SOURCE: Speedel Holding AG

April 12, 2007 01:07 ET


BASEL, SWITZERLAND -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 12, 2007 --

-Annual Report 2006 published and AGM motions notified-

Basel/Switzerland and Bridgewater NJ/USA, 12 April 2007

Speedel (SWX: SPPN) announced today changes to its Board of Directors and Management Team. The proposed appointments of two new non-executive members to its Board are subject to shareholder approval at the Annual General Meeting on 10 May 2007:

  * Professor Michel Burnier, Head of Nephrology at the University
    Hospital of Lausanne, Switzerland.
  * Dr. Bradley J. Bolzon, currently a Managing Director of Versant
    Ventures and the former Global Head of Business Development,
    Licensing & Alliances at Roche.

Mr. Rolf Hänggi has chosen not to stand for re-election to the Board in light of his other commitments.

Speedel also announced today the resignation of Dr. Jessica Mann as Medical Director and a new appointment to its Management Team:

  * Dr. Michael Merz as Head of Clinical Research & Development, who
    will replace Dr. Mann. He is a medical doctor and a clinical
    pharmacologist, and has been responsible for conducting numerous
    clinical trials and evaluating drug safety in cardiovascular
    diseases within the clinical development departments at Novartis
    and Quintiles Innovex.
Dr. Fritz Kunz, Chairman of the Board, commented: "These changes to the Board of Directors and to the Management Team reflect the evolution of Speedel as its first product reaches the market and the pipeline is maturing. Professor Burnier brings considerable expertise in nephrology and hypertension, as well as in clinical trials. Dr. Bolzon will provide a broad range of experience in business development and commercialisation in the biopharmaceutical industry. We thank Mr Hänggi for his outstanding support of Speedel from the early rounds of private financing right up to the present day."

Dr. Alice Huxley, Chief Executive Officer, said: "I welcome these impressive appointments to the Board and the Management Team. Dr. Merz will provide Speedel with additional leadership, management skills and medical expertise as the company enters a new phase of research and development in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. I would like to thank Dr. Jessica Mann for her contributions since 2001 and wish her well in her new ventures."

Annual Report 2006 published

The full English and the short-form German versions of the Annual Report for the year ending 31 December 2006 have been published today and sent to all shareholders.

Non-shareholders may also order a copy of the Annual Report 2006 at the company's website at: relations

A PDF version of the Annual Report 2006 may also be downloaded from the company's website at:

Annual General Meeting 10 May 2007

The company will hold its AGM on Thursday 10 May starting at 10.30 a.m. at the Congress Center, Messe, Basel. The doors to the San Francisco Hall will open at 10.00 a.m.

The invitation is being sent today to all shareholders. The admission card and voting material for the AGM will be sent to shareholders who are registered in the company's share register as of 02 May 2007 at 17.00 CET.

Shareholders may address any enquiries about their shareholding or the procedure for voting at the AGM to:

SAG SIS Aktienregister AG
Baslerstrasse 90
CH - 4600 Olten
Tel:  +41 (0)62 205 36 95
Fax: +41 (0)62 205 39 66
The programme and motions for the AGM may be downloaded from the company's website at: relations

Biographies of new appointments

Professor Michel Burnier was born in 1953 and is a Swiss citizen. He studied medicine and received his doctorate from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. He was a post-doctoral Renal Fellow at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Centre, USA (under Prof. R.W. Schrier). Since 1986 he has held increasing positions of responsibility at the University Hospital of Lausanne, under Prof. J. P. Wauters and Prof. H.R. Brunner, and from 1992-2004 was vice-director of the outpatient department at the Policlinique Médicale Universitaire in Lausanne. In 2004 he was appointed Head of the Division of Nephrology and responsible for hypertension consultation at the University Hospital of Lausanne. Michel Burnier has received awards in cardiovascular research from Bristol Myers Squib, Merck Sharp and Dohme, and Pfizer. He has participated as an investigator in numerous clinical trials in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

Dr. Bradley J. Bolzon was born in 1959 and is a Canadian citizen. He received Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Science degrees in Pharmacology from the University of Toronto, Canada. He conducted his post-doctoral research training at the Ottawa Heart Institute, Canada. From 1992 to 1999 he held executive roles at Eli Lilly and Company in drug discovery, business development, clinical research and regulatory affairs. In 2000 he joined F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd and in February 2001 was appointed Executive Vice President, Global Head of Business Development, Licensing & Alliances. Under his leadership, Roche's Pharmaceuticals Division established alliances with over 75 biotechnology companies worldwide and significantly strengthened the company's product pipeline. In 2004 Bradley Bolzon became a Managing Director of Versant Ventures, a firm specialising in venture capital for healthcare and biotechnology. He currently serves as a board member for Euro Ventures Inc., Amira Pharmaceuticals, Antipodean Pharmaceuticals, Synosia Therapeutics, Sentient Pharmaceuticals and Metabolex Inc.

