October 21, 2008
Pervasis Therapeutics Appoints Life Sciences Industry Executive Frederic Chereau As Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer
Pervasis Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company pioneering biologically active therapies and devices to treat serious illnesses, today announced that Frederic Chereau has been named the Company's president and chief executive officer. Mr. Chereau was formerly the vice president and general manager of Genzyme Cardiovascular (CV), a business unit within Genzyme Corporation in Cambridge.
Under Mr. Chereau's leadership, Genzyme CV expanded its cell and gene therapy programs, as well as initiated research and commercial efforts in new markets. He was responsible for launching and commercializing a hypercholesterolemia product (Cholestagel(R) - colesevelam) outside of the US and oversaw both the company's late clinical stage gene therapy program in Peripheral Arterial Disease and various earlier stage programs. He also led Genzyme's cardiovascular business development activities, including, most recently its in-licensing transaction with ISIS Pharmaceuticals.
"I have followed Pervasis' progress for several years, and was always impressed by the significant accomplishments of the team led by Steve Bollinger, chief operating officer, and Dr. Elle Nugent, vice president of research and development. The achievements of this team have been exemplary and commendable in executing the vision that grew out of Elazer Edelman's lab at Harvard-MIT. I am convinced that their biological device platform can have broad utility in multiple sites of vascular injury," said Mr. Chereau. "Having examined the recent results of the V-HEALTH trial establishing the proof-of-concept for this technology, my enthusiasm grew even further, and I became extremely interested when the opportunity arose, in taking a leadership role in establishing the Company's preeminent position in this emerging field. With Vascugel(R), the Company is pioneering a new approach to cellular therapeutics by harnessing the natural biological pathways for repair of injured vasculature and other tissues. Pervasis has also assembled a world-class management team, Board of Directors, Scientific Advisory Board, and is backed by outstanding investors. This is an exciting time for Pervasis as the Company continues to advance its clinical development initiatives and expand its research pipeline."
During his nine-year tenure at Genzyme, Mr. Chereau has held various positions within Genzyme in Europe and in the US culminating in his position at Genzyme CV since 2006. Mr. Chereau also served as the chief operating officer of MG Biotherapeutics LLC, a Genzyme and Medtronic joint-venture formed to develop cellular therapies for cardiac repair. Prior to joining Genzyme, Mr. Chereau held sales and marketing positions at a French medical device retail company in the hemodialysis field. Mr. Chereau holds an undergraduate degree in Physics from Paris University, completed graduate studies at the La Rochelle Business School, and received an M.B.A. from INSEAD.
Amir Nashat, general partner, Polaris Venture Partners stated, "We are very pleased to appoint such an accomplished executive with deep cardiovascular, cell therapy and drug development expertise as Pervasis' chief executive officer. This is a pivotal time for the company, as the organization continues to execute its strategy to build a truly outstanding and innovative regenerative medicine company. Fred's leadership and wealth of experience in the cardiovascular field will be invaluable as Pervasis continues to develop Vascugel(R) and advance its other scientific programs."
"Fred's addition to Pervasis truly rounds out the stellar management team the Company has assembled," added Stephen Bollinger, chief operating officer. "Under Fred's leadership, we will continue to develop the company and bring our biologically active therapeutics to a large number of patients."
Pervasis recently completed its "V-HEALTH" (Vascular intimal Hyperplasia: Extending Arterial and venous patency, Limiting vascular Trauma, and inhibiting Hyperplasia while re-establishing vascular health) Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials of Vascugel(R), the Company's flagship product, in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) that require a permanent arteriovenous (AV) access for hemodialysis. Recent Phase 1 results demonstrated that all primary endpoints of the study were achieved, with no significant safety issues. Phase 2 clinical studies have been completed and data from these trials will be presented at upcoming scientific meetings in 2008. Vascugel(R) is the first therapy being developed to simultaneously improve outcomes for the two primary forms of surgical AV access, namely, grafts and fistulae. There are over 300,000 patients undergoing hemodialysis in the United States today, with an estimated annual growth rate of nearly 5% for new AV graft and AV fistula procedures performed each year.
Vascugel(R) is a novel and unique allogeneic cell therapy product under investigation for enhancing repair, extending patency and vascular health. Vascugel(R) builds on concepts of tissue engineering to enable implantation of allogeneic endothelial cells in a controlled state. When placed adjacent to an injured blood vessel, the endothelial cells in Vascugel(R) provide growth regulatory compounds to the underlying blood vessel, which promotes a natural healing process and may prevent excessive, inflammation, thrombosis and stenosis. Vascugel(R) has been studied in two Phase 2 clinical trials in patients with end stage renal disease.
About Pervasis Therapeutics, Inc.
Pervasis Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage regenerative therapeutics company developing biologically active products to address complex diseases and unmet medical needs. The Company has developed a proprietary allogeneic endothelial cell technology to regulate vascular repair and restore blood flow to critical vasculature and organs. Pervasis is also exploring broader indications in non-vascular applications, including inflammation, organ transplantation, nerve, wound and bone repair, and oncology. For more information, please visit www.pervasistx.com.