Sir William Castell Joins the Board of Phoenix Solutions AS, a Private Norwegian Biotechnology Company Harnessing the Power of Ultrasound for Targeted Drug Delivery
OSLO, Norway, Sept. 27, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Phoenix, a late-stage preclinical biotech company today announced the appointments to its Board of Directors. Sir William (Bill) Castell has been appointed Vice Chairman of the Board and Dr. Masha Stromme, a Phoenix Director since 2015, has been appointed Chairman, both effective since June 22, 2018. Jan Fikkan who was instrumental in the establishment of Phoenix since it was spun out of GE Healthcare in 2012, is stepping down as Chairman of the Board and will remain a Director of the Board.
"We are pleased to welcome Bill to Phoenix's Board and we look forward to Masha's continued contributions as the new Chairman," says Dr. Per Sontum, CEO of Phoenix. "Bill, in his capacity as CEO and Chairman of Amersham, was instrumental in the early development of Phoenix's microbubble technology. His intimate knowledge of the ACT® technology, deep pharma experience, and senior leadership experience will be invaluable to Phoenix."
Bill comments, "I was always eager to see the pursuit of therapeutic payloads to specific sites using the microbubble technology. The pre-clinical data is very compelling, and I look forward to contributing to the further development of the technology as it takes its first step toward the clinic."
About Bill Castell
Bill was President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Healthcare, the global medical diagnostics, and biosciences business of the General Electric Company, of which he was also a Vice Chairman. He was Chief Executive of Amersham plc which was acquired by GE Healthcare in 2004. During his tenure with Amersham, he successfully oversaw a major expansion of the business through organic growth and acquisitions, culminating in 1997 with the mergers of Amersham International with Pharmacia Biotech and Nycomed ASA. The resulting business, Amersham plc, was a world leader in vivo medical diagnostics and life sciences research technologies. In June 2000 a knighthood was bestowed for his services to the life sciences industry. Bill retired as a Director of the General Electric Company in April 2011. From 2006 to 2012 he served as a non-executive director, and latterly senior independent director, of BP plc. From 2006 until his retirement in 2015, he held the very prestigious position of Chairman of the Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health.
About Masha Stromme
Masha has today over 20 years of experience in Healthcare. She has been involved in leading the first financings of Phoenix Solutions AS where she has been a director since 2015. Masha started her career in Investment Banking at Morgan Stanley in London in 1998, focusing on Biotechnology. As a research analyst at Altium Capital (Apax, London), she covered the Biotech and Medtech stocks for the UK and Europe. She has worked as an advisor to Arctic Securities and to Norway Healthtech to stimulate a flow of private capital to the Norwegian Healthcare sector. She is an experienced healthcare investor, board member and co-founder of Fortuna Fix – a regenerative medicine company. She is today responsible for corporate development at Fortuna. As a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, Masha earned her D.Phil. in Genetics and Neuroscience in 1997.
About Phoenix Solutions AS
Phoenix Solutions is a Norwegian biotech company spun out of GE Healthcare in 2012, and currently developing a technology platform for targeted drug delivery – Acoustic Cluster Therapy (ACT®). ACT® is a unique approach to ultrasound-mediated, targeted drug delivery – capable of enhancing significantly the clinical utility of a wide range of therapeutic molecules and nano-drugs for a wide range of clinical indications. Its primary mode of action is in defeating the vascular barrier, enhancing extravasation, distribution and uptake of drug in the targeted tissue, thereby increasing efficacy and/or reducing toxicity.
ACT® is generally indicated towards diseases where current clinical practice treats known, localized pathologies (e.g. solid tumours) with medicinal therapy, and where Standard of Care is being limited from an inability to deliver sufficiently high concentrations of drug to the tumour without excessive systemic toxicity. Phoenix is currently targeting the oncology segment, looking in particular at pancreatic, liver, triple negative breast and prostate cancers, and has extremely promising pre-clinical results so far. The company targets to start a Phase I/IIa (First in Man) study for treatment of hepatic metastases from colon and pancreatic cancer in 2019. In parallel, pre-clinical development exploring synergies between ACT® and biologic will be furthered, as will ACT® for other medicinal segments such as CNS and infectious diseases.
CEO Dr. Per Christian Sontum