Cheryl Fossum Graham Joins Knopp Neurosciences as Head of Regulatory and Development Strategy
October 3, 2007
PITTSBURGH, Pa., October 3, 2007--Knopp Neurosciences Inc. ("Knopp") announced that Cheryl Fossum Graham, M.D., F.C.P., has joined the company as senior vice president of regulatory and development strategy.
Dr. Graham brings to Knopp 28 years of experience in public and commercial regulatory leadership, including senior positions with the Food and Drug Administration and responsibility for global regulatory affairs at Pfizer Inc. In her capacity at Knopp, Dr. Graham leads development strategy as well as safety and regulatory activities associated with KNS-760704, an orally administrated small molecule in development by Knopp for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
"Dr. Graham's experience, judgment, and track record for innovation bring tremendous benefits to Knopp," said Michael Bozik, M.D., president and chief executive officer. "She's essential to our mission of accelerating the development of a safe and effective therapy for ALS and other serious neurological diseases."
Prior to joining Knopp, Dr. Graham spent six years in senior leadership positions at Pfizer Inc., including as senior vice president of Pfizer Global Research and Development and as director of worldwide regulatory affairs. Previously she served as vice president of clinical and regulatory research at Quintiles Inc. From 1979 to 1993, Dr. Graham held numerous positions with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, including as acting director, deputy director and group leader in the Drug Marketing and Cardio-Renal Drug Products divisions of the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). She also served as regulatory scientist at Hyman, Phelps & McNamara, a Washington, DC-based food and drug law firm. She holds degrees in biology/chemistry, pharmacy, microbiology, and medicine from the University of New Mexico, where she earned Phi Beta Kappa Honors.
About KNS 760704
KNS 760704 is an orally administered small molecule in clinical development by Knopp for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The drug is an optical enantiomer of a selective, high affinity dopamine agonist marketed in other neurological indications. Both KNS 760704 and the marketed agonist demonstrate neuroprotective properties independent of dopamine receptor activity, but KNS 760704 exhibits greatly reduced dopamine receptor affinity. This makes it possible to clinically evaluate the potential neuroprotective activity of KNS 760704 over a broad dose range.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often called Lou Gehrig's disease, is a rapid, universally fatal neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive muscle weakness and wasting. ALS affects adults in the prime of life and creates a substantial burden for caregivers. U.S. prevalence is nearly 30,000 and the incidence is 1.2 per 100,000. Only a single drug has been approved for the treatment of ALS. Life expectancy after symptom onset is usually three to five years.
About Knopp Neurosciences Inc.
Knopp Neurosciences (www.knoppneurosciences.com) is a drug discovery and development company focused on delivering breakthrough treatments for neurological disorders through innovation, experience, and partnership. The company's lead product candidate is KNS 760704, an orally bioavailable small molecule in development for the treatment of ALS. Knopp's leadership includes experienced neuroscience drug development and discovery executives formerly associated with major pharmaceutical companies. Knopp's financing has been led by Saturn Capital Inc. of Boston as placement agent and Saturn Partners II as lead funder.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements," including statements relating to Knopp's planned regulatory filings and clinical development programs for KNS 760704. All forward-looking statements are based on management's current assumptions and expectations and involve risks, uncertainties and other important factors, specifically including the uncertainties inherent in clinical trials and product development programs, the availability of funding to support continued research and studies, the availability or potential availability of alternative therapies or treatments, the availability of patent protection for the discoveries and strategic alliances, as well as additional factors that may cause Knopp's actual results to differ from our expectations. There can be no assurance that KNS-760704 will be successfully developed or manufactured or that final results of clinical studies will be supportive of regulatory approvals required to market the products. Knopp undertakes no obligation to update or revise any such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Thomas Petzinger Jr.