- Gregory Went, Ph.D., Founder, transitions to a strategic advisory role

- David Mahoney, lead independent director, appointed to Chairman of the Board

EMERYVILLE, Calif., Sept. 13, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Adamas Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADMS), a fully-integrated pharmaceutical company pioneering time-dependent medicines for central nervous system disorders, today announced that Neil McFarlane has been named Chief Executive Officer and appointed to the Adamas Board of Directors, effective September 16th, 2019.  Neil succeeds Gregory Went, Ph.D. who has been Chairman and CEO of Adamas since the company’s inception.  Greg will step down from the Board of Directors and transition to a strategic advisory role.     

Newly appointed Chairman of the Board of Adamas, David Mahoney, said: “Neil’s appointment as Chief Executive Officer and to the Board is the culmination of a thoughtful succession and transition process undertaken by the Board of Directors.  Neil has a demonstrated track record of accomplishment and brings a broad skill-set incorporating operational, strategic and business development leadership.”

Neil joins Adamas with over 20 years of global biopharmaceutical and life sciences experience delivering value to patients suffering from serious illnesses.  He has delivered growth in both specialty and orphan products in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America.  Neil most recently served as Chief Operating Officer of Retrophin, Inc. with principal responsibility for global commercial operations, corporate development, patient services, and program and alliance management.  Previously he held executive and general management positions at leading biopharmaceutical companies, including UCB, Genzyme, and Sangstat Medical Corporation.  Neil served as an officer and enlisted soldier in the United States Army Reserves.  He holds a B.S. and M.S. in Nursing from the University of Florida.

“I am excited to join Adamas as it navigates a critical stage in the commercialization of GOCOVRI® and prepares for key clinical data in the Phase 3 INROADS trial in Multiple Sclerosis.  The company’s focus on delivering significant clinical value to patients with debilitating neurological conditions fits with the passion that has driven me throughout my career in the pharmaceutical industry and is the foundation for long-term success of the business.  I see an opportunity to take Adamas’ novel time-dependent approach to a wider group of patients, and I look forward to joining a talented team of professionals who share my belief in the potential of Adamas.” said Neil McFarlane. 

David Mahoney added, “The Adamas Board of Directors extends its profound gratitude to Greg for his contributions as founder and his service as Chairman and CEO.  Under his leadership Adamas grew into a commercial stage public company with an innovative discovery and development platform, which has delivered two approved products. We are grateful for Greg’s commitment to patients and his ongoing support of our company.  Combined with other recent changes, we believe Adamas is well positioned to achieve its mission.”

“After leading Adamas for nearly 15 years, now is the right time for this transition,” said Greg Went.  “I am thrilled to hand the reins over to Neil.  He has the background and skills to lead the company as we enter the next phase of growth of GOCOVRI and our pipeline.  I am excited about Adamas’ future and plan to work with the Board, Neil and the entire leadership team to ensure a smooth transition.”

About Adamas Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Adamas’ goal is to create and commercialize a new generation of medicines intended to lessen the burden of chronic neurologic diseases on patients, caregivers and society using its deep understanding of time-dependent biology. For more information about Adamas and its unique approach to developing medicines based on time-dependent biology, please visit www.adamaspharma.com.


GOCOVRI (amantadine) extended-release capsules is the first and only FDA-approved medicine indicated for the treatment of dyskinesia in patients with Parkinson’s disease receiving levodopa-based therapy, with or without concomitant dopaminergic medications. It is also the only medicine clinically proven to reduce both dyskinesia and OFF.

GOCOVRI is thought to work by reducing the amount of glutamate hyperactivity in a region of the brain that controls movement, in patients experiencing dyskinesia and OFF. The NMDA receptor is activated by glutamate and causes post-synaptic nerve signaling in this area of the brain, which is modulated by dopamine. Levodopa therapy replaces dopamine lost in Parkinson’s disease but may result in large fluctuations in synaptic levels of dopamine during waking hours, further exacerbating glutamate hyperactivity. GOCOVRI, developed by Adamas, is novel in that it selectively blocks the NMDA receptor in a time-dependent manner. Taken at bedtime, GOCOVRI provides an initial lag and a slow rise in amantadine concentration during the night and a high concentration from the morning and throughout the waking day. Additionally, the adjunctive use of GOCOVRI does not require dose changes to dopaminergic therapies. The most commonly observed adverse reactions with GOCOVRI were hallucinations, dizziness, dry mouth, peripheral edema, constipation, fall and orthostatic hypotension.

For more information about GOCOVRI, please see the U.S. Prescribing Information at www.GOCOVRI.com.

Forward-looking statements

Statements contained in this press release regarding matters that may occur in the future are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including but not limited to, statements contained in this press release regarding Adamas’ expectations regarding the benefits to patients of GOCOVRI. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. For a description of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in forward-looking statements, including risks relating to Adamas’ research, clinical, development and commercial activities relating to GOCOVRI, and the regulatory and competitive environment and Adamas’ business in general, see Adamas’ Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 8, 2019, particularly under the caption “Risk Factors.” Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release. Adamas undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement in this press release.


Peter VozzoSarah Mathieson
WestwickeVice President of Corporate Communications