Modra Pharmaceuticals Expands Management Team and Provides Corporate Update
Modra Pharmaceuticals B.V. (“Modra”) today announced several additions to the management team and Supervisory Board: Colin Freund has joined as Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Edwin De Wit as Head of Oncology Development and Dr. Alan Barge as Chairman of the Supervisory Board. Eric van der Putten, formerly interim-CEO, has transitioned into the role of Director at the company. Modra continues to advance its pipeline of novel oral formulations of chemotherapeutics with lead candidate ModraDoc006/r nearing completion of a Phase Ib/IIa study in metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC).
Separately, Modra has received an Innovation Credit award of EUR 2.8 million from the Dutch government. The credit from the RVO, an agency executing programs for the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, will be applied to further the clinical development of ModraDoc006/r in prostate cancer.
“It is exciting to announce these positive developments for Modra, as we seek to expand and accelerate Modra’s development programs. I am very grateful to Eric both for a smooth transition and his continued contributions to the company,” commented Colin Freund, CEO of Modra. “The company’s unique approach to developing oral alternatives to classic intravenous taxanes has the potential to overcome many of the challenges encountered with these therapies, the standard of care for thousands of cancer patients annually. The recent Innovation Credit award is a validation of the potential of Modra’s approach and therapeutic programs.”
Colin Freund has over 20 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, with a primary focus in oncology. Prior to joining Modra Pharmaceuticals, Colin was Chief Executive Officer, QUE Oncology, Inc., which focused on the development of several early-stage anti-cancer therapies. Before that, Colin served as the Chief Business Officer at Transgene SA and also held senior management positions at GPC Biotech AG and Doubletwist Inc. In these positions, Colin was responsible for acquiring over $500 million in multiple licensing and M&A transactions. Colin received his M.A. in Economics and Management Studies from the University of Cambridge, U.K., and his M.B.A. from Stanford University, U.S.
Dr. Alan Barge commented: “We are delighted that Colin has joined Modra to advance our shared vision of developing safe and effective treatment options that can improve the outcomes and quality of life for many cancer patients, while also reducing the burden on healthcare systems. The Board would like to thank Eric van der Putten for his leadership and are very fortunate to have him continuing to contribute to Modra as a director.”
Dr. Alan Barge’s experience in biotechnology and in oncology spans over 30 years. He co-founded Carrick Therapeutics and ASLAN Pharmaceuticals. Prior to this, at AstraZeneca, he served as Vice President and Head of Oncology and Infection, and European and Global Medical Director at Amgen. Alan trained in medicine at the University of Oxford and The London Hospital Medical College specializing in hematology and oncology.
Dr. Edwin De Wit joined Modra from Celsion Corp., where he was the Senior Vice President and Head of Medical for Europe since 2015. Dr. De Wit has over 20 years of experience in clinical operations and research in the pharma and biotech industry and has held leadership roles in oncology clinical development at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer. His specialties include the design and implementation of strategic clinical development and medical affairs plans of novel anti-cancer agents in various stages of development.
ModraDoc006 is a proprietary optimized tablet formulation of the widely-used chemotherapy drug docetaxel. ModraDoc006 is given in combination with ritonavir (r), which acts as a booster to increase the systemic bioavailability of ModraDoc006. ModraDoc006/r combines the convenience and practicality of one day per week treatment at home, together with an improved safety profile and the potential for improved efficacy, as compared to classical chemotherapy which is administered intravenously in a hospital setting.
About Modra Pharmaceuticals
Modra Pharmaceuticals is contributing to modern cancer treatment options by designing and developing oral versions of IV taxane chemotherapies with a substantially improved therapeutic index. Our pipeline includes two of the most broadly used chemotherapies, docetaxel and paclitaxel, both of which are in clinical development. Our vision is to work together with cancer leaders and innovators to be an integral part of the rapidly evolving landscape of combination therapy.
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