Dr. Michael Merz was born in 1959 and is a German citizen. He studied medicine and received his doctorate from the University of Freiburg, Germany. He is a registered specialist in general medicine and in clinical pharmacology. From 1989 to 1992 he ran his own general medical practice, before working as a clinical Phase I investigator and Head of the Phase I Clinic at Quintiles Innovex GmbH, Freiburg. Since 1998 he has held positions of increasing responsibility at Novartis Pharma AG, Basel. In 2004 he was appointed Global Safety Profiling Director and Senior Clinical Pharmacology Expert in the Exploratory Clinical Development department, and in 2006 assumed responsibility as Section Head Systems Toxicology within the Safety Profiling and Assessment function. Michael Merz has extensive experience in cardiovascular, metabolic and neurological diseases, and has published widely in these areas.

About Speedel

Speedel is a public biopharmaceutical company that seeks to create value for patients, partners and investors by developing innovative therapies for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Speedel is a world leader in renin inhibition, a promising new approach with significant potential for treating cardiovascular diseases. Our lead compound SPP100 (aliskiren, Tekturna[1]), the first-in-class renin inhibitor, was in-licensed from Novartis in 1999 and licensed-back to Novartis Pharma in 2002 for further development and commercialisation; SPP100 was approved by the FDA in the US in March 2007, and filed by Novartis with the EMEA in the EU in Q3 2006. Our pipeline covers three different modes of action, and in addition to SPP100, includes SPP301 in Phase III (on hold), SPP200 in Phase II, SPP635 in Phase Il, SPP1148 in Phase I and several pre-clinical projects.

Speedel develops novel product candidates through focused innovation and smart drug development from lead identification to the end of Phase II. We either partner with big pharma for Phase III and commercialisation in primary-care indications, or we may ourselves complete Phase III development in specialist indications. Candidate compounds for development and the company's intellectual property come from our late-stage research unit Speedel Experimenta and from in-licensing. Our team of approximately 70 employees, including over 30 experienced pharmaceutical scientists, is located at our headquarters and laboratories in Basel, Switzerland and at offices in New Jersey, USA and Tokyo, Japan.

In January 2007 the company raised gross proceeds of CHF 55.5 million (approximately EUR 34.3 million or USD 44.5 million) through a convertible bond issue. In March 2006 the company raised gross proceeds of CHF 83.95 million (approximately EUR 53m or USD 64m) through the public offering of 500,000 treasury shares. Previously, as a private company, we raised gross proceeds of CHF 255 million (approximately EUR 157 million or USD 204 million) from private placements of equity securities and two convertible loans including the conversion premiums. We have had total revenues, principally from milestone payments, of CHF 57.7 million (approximately EUR 37 million or USD 44 million). The company's shares were listed in September 2005 on the SWX Swiss Exchange under the symbol SPPN.

[1] Tekturna® is a Novartis trademark

For further information please contact

Nick Miles
Director Communications & Investor Relations
Hirschgässlein 11
CH - 4051 Basel

T +41 (0) 61 206 40 00
D +41 (0) 61 206 40 14
F +41 (0) 61 206 40 01
M +41 (0) 79 446 25 21

Frank LaSaracina
Managing Director
Speedel Pharmaceuticals Inc
1661 Route 22 West
P.O. Box 6532
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
United States of America

T +1 732 537 2290
F +1 732 537 2292
M +1 908 338 0501
Forward looking statements

This press release includes forward-looking statements that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations and projections about future events. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, regarding our strategy, future operations, future financial position, future revenues, projected costs, prospects, plans and objectives of management are forward-looking statements. The word "may" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. We may not actually achieve the plans, intentions or expectations described in these forward-looking statements and you should not place undue reliance on them. There can be no assurance that actual results of our research and development activities and our results of operations will not differ materially from these expectations. Factors that could cause actual results to differ from expectations include, among others: our or our partners' ability to develop safe and efficacious products; our or our partners' ability to achieve positive results in clinical trials; our or our partners' ability to obtain marketing approval and market acceptance for our product candidates; our ability to enter into future collaboration and licensing agreements; the impact of competition and technological change; existing and future regulations affecting our business; changes in governmental oversight of pharmaceutical product development; the future scope of our patent coverage or that of third parties; the effects of any future litigation; general economic and business conditions, both internationally and within our industry, including exchange rate variations; and our future financing plans.

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