ROCKVILLE, Md., Feb 03, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE via COMTEX) -- -Cerecor Emerges as a Leading Biopharmaceutical Company in Rare Pediatric and Orphan Diseases
-Mike Cola Named Chief Executive Officer and Dr. Garry Neil Named Chief Medical Officer
Cerecor Inc. /zigman2/quotes/201368871/composite CERC +10.43% , a biopharmaceutical company focused on becoming a leader in development and commercialization of treatments for rare pediatric and orphan diseases, announced today it has completed the previously announced acquisition of Aevi Genomic Medicine in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $15.6 million at close, plus contingent value rights (CVRs) for up to an additional $6.5 million in subsequent payments based on clinical and/or regulatory milestones. Cerecor's pipeline now includes six clinical-stage assets, accelerating the Company's transformation into a research and development organization focused on developing new medicines for unmet needs in rare diseases, particularly for pediatric patients. The Company continues to explore strategic alternatives for its non-core neurological assets, including CERC-301, as well as its sole commercialized product, Millipred(R).
Mike Cola, Chief Executive Officer, Cerecor, stated, "Cerecor began this transformation roughly 15 months ago with the acquisition of the CERC-800s, which have the potential to be the first-ever approved treatments for Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation (CDGs). Following the more recent divestiture of the majority of the commercial pediatric portfolio and the acquisition of Aevi, today the Company is proud to advance a robust pipeline of six clinical-stage rare disease programs with the potential to be first-in-class medicines addressing high unmet needs of patients and families. Four of these programs are potentially Priority Review Voucher (PRV) eligible, with three already granted Rare Pediatric Disease Designation (RPDD) by the FDA. Cerecor is focused on achieving several critical inflection points throughout 2020, including initiation of pivotal studies for one or more CERC-800 program(s) and clinical proof-of-concept studies in patients with the recently integrated Aevi assets: CERC-002, CERC-006 and CERC-007. We believe this combination of assets present a unique opportunity to efficiently deliver high impact medicines by leveraging biomarker-driven approaches in clinical development".
Pipeline Assets Accelerate Company Transformation
-- Commitment to Rare Pediatric and Orphan Diseases: Cerecor continues its commitment to becoming an R&D-focused biopharmaceutical company with a robust pipeline of rare pediatric and orphan disease programs. This transaction expands the number of clinical programs in development at Cerecor while creating depth of focus in rare pediatric and orphan diseases.
-- Pipeline Assets: The emerging clinical-stage pipeline consists of six medicines with compelling biological rationale in orphan autoimmune, metabolic and oncology indications, with the potential for multiple product launches through 2023:
-- CERC-002 (formerly AEVI-002), a fully-human, anti-LIGHT monoclonal antibody for Pediatric Onset Crohn's Disease
-- CERC-006 (formerly AEVI-006), a potent, orally-available mTORC1/2 inhibitor for complex Lymphatic Malformations
-- CERC-007 (formerly AEVI-007), a fully-human, anti-IL-18 monoclonal antibody for auto-inflammatory diseases, including Adult Onset Still's Disease (AOSD) and Multiple Myeloma)
-- CERC-801, an ultra-pure, D-Galactose substrate replacement therapy for PGM1-CDG
-- CERC-802, an ultra-pure, D-Mannose substrate replacement therapy for MPI-CDG
-- CERC-803, an ultra-pure, L-Fucose substrate replacement therapy for SLC35C1-CDG
Details of the Transaction
For details of the transaction please see the Investor Relations section of Cerecor.com.
New Officers Appointed
Michael Cola has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer and Dr. Garry Neil has been appointed as the Chief Medical Officer of Cerecor.
Mr. Cola brings a wealth of leadership experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining Cerecor, Mr. Cola served as President and CEO of Aevi Genomic Medicine since September 2013. Prior to joining Aevi Genomic Medicine, Mr. Cola served as President of Specialty Pharmaceuticals at Shire plc, a global specialty pharmaceutical company, from 2007 until April 2012. He joined Shire in 2005 as EVP of Global Therapeutic Business Units and Portfolio Management. Prior to joining Shire, he was with Safeguard Scientifics, Inc., a growth capital provider to life sciences and technology companies, where he served as President of the Life Sciences Group. While at Safeguard, Mr. Cola served as Chairman and CEO of Clarient, Inc., a cancer diagnostics company subsequently acquired by GE Healthcare, and as Chairman of Laureate Pharma, Inc., Prior to Safeguard Scientifics, Mr. Cola held senior positions in product development and commercialization at Astra Merck, a top 20 U.S. pharmaceutical company, and at Astra Zeneca, a global biopharmaceutical company. Mr. Cola received a B.A. in biology and physics from Ursinus College and an M.S. in biomedical science from Drexel University. He serves on the Board of Directors of Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc., Sage Therapeutics and Phathom Pharmaceuticals, and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia.
Prior to becoming the Chief Medical Officer at Cerecor, Dr. Garry Neil served as Chief Scientific Officer of Aevi Genomic Medicine since September 2013. Prior to joining Aevi Genomic Medicine, Dr. Neil held a number of senior positions in the pharmaceutical industry, academia and venture capital. These include Corporate VP of Science & Technology at Johnson & Johnson, and Group President at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development, VP of R&D at Merck KGaA/EMD Pharmaceuticals, VP of Clinical Research at Astra Zeneca and Astra Merck. Dr. Neil holds a B.S. from the University of Saskatchewan and an M.D. from the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine. He completed his postdoctoral clinical training in internal medicine and gastroenterology at the University of Toronto. Dr. Neil also completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Research Institute of Scripps Clinic. He is the Founding Chairman of the Pharmaceutical Industry R&D Consortium, TransCelerate Biopharmaceuticals Inc. He also serves on the Boards of Arena Pharmaceuticals, the Reagan Udall Foundation and the Center for Discovery and Innovation at Hackensack Meridian Health. He is past Chairman of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association (PhRMA) Science and Regulatory Executive Committee and the PhRMA Foundation Board. He is a past member of the Boards of GTx Pharmaceuticals, the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), and the Science Management Review Board of the NIH.