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AP Pharma overhauls senior management team

Brings in former Pfizer R&D head as CEO in addition to new president and COO

Barry Quart AP Pharma CEOAP Pharma has appointed a new CEO, president and chief operating officer in an overhaul of its leadership team.

The announcement comes one month after the US-based biopharma received a complete response letter from the US FDA that said, based on current evidence, the regulator was unable to recommend AP Pharma's lead product APF530 for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.

The restructure appears to have been planned for some time, however, with each new appointment having been involved with AP Pharma since at least June 2012.

Appointees includes new CEO Dr Barry Quart, former CEO and president of Ardea, who joined the board of AP Pharma last summer at the time of Ardea's acquisition by AstraZeneca.

Dr Quart (pictured) replaces John Whelan, who served just two years as CEO.

In addition to his time at Ardea, Dr Quart's previous experience includes several years at Pfizer as senior VP, Pfizer global R&D and director of Pfizer's La Jolla Laboratories.

Joining Dr Quart as part of the leadership team is Steve Davis, who replaces Dr Michael Adam as chief operating officer.

Davis was at Ardea with Dr Quart, serving as chief operating officer, and he also joined the board of AP Pharma last summer and his prior positions include serving as CEO and director of Neurogen.

The final big change at the top for AP Pharma is the promotion of chief commercial officer Robert Rosen to president.

Rosen only joined AP Pharma in October 2012, having previously headed up Bayer Healthcare's commercial activities in oncology.

The company's chair Kevin Tang said he was “very excited” for the new team, and that the company still had high hopes for APF530 - despite the setback, and its Biochronomer drug delivery platform, which  allows therapeutic drug levels to be maintained for five days with a single subcutaneous injection.

“Barry was instrumental in building two biopharmaceutical companies, Ardea Biosciences and Agouron Pharmaceuticals, that were acquired by major pharmaceutical companies for more than $1bn each,” said Tang of the new CEO.

He added: “Rob brings deep experience in the commercialisation of oncology drugs and was responsible for the launch of two products, Nexavar and Eloxatin, that each achieved sales of more than $1bn only a few years following market introduction. Steve most recently was the chief architect in the transaction resulting in the sale of Ardea Biosciences to AstraZeneca for more than $1bn.”

3rd May 2013

From: Sales

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