Cytheris SA, a privately held clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on treating lymphopenia driven diseases, announces today the appointment of Damian Marron as chief executive officer. Damian was previously CEO at Trophos SA. The first task for Damian Marron at Cytheris will be to guide the acceleration of the development of its lead compound CYT107 (glycosylated r-hIL-7) with pivotal studies in two targeted indications with urgent medical needs and no current treatments:
Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML) in severely lymphopenic patients; an orphan indication with a one year survival of around 50 per cent that affects approximately 4,000 people year in the US and EU alone.
Reduction of severe complications in Immune Non-Responders with HIV (HIV-INR) controlled by anti-retroviral treatment; 15-25 per cent of HIV patients are lymphopenic despite optimal treatment (HAART) leading to a significant increase in risk of death and serious complications.
CYT107 also holds great promise in other lymphopenic conditions such as idiopathic lymphopenia or cancer associated lymphopenia.
“I am delighted to be taking on responsibility for leading Cytheris in the next stage of its development,” said Damian Marron. “Cytheris has already generated a significant body of clinical and pre-clinical evidence demonstrating the ability of CYT107 to reverse lymphopenia and restore immune function. I look forward to allying my experience with that of the Cytheris team, its board and investors to build further value and bring treatments to patients with serious and under-treated conditions.”
Olivier Martinez, chairman of the Cytheris board added: “We congratulate Damian Marron on his appointment. He brings over 25 years of biotechnology and industry experience to the role, especially from his last four years as CEO with Trophos. There Damian was instrumental in establishing and executing on a strategy that included an innovative option acquisition agreement with Actelion, undertaking a pivotal registration program in an orphan indication and ensuring Trophos was well-financed to advance its programs.”
About Damian Marron
Damian Marron, 49, is a highly experienced executive with strong experience in orphan diseases. He was previously CEO of Trophos SA from June 2008. Under his tenure, Trophos spearheaded a major EU funded consortia of leading global experts and specialists working on orphan diseases including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). He has also pushed through a Phase III trial for ALS and was instrumental in attracting EUR 34 million in funding. This includes EUR ten million from Actelion Ltd for an exclusive option agreement to purchase Trophos for a price that could have reached up to EUR 195 million. Damian has extensive experience in the biotechnology and international pharmaceutical industry, including financing, corporate development, product and technology licensing, research and development and sales and marketing. Prior to Trophos, he was executive vice president corporate development at NicOx SA, where he was responsible for the establishment of major collaborations with Merck and Co. Inc. and Pfizer Inc. and participated in financing rounds raising in excess of EUR 175 million. Previously, he held various business development and operational roles at 3M Pharmaceuticals, Orphan Europe, Rhone-Poulenc-Rorer and Glaxo.
About Cytheris: http://www.cytheris.com
Cytheris is a privately held clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on treating lymphopenia driven diseases. The company’s lead drug candidate, CYT107 (glycosylated r-hIL-7), is in clinical development for two targeted indications with urgent medical needs and no current treatments:
(i) Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML) in severely lymphopenic patients; an orphan indication with a one year survival of around 50 per cent that affects approximately 4,000 people year in the US and EU.
(ii) Reduction of complications in Immune Non-Responders with HIV controlled by anti-retroviral treatment (HIV-INR); 15-25 per cent of HIV patients are lymphopenic despite optimal treatment (HAART) leading to a significant increase in risk of death and serious complications.
CYT107 is a critical growth factor for immune T cell recovery and enhancement. Clinical trials conducted on more than 240 patients in Europe, North America, South Africa and Taiwan have demonstrated the ability of CYT107 to expand and protect CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells in various pathologic conditions as well as a consistent safety and tolerability profile. Cytheris is based in Issy-les-Moulineaux, close to Paris and currently has 33 employees.