Toronto Stock Exchange Symbol: AKL
MONTREAL, June 26 /CNW Telbec/ - Akela Pharma, Inc. (TSX: AKL) today
announced that the Company has appointed a new Board of Directors at its
annual general meeting of the shareholders, held on the 25th of June in
The Board of Directors consists of six members, Gordon H. Busenbark,
Michel Lagueux, Raj Maheshwari, Gregory M. McKee, Bob Rieder, and Prof. Robert
O. Williams III. The appointment represents a substantial renewal of Akela's
leadership, with only two members, Mr. Maheshwari, and Prof. Williams III,
continuing as longer standing members of Akela's Board of Directors. Gregory
M. McKee, and Bob Rieder were appointed to Akela's Board of Directors in late
May of 2009, subsequent to the Company's merger with Nventa, whereas Gordon H.
Busenbark, and Michel Lagueux are newly elected.
Akela's new Board of Directors represents a wealth of experience in the
pharmaceutical industry, product development, and financing.
Gordon H. Busenbark is currently Chief Financial Officer of Xytis
Pharmaceuticals, and has previously served as Chief Financial Officer of
Encysive Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Busenbark has also held various financial,
operational and general management positions at Baxter Healthcare for over 20
Michel Lagueux is currently Executive Chairman and Interim Chief
Executive Officer of BioSyntech. He has previously served at senior positions
in the venture capital and development capital industry, and helped launch
many bio-pharmaceutical start-ups in the past 20 years. Mr. Lagueux was also
Chief Executive Officer of Canacure Corporation, and as a consultant he has
provided strategic planning advice to numerous Canadian and European life
Raj Maheshwari is the founder and Managing Director of Charlestown
Capital Advisors, a private merchant banking company specializing in financial
advisory services to public and private market emerging companies. Prior to
that, he has a long career in investment management and banking, and has been
a member of Akela's Board of Directors since June 2008.
Gregory McKee served for many years as the Chief Executive Officer of
Nventa Biopharmaceuticals, until the merger of Nventa with Akela. Prior to
Nventa, Mr. McKee held Business Development and Corporate Development
positions at Valentis, and Genzyme, as well as affiliations in international
Bob Rieder is currently Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cardiome
Pharma. Prior to his long and successful tenure as Cardiomes' Chief Executive
he has extensive experience in venture capital and operational management. Mr.
Rieder has served as as Chief Operating Officer of DBA Telecom, Chief
Executive Officer of Synapse Technologies, and as a director in numerous
public and private technology companies.
Prof. Robert O. (Bill) Williams III is currently Johnson & Johnson
Centennial Professor of Pharmaceutics at the University of Texas at Austin.
Prior to that, he has held various managerial positions at Rhone-Poulenc
Rorer, Duramed, and Eli Lilly. Prof. Williams III was the founder and
President of PharmaForm, currently a fully owned subsidiary of Akela, and has
been a member of Akela's Board of Directors since the acquisition of
PharmaForm by Akela in January 2007.
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 is an opioid analgesic commonly used for the treatment of
moderate to severe pain associated with conditions such as cancer. Fentanyl
TAIFUN(R) consists of a dry powder formulation of fentanyl delivered by
Akela's proprietary TAIFUN(R) dry powder inhaler. In phase I clinical trials,
absorption of fentanyl after a single inhalation of Fentanyl TAIFUN(R) has
been shown to be very rapid, with an average peak concentration reached in one
minute. In phase II clinical trials with Fentanyl TAIFUN(R) in cancer
breakthrough pain, the median time to significant pain relief was shown to be
as fast as five minutes. The product is currently in early phase III
development in Europe, but Akela is currently not enrolling new patients to
its clinical program before obtaining further financing to the Company.
Akela's pipeline also includes a growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH),
which is being developed for frailty and wasting in chronic renal disease. The
product is also suitable for other chronic diseases involving a catabolic
state and wasting. 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
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:
For further information: Dr. Taneli Jouhikainen, Acting CEO, (512)
834-0449, ext. 275