Company Appoints Dr. Gail Farfel as Chief Development Officer and Dr. Thierry Darcis as General Manager, Europe
SAN DIEGO, July 6, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Zogenix, Inc. (Nasdaq:ZGNX), a pharmaceutical company developing and commercializing products for the treatment of central nervous system (CNS) disorders, announced today the appointments of Gail M. Farfel, Ph.D., as Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer, and Thierry Darcis, M.D., M.B.A., as Executive Vice President and General Manager, Europe.
"The addition of two highly experienced product development and commercial leaders in the orphan CNS disease category further advances our core strategic focus on the Company's late-stage CNS product development pipeline," said Stephen Farr, Chief Executive Officer of Zogenix. "We are extremely pleased to have both Gail and Thierry join Zogenix at this exciting time in the Company's history. Gail's diverse background in leading global product development and regulatory approvals of CNS treatments, including for epilepsy, will be enormously helpful as we execute on our core strategic focus of advancing our pipeline programs. Thierry brings a successful track record of launching rare disease products in Europe and will have a small, experienced leadership team joining him in the UK, representing clinical, regulatory and commercial disciplines. The combination of these accomplished leaders will provide Zogenix the opportunity to further develop and expand its strategic pipeline and rapidly establish the Company's operations in Europe."
In the Chief Development Officer role, Dr. Farfel will lead all product development activities, including clinical development and regulatory strategy. In his role, Dr. Darcis will establish Zogenix's pre-commercial presence in Europe and lead commercial operations in Europe for the anticipated launch of ZX008, an orphan drug expected to enter Phase 3 clinical studies during the fourth quarter of 2015 for the treatment of Dravet syndrome, a rare and debilitating form of epilepsy that begins in infancy. Both Dr. Farfel and Dr. Darcis will report directly to Dr. Farr, Chief Executive Officer of Zogenix.
Dr. Farfel has over 20 years of experience in leading drug development projects for multiple CNS indications, including epilepsy. Most recently, she was Chief Clinical and Regulatory Officer of Marinus Pharmaceuticals, establishing and overseeing clinical, medical and regulatory strategies for adult and pediatric seizure disorders, including a pediatric epileptic orphan disease. Previously, Dr. Farfel was Vice President, Therapeutic Area and Head for Neuroscience Clinical Development and Medical Affairs at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, where she oversaw a portfolio of products including Gilenya® for multiple sclerosis, Exelon® and the Exelon® Patch for Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, and the antidepressant, agomelatine. Dr. Farfel began her career in pharmaceutical drug development at Pfizer, Inc., where she worked in Clinical Development and Global Medical Affairs, directing programs through all stages of clinical development and regulatory submissions. Dr. Farfel is the author of over 50 scientific articles in the areas of neuropsychopharmacology and drug effects, and holds a Ph.D. in Neuropsychopharmacology from the University of Chicago, where she received the Ginsburg Prize for Dissertation Excellence. Dr. Farfel also holds a Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry from the University of Virginia.
Dr. Darcis has over 20 years of pharmaceutical industry experience in global marketing, product development and operations management. He has led European operations as General Manager for two successful rare disease-focused biopharmaceutical organizations, most recently NPS Pharmaceuticals and prior to that, Viropharma Europe. Previously, he was Vice President, Global Marketing Head and a member of the executive team at Novartis Vaccines. Prior to Novartis Vaccines, Dr. Darcis spent over five years with GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals in Belgium. Before GSK Biologicals, he worked for UCB Pharma and as a physician at the Cape Town City Council Health Care department and Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, as well as H.F. Verwoerd Hospital in Pretoria, South Africa. Dr. Darcis received his M.D. from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium; his M.B.A. from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa; and his B.S. degree in marketing and advertising from the Solvay Business School in Brussels.
Zogenix, Inc. (Nasdaq:ZGNX) is a pharmaceutical company committed to developing and commercializing therapies that address specific clinical needs for people living with CNS disorders who need innovative treatment alternatives to help them return to normal daily functioning.
Zogenix cautions you that statements included in this press release that are not a description of historical facts are forward-looking statements. Words such as "believes," "will," "anticipates," "expects" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are based on the company's current beliefs and expectations. These forward-looking statements include statements regarding the timing of the commencement of Phase 3 clinical studies for ZX008 and the potential of the Company's management team. Actual results may differ from those set forth in this press release due to the risk and uncertainties inherent in Zogenix's business, including, without limitation: the ability to retain key personnel; risks associated with competition from other pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies; the inherent risks of clinical development of ZX008, and Zogenix's dependence on third parties in such development; other difficulties or delays relating to the development, testing, manufacturing and marketing of and obtaining regulatory approval for ZX008; and other risks detailed in Zogenix's prior press releases as well as in public periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof, and Zogenix undertakes no obligation to revise or update this press release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. This caution is made under the safe harbor provisions of Section 21E of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
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