EnVivo Appoints Kees Been as Chief Executive Officer
For Immediate Release
WATERTOWN, Mass., June 27, 2005 – EnVivo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing drugs for neurodegenerative diseases, announced today the appointment of Kees Been as Chief Executive Officer.
“We are extremely pleased to welcome Kees to EnVivo as CEO,” said Stephen C. Knight, M.D., chairman of EnVivo and president of Fidelity Biosciences Group, EnVivo’s main investor. “Kees’ proven leadership and significant experience in both drug discovery and development make him the right executive to lead EnVivo.”
Been brings to EnVivo more than 10 years of biotechnology and pharmaceutical experience. Prior to joining EnVivo, he was CEO of Bionaut Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company focused on advancing novel small molecule drug candidates for cancer and inflammation. From 1999 to 2003, Been was Senior Vice President of Business Development and then head of the oncology business unit at Biogen. Prior to Biogen, Been held several executive positions at Monsanto Life Sciences. Been earned an MS in Biotechnology from University of Agriculture in Holland and an MBA from INSEAD in France.
“I am extremely pleased to be joining EnVivo Pharmaceuticals. The company’s strategy is unique in the CNS field and has already yielded significant progress in several programs,” said Been. “EnVivo offers an opportunity to change the way drugs for neurodegenerative diseases are discovered.”
Drug discovery for central nervous system (CNS) disorders has lagged, particularly for neurodegenerative diseases mainly because of poor understanding of the underlying disease mechanisms and a paucity of good animal models. EnVivo’s goal is to identify novel compounds for treating neurodegenerative diseases through phenotypic screening in fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) models, ex vivo/in vitro biochemical assays and vertebrate assays. In the CNS arena, many biotechnology companies are seeking to address the need for innovation by identifying new targets. In contrast, EnVivo offers a new and innovative method of in vivo drug discovery that is ideally suited for drugs that act on the CNS and that will yield new classes of neuroprotective drugs.
EnVivo’s lead program, in-licensed from Bayer Healthcare, is in preclinical development and is focused on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors for Alzheimer’s disease. Using its unique drug discovery approach, EnVivo has also successfully generated several neuroprotection programs for major neurodegenerative diseases including a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor program (in collaboration with MethylGene, Inc.) and a kinase inhibitor program. In addition EnVivo is engaged in collaboration discussions with pharmaceutical companies in several disease areas.
EnVivo Pharmaceuticals (located in Watertown, Mass.) is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to discovering and developing drugs for central nervous system (CNS) disorders currently focusing on Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Spinocerebellar ataxias. The company has created a new paradigm in drug discovery using a proprietary screening platform based on Drosophila disease models and cell-based assays coupled with expertise in informatics and neurobiology to rapidly identify hits that are then tested in vertebrate assays. The company’s current programs focus on histone deacetylases (HDACs), in collaboration with MethylGene, nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, and kinases. For more information about EnVivo, please visit www.envivopharma.com.
For additional information, please contact: