STOCKHOLM, August 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
The Swedish specialty pharmaceutical company Pharmalink AB today announced the appointment of Fredrik Johansson as new Chief Financial Officer and Mikael Widell as new Head of Communications.
As part of Pharmalink's preparations for the start of its clinical Phase 3 study with the candidate drug Nefecon, for patients with primary IgA nephropathy, the company has strengthened its management team and appointed Fredrik Johansson as its new CFO.
Prior to joining Pharmalink, Fredrik Johansson was CFO and COO at Birdstep Technology/Techstep ASA, listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange, where he was in charge of the acquisition and reversed listing of Teki Solutions. Previous CFO positions include Phone Family, Teligent Telecom and Wayfinder Systems.
Fredrik Johansson assumed his position on August 1, 2017. Pharmalink's current CFO, Anders Hultman, will remain with the company as Finance Director.
Furthermore, Pharmalink has appointed Mikael Widell to the new position as Head of Communications. Originally a journalist with Sydsvenska Dagbladet and Dagens Industri, Mikael Widell has since 1998 held corporate communications positions at a number of life science companies, including AstraZeneca, Biovitrum and Oasmia. He was also Head of Communications & IR at Sapa and Head of Communications at the private equity firm Nordic Capital. Mikael Widell is a partner and co-founder of the IR/PR firm Cord Communications. He assumed his position with Pharmalink on August 1, 2017.
Renee Aguiar-Lucander, CEO of Pharmalink, said: "Pharmalink is currently in a truly exciting stage of development and we need to ensure that we are fully prepared for the start of the first Phase 3 clinical trial ever conducted in this indication. We are committed to bring Nefecon to patients with IgA nephropathy who risk end-stage renal disease, and I am delighted to welcome Fredrik and Mikael who both bring valuable experience to the company."
Notes to Editors
About Pharmalink AB
Pharmalink is a specialty pharmaceutical company developing high value products for patients with significant unmet medical needs. With a highly experienced, dynamic management team, Pharmalink draws on its extensive experience of pharmaceutical development and marketing to efficiently identify and progress valuable and de-risked products. Visit http://www.pharmalink.se for further information.
Nefecon is an investigational treatment for patients with primary IgA nephropathy (primary IgAN) at risk of developing ESRD. Nefecon has successfully completed a randomized, placebo-controlled Phase 2b study in 149 primary IgAN patients (full analysis set) at risk of developing ESRD, under standardized rigorous blood pressure control with an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI) and/or angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB). A Phase 3 registration trial is being planned.
Nefecon is an oral, targeted-release and locally acting formulation of the potent corticosteroid, budesonide, that down-regulates the disease process in the kidney through suppression of the gastrointestinal immune system thus exploiting the pivotal role the gastrointestinal tract plays in the overall immune response. Promising results indicate that treatment with Nefecon may provide clinical benefits to primary IgAN patients at risk of progressing to ESRD, and provide an alternative to dialysis and transplantation. Nefecon has received orphan drug designation in primary IgAN by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
About IgA Nephropathy
IgA nephropathy (IgAN) is the most common form of glomerulonephritis (inflammation of the kidney glomeruli). The disease is characterized by deposits, predominantly containing polymeric IgA antibody, in the kidney that cause inflammation and renal damage.
IgAN can occur at any age, but the clinical onset is commonly during the second or third decades of life. It has been estimated that up to 40% of patients with primary IgAN progress to renal failure, often referred to as ESRD, within 5-30 years following diagnosis. This patient population is estimated to at least 200,000 in major markets.
Patients suffering renal failure require dialysis or kidney transplantation. Primary IgAN accounts for 10% of renal transplants among patients with primary glomerulonephritis in the US and between 7-20% of patients in Europe and Australia in long-term dialysis and renal transplantation programs.