Ockham Announces Internationally Acclaimed Scientific Advisory Board

Posted by Ockham on May 18, 2012. Filed in: News

CARY, NC  — May 17, 2012 – Six internationally respected physicians and oncology researchers have been named to a new Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) formed by Ockham, the clinical research organization that acquired Scotland-based Nexus Oncology in January to broaden its international clinical impact.

By engaging experts to assist with and review research, Ockham reaffirms its commitment to strengthen oncology drug development and focus its mission of providing a superlative level of clinical support in developing new cancer treatments.

The Scientific Advisory Board is composed of oncology experts with extensive experience in varied treatment modalities. Board members have credentials in both solid and liquid tumor indications as well as supportive care and biosimilars areas.

The physicians and researchers were recruited to join the SAB because of their clinical success in disciplines essential to improving Ockham’s commitment to formulations that help with chemotherapy, monoclonal antibodies and related approaches; these include gene therapy, targeted therapies, immunotherapies and cellular-based agents.

Ockham’s new SAB members are:

  • Ed Schnipper, M.D., and Sam Sanks, M.D., U.S.-based oncologists with successful track records in corporate drug development
  • Andrew Saunders, M.D., and Gary Acton, M.D., U.K.-based physicians with extensive global hematology and solid tumor experience.
  •  Clare Wareing, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Ockham. Wareing founded Nexus Oncology and was its Chief Executive Officer prior to the Ockham acquisition.
  • Irene Gow, B.Sc., an immunologist at Nexus Oncology with extensive oncology formulation experience.

This group has worked collectively on more than 15 successful New Drug Applications (NDA) over the last two decades with well-known agents such as Letrazole, Capecitabine, Ruxolitinib, Clofaribine, Gemcitabine, Rituxan®, Doxil®, GMCSF (Leukine®), Abiraterone, oral Fludarabine, CAMPATH®, Trastuzumab, Amifostine, Tositumomab and Interferon Gamma .

“These physicians and researchers – and their excellent reputations – will be part of our overall effort to continue to build on Ockham’s oncology leadership,” said Jim Baker, Chief Executive Officer, Ockham. “These members ensure we will have the expertise to help our sponsors who share our commitment to industry-leading research and clinical expertise.”

Baker said the Scientific Advisory Board will help Ockham develop a distinctive approach to pre-clinical planning in which the company partners earlier with sponsors to develop strategic clinical processes to reduce costs, accelerate formulations, and achieve goals more efficiently.

Brief biographical summaries of board members are provided below. More comprehensive background information and photos can be found at www.ockham.com and www.nexusconology.com

The Scientific Advisory Board members are:

Gary Acton, M.D.

Trained in general medicine and oncology, Dr. Acton has 20 years of pharmaceutical experience. His work has been focused in oncology drug development and has held a wide range of senior positions including clinical, commercial and corporate roles.

Samuel Saks, M.D.

A board-certified oncologist, Dr. Saks was most recently the founding Chief Executive Officer of Jazz Pharmaceuticals until his retirement in 2009. From 2001 until he joined Jazz, Dr. Saks was company group chairman of ALZA Corporation and member of the Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Operating Committee.

Andrew Saunders, M.D.

With more than two decades experience in hemato-oncology, Dr. Saunders has spent 15 years in pharmaceutical medicine with an exclusive focus on hematology/oncology. He has expertise in all stages of oncology drug development and has worked on a range of oncology indications including breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, renal cell carcinoma, malignant melanoma, colorectal cancer, lung cancer (SCLC and NSCLC), NHL, B-CLL, multiple myeloma and AML (adult and pediatric).

Ed Schnipper, M.D.

With fellowship specialization in hematology and oncology covering more than 20 years, Dr. Schnipper began his career in the pharmaceutical industry at Hoffman-La Roche. As Section Head of Oncology for the United States, he led several projects and two FDA drug approvals, one for alpha interferon (Roferon) and one for all trans-retinoic acid (Vesanoid).

Clare Wareing, Ph.D.

After completing successful undergraduate studies and training in cell biology, Dr. Wareing completed a Ph.D. in multi-drug resistance in solid tumors.  Moving into oncology drug development in the pharmaceutical industry in 1989, she has continued to work exclusively in oncology and worked for a number of companies on a wide range of solid and liquid tumor programs.

Irene Gow, B.Sc.

Ms. Gow has worked predominantly with European and U.S. biotech and pharmaceutical companies, including Immunex, British Biotech, Oxford Glycosciences, and UBC. She has been involved in many oncology development programs.