Antisense appoints experienced biotech executive

By Trevor Hoey. Published at Feb 28, 2020, in ASX Biotechs

Antisense Therapeutics Limited (ASX:ANP) announced on Thursday that it had appointed Gil Price M.D. as Consultant Medical Director.

Dr. Price is a clinical physician trained in internal medicine with a long-standing focus in drug development, adverse drug reactions, drug utilization and regulation.

He is an experienced biotech executive and entrepreneur with a depth of expertise across clinical asset investment strategy, evaluation, financing and execution.

Gil’s experience should be valuable in assisting Antisense Therapeutics given its position as an Australian publicly listed biopharmaceutical company, developing and commercialising antisense pharmaceuticals for large unmet markets.

The products are in-licensed from Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:IONS), world leaders in antisense drug development and commercialisation.

As a backdrop, one of its key products, ATL1102 (injection) has successfully completed a Phase II efficacy and safety trial, significantly reducing the number of brain lesions in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).

The company’s ATL1103 drug designed to block GHr production successfully reduced blood IGF-I levels in Phase II clinical trials in patients with the growth disorder acromegaly.

Antisense Therapeutics is also conducting a Phase II clinical trial of ATL1102 in DMD patients at the Royal Childrens Hospital, Melbourne.

Price transforms Sarepta Therapeutics to multi-billion dollar company

Over a lengthy period, Price has served on multiple boards of public, private and not-for-profit entities.

From 2007 to 2016, he was a non-executive director of Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc., where he helped guide the company’s transition from US$80 million market capitalisation (2008) to a multi-billion dollar group with the first approved drug for DMD now generating annual sales approaching US$400 million

Price’s initial focus will be on engaging with Key Opinion Leaders in the treatment of DMD, as well as DMD Patient Advocacy Groups to help increase the awareness of the company’s ATL1102 for DMD development program.

This will entail translating the features and benefits of the program to these audiences and to advocates internationally and in the capital markets.

Upon commencement of the company’s pivotal trial of ATL1102 in Europe, Price’s responsibilities will also include pharmacovigilance oversight, adverse event reporting and clinical safety monitoring.

Price has collegial support

Having worked with Price for more than eight years at Sarepta, William Goolsbee, non-executive director of Antisense Therapeutics said, “It is great news that Dr. Price has agreed to join our team.

‘’Accessing his deep understanding of DMD and his years of commercial development experience is a tremendous advance for our company.

‘’Gil's skill set, combining the views of a physician, the rigors of a clinical scientist, understanding of the Patient Advocacy community and experience in translating these things to the capital markets will be a huge assistance in bringing the ATL1102 to the US, the European Union and beyond.’’

Particularly with DMD, Antisense Therapeutics needs both scientific insight and a high sense of urgency to meet the unmet need of the boys and their families.

Price believes that Antisense has the opportunity to bring an unprecedented drug to treat DMD and possibly other diseases.

Importantly, the appointment further validates the company’s business prospects, and on this note managing Director Mark Diamond said, ‘’We see his appointment as a critical step for the company in broadening our international presence as we advance towards drug commercialisation.”

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