SOURCE: NICOX

July 06, 2005 01:00 ET

NicOx Completes Expansion of R&D Organization

SOPHIA-ANTIPOLIS, FRANCE -- (MARKET WIRE) -- July 6, 2005 -- (www.nicox.com) NicOx S.A. (Eurolist: NICOX) today announced it has completed the expansion and strengthening of its Research and Development Department. Maarten Beekman, M.D., has been appointed Vice President of Clinical Development, reporting to the Head of Research and Development, Dr. Ali Raza, and Stefano Biondi has been appointed Director of the Research Laboratories, reporting to Ennio Ongini, who has been promoted to Vice President of Research. These hires represent the final step in NicOx' concerted program of reinforcing its existing R&D team, which included the recently announced appointments of Ali Raza and Staffan Strömberg.

Dr. Ali Raza, Head of Research and Development, commented: "These key appointments are the latest in a series designed to enhance NicOx' research and development capabilities as we prepare to advance our lead compound, HCT 3012, into phase III trials and progress new and existing research programs. With the appointments of Dr. Beekman and Dr. Biondi and the promotion of Dr. Ongini, NicOx can now draw on an R&D team with many years of experience and expertise in international drug research and development. This team will play a key role in managing our maturing pipeline and maximizing the value of our innovative portfolio of compounds, which address important therapeutic areas, most notably cardiovascular diseases and inflammation."

Dr. Beekman will be responsible for the management and supervision of NicOx' Clinical Development Department on a global basis. This will involve determining the clinical development strategy for the Company's products and overseeing the implementation of U.S. and European clinical trials, in addition to working with partners on clinical stage collaborations. Dr. Beekman has more than 18 years of experience in clinical development and most recently he was Vice President, France, for i3 Research, which provides services to the pharmaceutical industry, where he had full responsibility for the French operations. Prior to that, Dr. Beekman was Vice President Global Clinical Development at Orion Pharma. Previous to that he held several managerial positions in clinical development at Allergan, Inc., in the U.S. and Europe. Dr. Beekman received his Medical Degree from the State University of Utrecht, in the Netherlands.

NicOx has strengthened its Research Department through the appointment of Stefano Biondi as Director of the Research Laboratories. Dr. Biondi will be responsible for the management of the biology and chemistry research teams. He was most recently Director of Chemistry and Pharmacy at Neuro3d in Mulhouse, France, and worked for 14 years in research at GlaxoSmithKline S.p.A., in Verona, where he was promoted to managing various research projects. Stefano Biondi holds a degree in Chemistry from the University of Bologna.

Dr. Biondi will report to Dr. Ongini, who has been promoted to Vice President of Research. Dr. Ongini will be focused on determining and implementing NicOx' research strategy, including the management of partnered programs. This will be in addition to retaining an overall responsibility for the NicOx Research Center, in Bresso, Italy.

NicOx also announced the appointment of Brigitte Duquesroix M.D., as a Director of Clinical Research, reporting to Maarten Beekman. Dr. Duquesroix will be responsible for the design, planning and implementation of clinical studies for the members of the CINOD class (COX-Inhibiting Nitric Oxide-Donating compounds), including its lead compound HCT 3012. Dr. Duquesroix has more than 15 years of experience in clinical development and joins NicOx from Allergan, where she was Senior Medical Advisor, Europe. Further appointments to the Clinical Development Department announced today are Hayet Frayssinet as Biostatistician and Dr. Isabelle Durand as Medical Writer.

NicOx S.A. is an emerging pharmaceutical company involved in the research and development of nitric oxide-donating drugs with superior efficacy and safety profiles in the inflammation, pain and cardiovascular therapeutic areas.

NicOx seeks to commercialize its products through partnerships and co-development agreements where it maintains future marketing rights for specialist products.

NicOx S.A. (Bloomberg: COX:FP, Reuters: NCOX.LN), headquartered in Sophia-Antipolis, France, is a public company listed on the Eurolist of Euronext Paris (segment: Next Economy).

The elements included in this communication may contain forward-looking statements subject to certain risks and uncertainties. Actual results of the company may differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements because of different risks factors described in the company's document de reference.

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