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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., Sept. 24, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fennec Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:FENC; TSX: FRX), a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development of PEDMARKTM (a unique formulation of sodium thiosulfate (STS)) for the prevention of platinum-induced ototoxicity in pediatric patients, today announced that it has appointed Jodi A. Cook, PhD to its board of directors. Dr. Cook currently serves as Head of Gene Therapy Strategy at PTC Therapeutics, Inc., a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of clinically differentiated medicines that provide benefits to patients with rare disorders. Prior to joining PTC Therapeutics, she was one of the founding members and Chief Operating Officer of Agilis Biotherapeutics, a clinical-stage company focused on gene therapies for patients with rare diseases. Importantly, her career spans a wide range of experience relevant to Fennec’s business interests including Assistant Professor of Audiology and Director of the Hearing Aid Program at Mayo Clinic, and executive positions in a number of successful biotech start-ups within the hearing industry. While at Agilis, she led the sale of the company to PTC Therapeutics in a deal that has represented significant value to all parties.
“On behalf of the board of directors, we welcome the addition of Jodi Cook,” said Khalid Islam, PhD, Fennec’s chairman of the board. “She brings extensive scientific, clinical and executive business experience to the Company. Her background and track record of success will enhance our team as we further advance the commercialization and development strategy of PEDMARK.”
“I am delighted to be joining Fennec’s board of directors at this key point of development for PEDMARK,” said Cook. “Cisplatin induced hearing loss is a significant unmet medical need, a solution to which has evaded medicine for decades. As such, I look forward to assisting the Fennec team in its efforts to successfully commercialize the first approved drug for the prevention of hearing loss.”
Forward looking statements
Except for historical information described in this press release, all other statements are forward-looking. Forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties inherent in the Company’s business that could cause actual results to vary, including such risks that regulatory and guideline developments may change, scientific data may not be sufficient to meet regulatory standards or receipt of required regulatory clearances or approvals, clinical results may not be replicated in actual patient settings, protection offered by the Company’s patents and patent applications may be challenged, invalidated or circumvented by its competitors, the available market for the Company’s products will not be as large as expected, the Company’s products will not be able to penetrate one or more targeted markets, revenues will not be sufficient to fund further development and clinical studies, the Company may not meet its future capital requirements in different countries and municipalities, and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018. Fennec Pharmaceuticals, Inc. disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements except as required by law.
About PEDMARK™ (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 may receive platinum-based chemotherapy. 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 completed. 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. Fennec initiated a rolling New Drug Application (NDA) for PEDMARK™ for the prevention of ototoxicity induced by cisplatin chemotherapy patients 1 month to < 18 years of age with localized, non-metastatic, solid tumors in December 2018. The Company is targeting completing the NDA submission in early 2020 with potential first commercial launch of PEDMARK™ in the second half of 2020. Further, PEDMARK™ received Breakthrough Therapy and Fast Track Designation by the FDA in March 2018. Fennec has a license agreement with Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) for exclusive worldwide license rights to intellectual property directed to STS and its use for chemoprotection, including the prevention of ototoxicity induced by platinum chemotherapy, in humans. For more information, please visit www.fennecpharma.com.
For further information, please contact:
Chief Executive Officer
Fennec Pharmaceuticals Inc.
T: (919) 636-5144