AUSTIN, TX, Sept. 2 /CNW Telbec/ - Akela Pharma, Inc., (TSX: AKL) and its
wholly owned subsidiary, PharmaForm, leaders in the development of
therapeutics for the treatment of pain as well as the manufacture of a range
of controlled substances, today announced the appointment of Greg McKee to the
position of president and chief executive officer and Robert Rieder to the
position of chairman, effective immediately.
Mr. McKee, who currently serves as, and will remain a member of, Akela's
board of directors, brings more than 20 years of biotechnology and life
sciences management and leadership experience to the company. Before joining
Akela, he served as president and chief executive officer of Nventa
Biopharmaceuticals Corporation, which successfully merged with Akela in May of
2009. Prior to his position as chief executive officer of Nventa, Mr. McKee
served as the company's vice president, corporate development and chief
financial officer. Mr. McKee previously served as senior director, corporate
development for Valentis, Inc., a San-Francisco-based gene delivery company,
and held several positions at Genzyme Corporation including Director - Asia.
He spent several years overseas as an investment banker and aide to the former
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Mr. McKee earned an MBA and an M.A. from
the Wharton School and the Joseph H. Lauder Institute at the University of
Pennsylvania and holds a B.A. in economics from the University of Washington.
Mr. Rieder currently serves as executive chairman of the board of
directors of Cardiome Pharma Corp. He served as Cardiome's chief executive
officer from the time he joined Cardiome in April 1998 until August 2009 and
has extensive previous experience in venture capital and operational
management. Prior to joining Cardiome, Mr. Rieder was vice president at MDS
Ventures Pacific Inc., the Vancouver-based affiliate of MDS Capital Corp.,
through which he served as a director for nine public and private technology
companies. Mr. Rieder has also held the positions of chief operating officer
for DBA Telecom Inc., and chief executive officer for Synapse Technologies
Inc. Mr. Rieder received his MBA from the University of Western Ontario.
"Greg McKee has played an integral role in mapping the future direction
of Akela as a member of the company's board of directors since closing the
merger with Nventa," said Mr. Rieder. "His broad industry experience, as well
as the time he's already spent working with Akela over the past several
months, will allow for an immediate transition of responsibilities. Greg has
already assembled a strong and experienced team of professionals to execute
Akela's new corporate objectives, and we look forward to an exciting and
productive future for Akela under his leadership."
About Akela Pharma Inc.:
Akela Pharma is a drug development company with its lead product,
Fentanyl TAIFUN(R), being developed for the treatment of breakthrough cancer
pain. Fentanyl TAIFUN(R) is a fast-acting fentanyl formulation delivered using
the company's TAIFUN(R) multi-dose dry powder inhaler platform. Akela's
pipeline also includes a growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH), which is
being developed for frailty and wasting in chronic renal disease.
PharmaForm, Akela's wholly owned subsidiary, is a leading specialty
contract service provider in the area of hot melt extrusion, and also offers a
portfolio of other innovative technologies in drug product development,
manufacturing and analytical testing to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology
industries. Through its diverse offerings, PharmaForm solutions help clients
reach their development targets, reduce development costs and accelerate
Akela's common shares trade on The Toronto Stock Exchange ("TSX") under
the symbol "AKL" with 30.9 million shares outstanding.
This news release contains certain forward-looking statements that
reflect the current views and/or expectations of Akela Pharma Inc. with
respect to performance, business and future events. Such statements are
subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Actual results
and events may vary significantly.
For further information: Akela Pharma: Greg McKee, President and Chief
Executive Officer, (512) 834-0449; Vida Communication: Tim Brons (media),
(415) 675-7402, firstname.lastname@example.org; Stephanie Diaz (investors),
(415) 675-7401, email@example.com