Synergy Pharmaceuticals Appoints Patrick H. Griffin, M.D. as Chief Medical
NEW YORK, May 29, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Synergy Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
(Nasdaq:SGYP), a developer of new drugs to treat gastrointestinal disorders
and diseases, announced today the appointment of Patrick H. Griffin, M. D.,
FACP as Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Griffin will report directly to President
and Chief Executive Officer, Gary S. Jacob, Ph.D., and will be responsible for
guiding Synergy's clinical programs, particularly the plecanatide Phase III
program on chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC), and the ongoing Phase IIb
trial of plecanatide in irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C).
"Patrick is a tremendous addition to our management team, and I'm very pleased
to welcome him to Synergy," said Dr. Jacob. "Patrick has an impressive medical
and academic background, along with extensive industry experience in clinical
research, and is going to have a vital role in moving our clinical programs
forward which covers our lead GC-C agonist drug candidate, plecanatide, in
late-stage development, and our next-generation agonist, SP-333."
Dr. Griffin is a board-certified physician in both internal medicine and
gastroenterology, and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.He
received his medical degree from Columbia University, completing a residency
in internal medicine at Presbyterian Hospital in New York, and a fellowship in
gastroenterology at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.Following his
residency and fellowship, Dr. Griffin joined the medical faculty of Columbia
College of Physicians and Surgeons, where he held a number of academic,
clinical research, teaching and management positions, as well as a solo
private practice in New York. He subsequently moved to the biopharmaceutical
industry, where he held positions of increasing responsibility, first at
Forest Laboratories, and subsequently at Sanofi-Aventis, culminating with his
appointment as Associate Vice-President, Clinical Development.
Plecanatide is a member of a new class of essentially non-systemic drugs,
referred to as guanylate cyclase-C (GC-C) agonists, which are currently in
development to treat CIC and IBS-C. Plecanatide is a synthetic analog of
uroguanylin, a natriuretic hormone that regulates ion and fluid transport in
the GI tract. Orally-administered plecanatide binds to and activates GC-C
receptors expressed on epithelial cells lining the GI mucosa, resulting in
activation of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR),
and leading to augmented flow of chloride and water into the lumen of the gut.
Activation of the GC-C receptor pathway is believed to facilitate bowel
movement as well as producing other beneficial physiological responses
including improvement in abdominal pain and inflammation. In animal models,
oral administration of plecanatide promotes intestinal secretion and also
ameliorates GI inflammation.
About Synergy Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Synergy is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of new drugs
to treat gastrointestinal disorders and diseases. Synergy's lead proprietary
drug candidate, plecanatide, is a synthetic analog of the human
gastrointestinal hormone uroguanylin, and functions by activating the
guanylate cyclase-C (GC-C) receptor on epithelial cells of the GI tract.
Synergy completed a positive Phase I study of plecanatide in healthy
volunteers, and positive Phase IIa and large multicenter clinical trial in
patients with chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC). Synergy is also
developing plecanatide for the treatment of constipation-predominant irritable
bowel syndrome (IBS-C), having initiated the first trial in IBS-C patients in
late 2012. Synergy's second GC-C agonist, SP-333, is in clinical development
to treat inflammatory bowel diseases, and has recently completed its first
Phase I trial in healthy volunteers. More information is available at
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking within the
meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These
statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking words such as
"plan," "expect," "anticipate," "believe," "forecast," "estimated" and
"intend," among others. These forward-looking statements are based on
Synergy's current expectations and actual results could differ materially.
These statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding our
expectations regarding clinical trials, the timing of clinical results,
development timelines and regulatory filings and submissions for our product
candidates, our current Phase 2b 90-day clinical trial of plecanatide in IBS-C
patients, our current Phase 1b clinical trial of SP-333, our intention to
initiate a Phase 1 clinical trial of SP-333 for the treatment of ulcerative
colitis during the second half of 2012, our liquidity and our expectations
regarding our needs for and ability to raise additional capital and the
amount, and our expected uses, of the net proceeds of this offering. Synergy
does not undertake an obligation to update or revise any forward-looking
statement. These forward-looking statements are based on our current
expectations and projections about future events and they are subject to risks
and uncertainties known and unknown to us that could cause actual results and
developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such
statements, including the risks described under "Risk Factors" in our Annual
Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012 and other periodic
reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
CONTACT: Media Contact:
The Trout Group
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