulatory strategy, clinical operations and manufacturing activities; and Eric Grinstead, the commercial operations including the pricing and reimbursement strategies and the global commercial organization.
"We are very pleased to have attracted such a high caliber team with sincere passion and commitment for leveraging life sciences to help patients. I am confident that the team we have assembled will be instrumental in advancing palovarotene in upcoming clinical studies with the ultimate goal of having the potential to bring to market the first treatment to patients suffering with FOP," stated Dr. Desjardins.
Dr. Donna Grogan is a board certified Internal Medicine physician with over 15 years' experience in clinical medicine and almost 20 years' experience in the pharmaceutical industry. During her time in industry, Dr. Grogan has held positions of increasing responsibility in clinical research and drug development. She has been responsible for numerous investigational new drug applications, the design and execution of clinical development programs and new drug applications across multiple therapeutic areas, including respiratory, cardiovascular and orphan drug development. Approved products for which Dr. Grogan was involved include Lunesta®, Xopenex HFA®, Brovana™, and most recently EMA authorization of Vyndaqel® for the treatment of a rare neurologic disease called amyloid polyneuropathy. She has extensive experience with international regulatory authorities, including US FDA, EU EMA and Japan PMDA and key presenter at the FDA Division of Neurology Advisory Committee Meeting on tafamidis.
Jeff Packman has more than two decades of international experience in regulatory affairs, manufacturing and clinical operations management. Jeff has led drug development efforts at several biotechnology companies, most recently serving as Chief Development Officer for Apofore Corporation, a start-up company focused on the development of novel diabetes therapeutics. Prior to Apofore, Mr. Packman was Vice President of Drug Development Operations at FoldRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. which was acquired by Pfizer Inc. in October 2010. After the Pfizer acquisition of FoldRx, Mr. Packman was appointed Development Team Leader for Vyndaqel® (tafamidis), a drug that is now approved in Europe for the treatment of Transthyretin Familial Amyloid Polyneuropathy, a rare, orphan designated disease. He also headed Development Operations at Oscient Pharmaceuticals and Worldwide Business Operations for the Regulatory Affairs division of PAREXEL International Corporation earlier in his career. Mr. Packman earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from Colby College and a Master of Business Administration with Highest Honors from the F. W. Olin Graduate School of Business Administration at Babson College.
Eric Grinstead joined Clementia from Medical Marketing Economics (MME), the premier value and pricing firm within the biopharmaceutical industry, where he was involved in the development and implementation of value-based pricing and reimbursement strategies for several companies. Prior to MME, Mr. Grinstead was Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations at Synageva BioPharma where he established a global commercial footprint and helped raise money for the clinical stage biotech. Mr. Grinstead also served as Vice President of Government Affairs on Alexion's management team with responsibilities in the commercial, policy, and pricing-reimbursement areas, including designing and implementing Alexion's OneSource™ reimbursement services program to support Soliris®. Earlier, he led the patient and product services group for the lysosomal storage diseases franchise at Genzyme and the pricing and reimbursement functions for Amgen's rheumatology and anemia brands. Additionally, Mr. Grinstead served as President of the Safety Net Foundation and the Complement Foundation, two not-for-profit entities that provided drugs at no cost to qualified individuals.
About Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP)
FOP is a rare, severely disabling disease characterized by painful, recurrent episodes of soft tissue swelling (flare-ups) and abnormal bone formation in muscles, tendons and ligaments which progressively restrict movement. Flare-ups usually occur spontaneously but can also occur after soft tissue trauma, vaccinations and influenza infections. Lesions begin in early childhood, and recurrent flare-ups result in cummulative disability and premature death. There is currently no approved treatment. FOP is caused by a point mutation in the ALK2/BMP Type I receptor rendering it overactive. Virtually all known patients with FOP have the same point mutation and all have congenital malformations of the great toes at birth.
FOP has a published prevalence of approximately 0.7 per 1,000,000. There are 500 members of the International Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva Association, a well-organized patient advocacy group.
About Clementia Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Clementia is a privately held clinical stage biotechnology company dedicated to the development and commercialization of treatments for people living with rare diseases by exploiting the use of novel Retinoic Acid Receptor gamma agonists (RARγ) to address diseases of heterotopic ossification, including Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva. For more information, please visit www.clementiapharma.com.