Pivotal Therapeutics (OTCQX:PVTTF) (CSE:PVO), a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on Omega-3 therapies for cardiovascular disease, has appointed James Connolly to its board of directors.
Connolly, who brings more than 27 years of pharma experience, spent 23 years in various leadership roles at Wyeth, formerly American Home Products, a $23 billion pharma and health products company that was acquired by Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) in 2009.
At Wyeth, he served in roles including executive VP and general manager of the company's vaccines department, where he grew the business from $800 millon to over $3 billion under his stewardship from 2005 to 2009, mainly due to the creation of blockbuster vaccine Prevnar.
He was also president of Wyeth Canada, where sales more than doubled under his leadership to over $650 million in less than four years. During this time, all of the company's key brands including Effexor, Prevnar, Enbrel, Alesse, Premarin and BeneFix secured the number one market share position in each of their respective categories.
Connolly's experience is sure to be valuable to Pivotal, which is in the process of bolstering its commercialization efforts for its Vascazen FDA-regulated medical food product, which was developed to lower cardiovascular health risks in Omega-3 deficient cardiac patients. This includes high triglycerides, or fatty substances in the blood that are associated with coronary disease.
The 90%-pure Omega-3 product, which was introduced in the U.S. in November 2011, provides those suffering from heart disease with levels of the most important Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil – EPA and DHA – that the company says are ideal and associated with reduced risk of heart complications. These EPA and DHA levels are also not achievable through simple changes in diet alone. The product is available with a prescription in all major pharmacies throughout the U.S.
"Jim's wealth of experience in brand establishment, commercialization and growing sales will be invaluable as the company expands its commercialization team to execute the broader launch of its Medical Food Vascazen," said Pivotal's co-founder and chairman, Dr. George Jackowski.
The specialty pharma company just last week closed a $7.7 million debt financing, far surpassing its initial C$5.0 million target. The capital raise was led by existing shareholder Crossover Healthcare Fund, and included Broadfin Capital and Porter Capital Management.
The new funds bring greater financial leverage to Pivotal to deliver on its longer term growth strategies. Last year, the company revealed results from a clinical trial that showed after eight weeks of treatment with its Vascazen product, there was an increase of 121% in the Omega-Score and 112% in the Omega-Index - both diagnostic tests that measure circulating blood levels of Omega-3 in individuals. Subjects also benefited from an 48% triglyceride reduction, and increased levels of HDL - known as the "good cholesterol".
"I am excited to be joining Pivotal's board of directors and working with the company to help strengthen the overall commercialization efforts," said Connolly. "Treating an Omega-3 deficiency with an innovative Medical Food such as Vascazen is a unique approach to this large market and represents a significant opportunity."
Connolly is also an advisor for the Crossover Healthcare Fund, and a director at both Vaxess Technologies and Aeras, a non-profit biotech organization developing vaccines for tuberculosis and other neglected diseases.