Anavex Announces Appointment of Oncology Specialist to Board of Directors
ATHENS, Greece – May 21, 2008
Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (“ANAVEX”) (OTC BB:AVXL) today announced the appointment of Alison Ayers to its Board of Directors. Ms. Ayers is currently the Worldwide Commercial Head for Oncology at Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), with responsibility for Pfizer’s oncology portfolio, which includes more than 20 drug candidates in clinical development, as well as lifecycle optimization for their leading oncology treatments including Sutent. In addition, she is a member of the leadership team that develops Pfizer’s oncology strategic plan and which manages the portfolio, including asset prioritization, development planning, strategic and investment decisions including licensing and acquisitions. She is also responsible for the commercial strategy for Pfizer’s oncology department, which had sales of over $2 billion in 2007.
“It is our great pleasure to welcome Alison to our Board,” said Harvey Lalach, President of ANAVEX. “Alison is a senior executive with strong leadership, operational, deal-making and portfolio-planning abilities. She has developed broad business skills with international pharmaceutical companies of all sizes, from start-ups to several of the world’s top corporations, and has extensive experience guiding R&D prioritization and investment decisions to optimize the commercial value of early and late-stage drug candidates. In addition, Alison has more than 20 years of oncology-focused pharmaceutical industry experience. We are confident that her background will add considerable value as we continue to develop our already impressive oncology and CNS pipelines.”
Ms. Ayers has an extensive background in business development and commercial initiatives. In her current role she leads Pfizer’s commercial leadership team for oncology, which develops and implements globally aligned marketing strategies with major emphasis on resource allocation, pre-launch planning for new indications and new product launches. She is also the commercial lead for Pfizer’s licensing strategy and evaluation of licensing and acquisition opportunities.
Previously, Ms. Ayers was Commercial Head, Infectious Disease, Worldwide Marketing for Pfizer, responsible for strategic leadership for the company’s infectious disease portfolio. Under her leadership, Pfizer’s infectious disease portfolio exceeded $3 billion in sales in 2005, with two compounds achieving sales growth of 20-30%.
Before joining Pfizer Ms. Ayers was Vice President of Portfolio Management for Pharmacia, where she developed and implemented strategies to maximize earnings from the company’s complex global $2.5 billion diversified products portfolio, which is comprised of more than 600 mature, non-promoted products. In her earlier role as Vice President, Commercial Development, Oncology for Pharmacia, Ms. Ayers was responsible for providing commercial leadership for the company’s oncology pipeline, and held a pivotal role in the acquisition of biotech company Sugen, which delivered Pfizer’s leading angiogenesis inhibitor, Sutent. Pharmacia was acquired by Pfizer in 2003.
Ms. Ayers’ background also includes senior positions in business and product planning for numerous bioscience and pharmaceutical companies, including Merck, The Health Care Group, US Bioscience, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Lederle Laboratories. She holds a Master of Science with distinction in biopharmacy and a Diploma in Business Studies, both from the University of London, UK, as well as a Bachelor of Science with honors in physiology and biochemistry from the University of Southampton, UK.