- Announces Changes to the Board -
Protox Therapeutics Inc. (the "Company" or "Protox") (TSX: PRX), a leader in the development of receptor targeted therapeutic fusion proteins, today announced it has closed the first tranche of the investment by Warburg Pincus. The investment was approved by 100% of the votes cast by shareholders at the recent special shareholders meeting. The investment is being carried out under the terms of an investment agreement, under which affiliates of Warburg Pincus will invest up to CDN $35 million in Protox as set out in management's Information Circular dated October 12, 2010, which was filed by Protox on the SEDAR website at www.sedar.com.
In conjunction with this closing, Drs. Jim Miller, Alex Giaquinto and Avtar Dhillon have stepped down from the Board. Dr. Lars Ekman, a prominent pharmaceutical industry veteran, will assume the Chairmanship of the Protox Board and will be joined by Mr. Jonathan Leff, a Managing Director of Warburg Pincus, and Dr. Nishan de Silva, a Principal of Warburg Pincus, as new appointees to the Board. Mr. Frank Holler, the Chairman since 2003 will remain on the Board as will Mr. Jim Heppell and Dr. Jack Geltosky. An additional independent designate acceptable to the Company and Warburg Pincus, as well as an additional Warburg Pincus designee will be appointed to the Board within 90 days of this closing.
"It is with the guidance and wisdom of Drs. Miller, Giaquinto and Dhillon that Protox has achieved its current standing and for that we are deeply thankful," said Dr. Fahar Merchant, President and CEO of Protox Therapeutics. "I would also like to welcome all our new board members. We are delighted to have Dr. Ekman as our new Chairman as he brings considerable leadership, development and commercial expertise that will be of immense benefit to Protox as we progress our lead PRX302 BPH program for marketing authorization. We are also very grateful to Mr. Frank Holler, the founding Chairman of the Board for his leadership, commitment and supporting the management during the past six years. "
Dr. Lars Ekman is Founder & CEO of Cebix, an Executive-in-Residence of Warburg Pincus and Executive Partner of Sofinnova Ventures. During 2001 to 2007, Dr. Ekman was EVP & President of Research & Development at Elan Pharmaceuticals where he advanced Elan's drug development pipeline by securing four US NDAs, three European MAAs and five INDs. Prior to joining Elan, Dr. Ekman was EVP, Research and Development at Schwartz Pharma AG (now UCB) and held various senior scientific and clinical functions from 1984 to 1997 at Pharmacia (now Pfizer). Dr. Ekman is also a Director of Elan Corporation where he chairs the Science and Technology Committee. He is also director of InterMune Inc., Ocera Therapeutics, Inc., ARYx Therapeutics, Inc. and Amarin Corporation. Dr. Ekman is a board certified surgeon with a Ph.D. in experimental biology. He obtained his Ph.D. and M.D. from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Mr. Jonathan Leff is a Managing Director of Warburg Pincus where he focuses on investments in healthcare. Prior to joining Warburg Pincus, he was a consultant at Oliver, Wyman & Co. Mr. Leff received an A.B. in government from Harvard University and an M.B.A. from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Mr. Leff is a director of Allos Therapeutics, Inc., Hana Biosciences, Inc., Inspire Pharmaceuticals, Inc., InterMune, Inc. and Rib-X. Mr. Leff also serves on the Board of Directors of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, and is chairman of the Medical Industry Group of the National Venture Capital Association. In addition, Mr. Leff is a director of the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Foundation and a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Visitors of Columbia University Medical Center.
Dr. Nishan de Silva is a principal with Warburg Pincus where he focuses on investments in healthcare. Prior to joining Warburg Pincus, Dr. de Silva worked at the Sprout Group in healthcare venture capital and at McKinsey & Company in biotechnology and pharmaceutical strategy. He is also a Director of Allos Therapeutics, Inc. and Hana Biosciences, Inc. Dr. de Silva holds a B.A. in Biology from Harvard College, an M.D. from The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School.