Elevar Therapeutics Names Brian Cunningham Vice President of Sales and Kenneth Rankin Vice President of Market Access, Strengthening Commercial Leadership in Buildup to Launch

FORT LEE, N.J., Oct. 23, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Elevar Therapeutics, Inc., a majority-owned subsidiary of HLB Co., Ltd. and a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company dedicated to elevating treatment experiences and outcomes for patients who have limited or inadequate therapeutic options, today announced the hiring of Brian Cunningham as vice president of sales and Kenneth Rankin as vice president of market access.

"The additions of Brian Cunningham and Kenneth Rankin come at an important and exciting time for Elevar, as we position the company for a potential commercial launch in the coming year,” said Elevar Chief Commercial Officer Paul Friel. “Both possess a wealth of sales and management acumen, and a great understanding of the road ahead for our company. We welcome them to our growing team.”

In May 2023, Elevar submitted a new drug application for rivoceranib and Jiangsu Hengrui Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. (Hengrui Pharma) submitted a biologics license application for camrelizumab to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the combination of the two drugs as a first-line therapy for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (uHCC). The FDA accepted the submissions, assigning Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) target action dates in May 2024.

Elevar and Hengrui Pharma earlier this month announced a global commercialization licensing agreement that gives Elevar rights to commercialize and develop camrelizumab in combination with rivoceranib for uHCC worldwide, excluding the Greater China Region and Korea.

Cunningham joins Elevar from global oncology company Novocure, where he served as the national sales and operations lead for its Central Nervous System Cancers Franchise. From August 2019 to December 2021, Cunningham oversaw the national sales team that launched Novocure’s Tumor Treating Fields therapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma.

“Brian is a driven sales professional who has continuously demonstrated leadership skills and great understanding of the pharmaceutical landscape, both at launch and for established therapies,” said Friel. “As we work toward the possible commercial debut of a vital new HCC therapy in the coming year, he will help to put Elevar in a stronger position for rapid success.”

Prior to working at Novocure, Cunningham was senior regional business director at Array Biopharma. He spent the previous 14 years in several roles with Pfizer Inc., most recently as North American director of strategic planning and innovation. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Kutztown University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

Rankin joins Elevar from CTI Biopharma Corp., where he was responsible for developing the pre-commercial company’s “go to market” strategy in the rare oncology marketplace as vice president of market access, distribution, and reimbursement. He brings more than three decades of health care industry sales and market access experience.

“Elevar is highly focused on positioning rivoceranib for expeditious market success should its combination with camrelizumab receive FDA approval,” said Friel. “Throughout his career, Kenny has demonstrated a strong ability to navigate the complexities of the rapidly changing health care landscape, overseeing teams and implementing programs that ensure the successful launch of new products.”

Prior to working at CTI Biopharma, Rankin was senior director of national accounts and payer/patient access at Incyte. He was previously vice president of sales for rare commercial services at Dohmen Life Science Services, and director of Eisai Inc.’s government payer team.

Rankin holds a bachelor’s degree in interpersonal and public communication from Bowling Green State University, where he was also captain of the football and track & field teams.

About Elevar Therapeutics
Elevar Therapeutics, Inc. is a rapidly growing, fully integrated biopharmaceutical company built on the promise of elevating treatment experiences and outcomes for patients who have limited or inadequate therapeutic options. Elevar’s lead proprietary drug candidate is rivoceranib. Rivoceranib, under the name apatinib in China, is commercialized by Hengrui Pharma in China and was approved in China as a single agent for the treatment of gastric cancer (2014), a second-line treatment for advanced HCC (2020) and first-line treatment in combination with Hengrui Pharma’s camrelizumab for unresectable HCC (January 2023). Rivoceranib has been granted Orphan Drug Designation in the U.S., Europe and South Korea and has been clinically tested in more than 6,000 patients worldwide in numerous cancer indications. Elevar also has rights to commercialize and develop camrelizumab in combination with rivoceranib for uHCC worldwide, excluding Greater China Region and Korea (October 2023). Elevar is headquartered in New Jersey, with offices in Ireland and South Korea. Additional information is available at ElevarTherapeutics.com.

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