Anavex Life Sciences Promotes Walter E Kaufmann, M.D. to Chief Scientific Officer and Appoints Edward R Hammond, M.D., M.P.H, Ph.D., as Chief Medical Officer
NEW YORK – January 6, 2022
Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (“Anavex” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: AVXL), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing differentiated therapeutics for the treatment of neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Rett syndrome and other central nervous system (CNS) disorders, today announced that Walter E Kaufmann, M.D. has been promoted to Chief Scientific Officer and Edward R Hammond, M.D., M.P.H., PhD, has been appointed Chief Medical Officer, effective immediately.
Before joining Anavex over three years ago, Dr Kaufmann was the Director of the Center for Translational Research at the Greenwood Genetic Center, where he also held the Ravenel Boykin Curry Chair in Genetic Therapeutics. He holds adjunct appointments at Emory University School of Medicine, where he is an Adjunct Professor of Human Genetics. Dr. Kaufmann is also a Simons Investigator at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Simons Center for the Social Brain. Before these academic appointments, Dr. Kaufmann was a Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and a Professor of Pathology, Neurology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Radiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Dr. Hammond, who brings more than 15 years of exceptional expertise in clinical drug development, including the approval of medicines and beyond, previously worked with the Astra Zeneca Group, where he took on increasing responsibilities including Head of Epidemiology Center of Excellence and leadership for established brands, and for life cycle management within the respiratory franchise.
“We are thrilled that Dr Hammond is bringing to Anavex his strong industry and operational leadership at a time when our two oral, first-in-class product candidates are advancing in the clinic,” said Christopher U Missling, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Anavex. “Dr Hammond has deep experience in drug development, including rare diseases and increasing chronic diseases of global burden and importance, which will prove valuable for our clinical development and registration strategies. His career-long focus on robust and innovative clinical trial design and execution to improve the quality of patient care is an excellent fit with our vision and culture, which is dedicated to making a fundamental difference in patients’ lives.”
“I’m excited to join Anavex at this time of important growth and evolution of the Company,” said Dr. Hammond. “Anavex is a leader in the investigation of precision medicine in the field of CNS and is rapidly advancing several promising oral medicines to treat a range of serious diseases. Together with our experienced leadership team, I look forward to helping Anavex continue to accelerate the development of our pipeline and bring innovative new medicines to patients.”
Dr Hammond, who joined recently, is a Physician-Scientist, Clinical Epidemiologist and Public Health practitioner with exceptional biopharmaceutical industry and academic expertise, encompassing strategic understanding for drug development and proven leadership. Dr Hammond has successfully conceptualized and implemented several early and late-stage clinical trials and been involved in successful drug development programs with approvals in the US and globally. Dr. Hammond’s focus is on an integrative, innovative, and efficient drug development continuum for which he has exceptional expertise spanning drug discovery, translational medicine, clinical trial design and analysis, medical affairs, pharmacovigilance, health outcomes, value propositioning and access strategies to facilitate deep understanding in support of drug development and post-marketing activities. He has published over 60 full scientific manuscripts and book chapters and served as a reviewer for several medical journals.
About Anavex Life Sciences Corp.
Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (Nasdaq: AVXL) is a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of differentiated therapeutics for the treatment of neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Rett syndrome and other central nervous system (CNS) diseases, pain, and various types of cancer. Anavex’s lead drug candidate, ANAVEX®2-73 (blarcamesine), successfully completed a Phase 2a clinical trial for Alzheimer’s disease and recently a Phase 2 proof-of-concept study in Parkinson’s disease dementia and a Phase 2 study in adult patients with Rett syndrome. ANAVEX®2-73 is an orally available drug candidate that restores cellular homeostasis by targeting sigma-1 and muscarinic receptors. Preclinical studies demonstrated its potential to halt and/or reverse the course of Alzheimer’s disease. ANAVEX®2-73 also exhibited anticonvulsant, anti-amnesic, neuroprotective, and anti-depressant properties in animal models, indicating its potential to treat additional CNS disorders, including epilepsy. The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research previously awarded Anavex a research grant, which fully funded a preclinical study to develop ANAVEX®2-73 for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. ANAVEX®3-71, which targets sigma-1 and muscarinic receptors, is a promising clinical stage drug candidate demonstrating disease-modifying activity against the major hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease in transgenic (3xTg-AD) mice, including cognitive deficits, amyloid, and tau pathologies. In preclinical trials, ANAVEX®3-71 has shown beneficial effects on mitochondrial dysfunction and neuroinflammation. Further information is available at www.anavex.com. You can also connect with the company on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical in nature are forward-looking statements. These statements are only predictions based on current information and expectations and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual events or results may differ materially from those projected in any of such statements due to various factors, including the risks set forth in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement and Anavex Life Sciences Corp. undertakes no obligation to revise or update this press release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof. For Further Information: Anavex Life Sciences Corp.
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