RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NORTH CAROLINA--(Marketwired - Aug. 11, 2016) - Fennec Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TSX:FRX)(OTCQB:FENCF), a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development of Sodium Thiosulfate (STS) for the prevention of platinum-induced ototoxicity in pediatric patients, announced today the appointment of Marco Brughera, DVM, CEO and Global Head of Sigma Tau Rare Disease, to its Board of Directors.
"We are excited to welcome Dr. Brughera to the Fennec Board," stated Rosty Raykov, Chief Executive Officer of Fennec. "As Fennec advances the development of STS, we intend to utilize Dr. Brughera's experience in drug development, portfolio management and interactions with regulatory authorities. We believe his impressive record of achievement in drug development will add to our experienced Board of Directors."
Since January 2011, Dr. Brughera has held several positions for the Sigma-Tau Group, including CEO and Global Head of Sigma Tau Rare Disease, President of Sigma-Tau Research and President of Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals. He drove the commercial revival of a lead oncology product line resulting in its successful sale for a total of around $900M USD. He also successfully out-licensed the Defibrotide US rights to Jazz Pharmaceuticals to Baxalta for a total value exceeding $1 billion USD. From 2004 to 2010, Dr. Brughera served as the Vice President of Preclinical Development at Nerviano Medical Sciences (NMS), a pharmaceutical oncology-focused integrated discovery and development company. He also served as the Managing Director at Accelera, an independent contract research organization with the NMS Group. From 1999 to 2004, Dr. Brughera held several senior level positions in the areas of research and development with Pharmacia and Pfizer. Prior to 1999, he held various positions at Pharmacia & Upjohn and Farmitalia Carlo Erba SpA, an Italian pharmaceutical company. He currently serves on the Board of Solgenix and Lee's Pharmaceutical and until early 2014 was a member of the Board of Gentium SpA. Dr. Brughera earned his degree in veterinary medicine from the University of Milan and is a European Registered Toxicologist.
About Sodium Thiosulfate (STS)
Cisplatin and other platinum compounds are essential chemotherapeutic components for many pediatric malignancies. Unfortunately, platinum-based therapies cause ototoxicity in many patients, and are particularly harmful to the survivors of pediatric cancer.
In the U.S. and Europe there is estimated that over 10,000 children are diagnosed with local cancers that may receive platinum based chemotherapy. Localized cancers that receive platinum agents may have overall survival rates of greater than 80% further emphasizing the quality of life after treatment. The incidence of hearing loss in these children depends upon the dose and duration of chemotherapy, and many of these children require lifelong hearing aids. There is currently no established preventive agent for this hearing loss and only expensive, technically difficult and sub-optimal cochlear (inner ear) implants have been shown to provide some benefit. Infants and young children at critical stages of development lack speech language development and literacy, and older children and adolescents lack social-emotional development and educational achievement.
STS has been studied by cooperative groups in two Phase 3 clinical studies of survival and reduction of ototoxicity, The Clinical Oncology Group Protocol ACCL0431 and SIOPEL 6. Both studies are closed to recruitment. The COG ACCL0431 protocol enrolled one of five childhood cancers typically treated with intensive cisplatin therapy for localized and disseminated disease, including newly diagnosed hepatoblastoma, germ cell tumor, osteosarcoma, neuroblastoma, and medulloblastoma. SIOPEL 6 enrolled only hepatoblastoma patients with localized tumors.
About Fennec Pharmaceuticals
Fennec Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development of Sodium Thiosulfate (STS) for the prevention of platinum-induced ototoxicity in pediatric patients. STS has received Orphan Drug Designation in the US in this setting. For more information, please visit www.fennecpharma.com.