Unigene Announces Key Appointments as Biotechnologies Strategic Business Unit Continues to Grow in 2012
BOONTON, N.J., Feb. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Unigene Laboratories, Inc. (OTCBB: UGNE), today announced the expansion of its Biotechnologies strategic business unit (SBU) with the promotion of Gregory T. Mayes, Esq. to the position of Chief Business Officer and the appointment of Jane Pepper, M.B.A, Ph.D. to Senior Director, Business Development.
Mr. Mayes’ promotion to Chief Business Officer extends a successful tenure at Unigene since his appointment to Vice President, Corporate Development and General Counsel in October 2010. Among his noteworthy achievements to date at Unigene, Mr. Mayes has been an integral part of the turnaround management team that spearheaded Unigene’s successful rescue in 2011. Mr. Mayes has also been instrumental in leading the Biotechnologies SBU’s business development efforts since June 2011 and securing an impressive eight new therapeutic peptide oral drug delivery feasibility studies during the second half of last year. Mr. Mayes will remain Unigene’s General Counsel, a position he has held since October 2010.
In her newly appointed role, Dr. Pepper’s primary responsibility will be further leveraging Unigene’s industry-leading Peptelligence(TM) platform for the oral drug delivery of therapeutic peptides across a broad spectrum of disease areas by continuing to build a robust portfolio of strategically partnered opportunities.
Ashleigh Palmer, President and CEO of Unigene, stated, “Through Greg’s leadership, vision, energy, and dedicated execution since taking over the helm of our Biotechnologies SBU last year, we have been able to substantively validate our Biotechnologies strategy by successfully partnering with targeted peptide development companies to establish a rapidly growing portfolio of ongoing or completed feasibility studies and high value potential licensing agreements.”
Prior to joining Unigene, Mr. Mayes served as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at ImClone Systems Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Eli Lilly. During his time at ImClone, Mr. Mayes helped lead the clinical development, launch and commercialization of ERBITUX® (cetuximab); was responsible for the development and oversight of the company’s first corporate compliance program; and was key to Eli Lilly’s acquisition and integration of ImClone. Before ImClone, Mr. Mayes served as Senior Counsel for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, LP, where he played an integral role in the provision of legal services for the successful development and commercialization of five compounds in the company’s oncology portfolio.
Mr. Palmer continued, “Greg has been invaluable to Unigene’s remarkable turnaround in 2011, which has now established the company as the leader in the oral delivery of peptide therapeutics. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Greg in his expanded role as Chief Business Officer.”
Dr. Pepper joins Unigene after eight years in the development organization with Novartis Pharmaceuticals where she held increased responsibilities. She was most recently a member of the business development and licensing (BD&L) team that evaluated strategic new business opportunities, playing an important role in due diligence for early and late-phase opportunities and the successful addition of three products to Novartis’ portfolio. Additionally, Dr. Pepper led efforts to identify potential partnerships and pipeline compounds in China and other Asian markets for a development franchise.
Mr. Mayes remarked, “Jane’s extensive track record of success in expanding Novartis’ global product portfolio and additional accomplishments in the industry make her a welcomed addition to the Unigene leadership team. We are extremely fortunate to have recruited an experienced, results-oriented executive such as Jane Pepper to Unigene and believe her decision to join the Company provides additional validation of our oral peptide drug delivery technology platform and Biotechnologies strategy. We will rely on Jane and the rest of the team to continue the SBU’s solid momentum. I am confident Jane will contribute significantly to the continued effective turnaround and overall success of Unigene.”
Concurrent with her position in BD&L at Novartis, Dr. Pepper also led development activities for Novartis’ Gilenya®( )(fingolimod), which was first launched in the U.S. in 2010. Before Novartis, she was a co-founder and senior scientist at SRU Biosystems and prior to that role, a project leader and staff scientist at Draper Laboratory.
Dr. Pepper holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from Tufts University and an MBA from Rutgers University. She is the co-inventor and co-author of more than 10 U.S. and worldwide patents and has a book and 10 research articles to her credit.
About Unigene Laboratories, Inc.
Unigene Laboratories, Inc. is a leader in the design, delivery, manufacture and development of peptide-based therapeutics. The Company is building a robust portfolio of proprietary partnerships in this expanding drug class based on its Peptelligence(TM) platform. Peptelligence encompasses extensive intellectual property covering delivery and manufacturing technologies, unsurpassed research and development expertise, and proprietary know-how representing a genuine distinctive competence. Core Peptelligence assets include proprietary oral and nasal peptide delivery technologies, and proprietary, high-yield, scalable and reproducible E. coli-based manufacturing technologies.
Safe Harbor statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements relating to whether: Tarsa’s efforts to seek FDA approval for OSTORA, including the possible timing of an NDA submission in the second half of 2012; Tarsa’s use of the proceeds from its convertible promissory note and warrant financing; OSTORA’s potential to become the first orally delivered peptide approved by the FDA; approval (if any) of OSTORA will further validate the Company’s oral peptide drug delivery technology platform; the Company’s investment in Tarsa will provide a meaningful return to Unigene that will ultimately benefit out stockholders; the Note acquired from Tarsa will be converted, accelerated and/or extended’ the Warrant acquired from Tarsa will be exercised or adjusted; the Company will maintain a 20% stake in Tarsa or such stake will be subject to liquidation or dilution; the Company will receive any sales-related milestone payments and royalties on worldwide sales. We have based these forward-looking statements on our current expectations and projections about future events, including our cash flow projections. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties, and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Therefore, our actual results could differ materially and adversely from those expressed in any forward-looking statements as a result of various risk factors. These known and unknown risk factors include, but are not limited to: the delay in obtaining or the failure to obtain regulatory approvals for our products and the products of our licensees that may generate royalty and milestone payments to us, our ability to achieve product sales and royalties, competition, our dependence on other companies to commercialize, manufacture and sell products using our technologies and our ability to enter into favorable new agreements with such companies, our ability to cut expenses and maintain efficiencies, our ability to enter into new financing arrangements, the ability of our products to gain market acceptance and increase market share, the uncertainty of results of animal and human testing, the risk of product liability and liability for human clinical trials, our dependence on patents and other proprietary rights and the risks associated with patent litigation, dependence on key management officials, the availability and cost of capital, the availability of qualified personnel, changes in, or the failure to comply with, governmental regulations, general economic and business conditions, our history of losses and ability to achieve profitability, litigation and other risk factors discussed in our Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filings, including our annual report on Form 10-K and our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. Words such as “anticipates,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “predicts,” “believes,” “seeks,” “estimates,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “would,” “potential,” “continue,” and variations of these words (or negatives of these words) or similar expressions, are intended to identify forward-looking statements, but are not the exclusive means of identifying forward-looking statements. In addition, any statements that refer to expectations, projections, contingencies, goals, targets or other characterizations of future events or circumstances, including any underlying assumptions, are forward-looking statements and are not statements of historical fact. Except as required by applicable law, including the securities laws of the United States and the rules and regulations of the SEC, we are under no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements after the date of this release.
Unigene Laboratories, Inc.
VP, Investor Relations and Business Administration
SOURCE Unigene Laboratories, Inc.