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Berlin, Germany, January 07, 2008 -- NOXXON Pharma AG (NOXXON), developer of mirror image oligonucleotide therapeutics termed Spiegelmers®, announced today the appointment of Frank Morich MD as its new Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Morich replaces Dr. Sven Klussmann who served for a transition period both as CEO and CSO and will now fully dedicate his efforts to his role as Chief Scientific Officer. The appointment successfully concludes an executive search that was initiated following NOXXON’s completion of a 37 million Euro series C financing round in May 2007. Dr. Morich’s medical background and his distinguished professional experience, which includes top management positions, bring to NOXXON a wealth of expertise in business and financial operations, as well as in research and development.
Dr. Walter Wenninger, Chairman of NOXXON’s Supervisory Board, commented: “The board would like to thank Dr. Klussmann for his achievements in preparing NOXXON for a prosperous future. The company is in an excellent position to successfully continue its path as a leader in the oligonucleotide therapeutics field and drive the development of novel and innovative medicines. In moving forward, we are delighted to have attracted and retained the services of Dr. Morich. His understanding of the pharmaceutical and biotech industry, and his experience will guide NOXXON through its next stages of growth as a biopharmaceutical company.”
Dr. Morich’s appointment denotes a new phase in NOXXON’s development that warrants the attention of key industry leaders. In his role as Chief Executive Dr. Morich will play a determining role to establish NOXXON’s leadership position in the area of oligonucleotide therapeutics and as a biopharmaceutical innovator, at a time when the company accelerates the clinical development of Spiegelmer products.
“I am excited to join NOXXON at this crucial point in its corporate development,” remarked Dr. Morich on his appointment. “NOXXON’s Spiegelmer technology solves several challenges associated with RNA based therapeutics in an extremely elegant and innovative way. The task of translating this exciting technology into therapeutic products is an exhilarating one and I am looking forward to leading the talented and highly motivated team of people at NOXXON towards achieving this goal.“
Dr. Morich joins NOXXON from Innogenetics NV, a Belgium-based international biopharmaceutical company, where he served as CEO and member of the board of directors. Dr. Morich studied at the University of Marburg in Germany, specializing in immunology and oncology. In 1982 he joined Bayer, where over the course of twenty years he built a highly distinguished career, holding numerous positions of increasing responsibility in R&D as well as senior management. In 2000 he was appointed member of the management boards for Bayer AG and Bayer Corp.; in 2002 Dr. Morich was elected Chairman of the Board for Bayer Healthcare AG. Following his departure at Bayer he served as CEO of AM Pharma, a Dutch biotechnology company specializing in novel therapies derived from the human immune system. He has in the past served as a member of the Board of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry Associations and has chaired the R & D committee of the German Association of Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (VFA). He is also a member of the Senate of the Fraunhofer Society for Applied Research.
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