Anika Therapeutics Appoints Industry-Recognized R&D Executive John W.
Sheets, Jr., Ph.D. as Chief Scientific Officer
Anika Also Announces Resignation of COO Frank Luppino
BEDFORD, Mass. -- October 2, 2013
Anika Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ANIK), a leader in products for tissue
protection, healing and repair, based on hyaluronic acid (“HA”) technology,
today announced it has appointed John W. Sheets, Jr., Ph.D. as its new Chief
Scientific Officer. Dr. Sheets joins Anika from Boston Scientific, where he
was Senior Vice President, Corporate Research. At Boston Scientific, he was
responsible for revitalizing product development by establishing new global
processes, creating worldwide technology strategies, and establishing new
product sourcing and development networks with a focus on emerging markets.
Dr. Sheets replaces Jing-wen Kuo, Ph.D. who is leaving to pursue other
opportunities at the end of October. In addition to driving Anika’s research
and development efforts, Dr. Sheets is leading the company’s regulatory,
clinical affairs and engineering functions. These previously were overseen by
COO Frank Luppino, who is leaving Anika at the end of October to pursue other
interests. Mr. Luppino’s remaining responsibilities are being smoothly
transitioned to existing senior executives, with operations management
reporting directly at the CEO level.
“John’s appointment as Chief Scientific Officer to oversee our technology and
pipeline development provides us with significantly stronger leadership in
those critical areas,” said Charles H. Sherwood, Ph.D., Anika’s President and
CEO. “His R&D expertise, multi-national partnership experience, and business
acumen will be valuable assets as we advance Anika’s strategic initiatives and
prepare the company for the next level of growth. As we welcome John, we also
would like to thank Frank and Jing-wen for their many contributions to Anika’s
Prior to his work at Boston Scientific, Dr. Sheets was Corporate Vice
President of R&D and Chief Technology Officer for Bausch and Lomb. He also
served as President of Hoya Surgical Optics and worked for Ethicon (Johnson &
Johnson), Alcon Laboratories and Iolab Corporation (Johnson & Johnson) in
California. Dr. Sheets holds a B.S., a M.S., and a Ph.D. in Materials Science
and Engineering from the University of Florida, Gainesville.
About Anika Therapeutics, Inc.
Headquartered in Bedford, Mass., Anika Therapeutics, Inc. develops,
manufactures and commercializes therapeutic products for tissue protection,
healing, and repair. These products are based on hyaluronic acid (HA), a
naturally occurring, biocompatible polymer found throughout the body. Anika’s
products range from orthopedic/joint health solutions led by Orthovisc^®, a
treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee; to surgical aids in the
anti-adhesion and ophthalmic fields. The company also offers aesthetic dermal
fillers for the correction of facial wrinkles. Anika’s Italian subsidiary,
Anika Therapeutics, S.r.l., provides complementary HA products in
orthopedic/joint health and anti-adhesion, as well as therapeutics in areas
such as advanced wound treatment and ear, nose and throat care. Its
regenerative technology advances Anika’s vision to offer therapeutic products
that go beyond pain relief to protect and restore damaged tissues.
The statements made in this press release which are not statements of
historical fact are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section
27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These statements include, but are
not limited to, those relating to the appointment of John Sheets, Jr., Ph.D.
as Anika’s Chief Scientific Officer; the departure of Jing-wen Kuo, Ph.D. as
the company’s Chief Scientific Officer; the departure of Frank Luppino as the
company’s Chief Operating Officer; the nature and successful transition of Mr.
Luppino’s responsibilities to existing senior executives; and the impact of
management changes on its development initiatives and preparation of the
company for the next level of growth. The company's actual results could
differ materially from any anticipated future results, performance or
achievements described in the forward-looking statements as a result of a
number of factors including (i) the company's ability to successfully commence
and/or complete clinical trials of its products on a timely basis or at all,
obtain pre-clinical or clinical data to support a pre-market approval
application or 510(k) application, or timely file and receive FDA or other
regulatory approvals or clearances of its products, or that such approvals
will not be obtained in a timely manner or without the need for additional
clinical trials, other testing or regulatory submissions, as applicable; (ii)
the company's research and product development efforts and their relative
success, including whether the company has any meaningful sales of any new
products resulting from such efforts; (iii) the cost effectiveness and
efficiency of the company’s clinical studies, manufacturing operations and
production planning; (iv) the strength of the economies in which the company
operates or will be operating, as well as the political stability of any of
those geographic areas; (v) future determinations by the company to allocate
resources to products and in directions not presently contemplated; (vi) the
company’s ability to launch Monovisc in the U.S., if at all; (vii) the
company’s ability to provide an adequate and timely supply of its ophthalmic,
Orthovisc and other products to its customers; (viii) the company’s ability to
successfully manage and turnaround Anika S.r.l.’s business; and (ix) the
company’s ability to achieve its stated growth targets. Certain other factors
that might cause the company's actual results to differ materially from those
in the forward-looking statements include those set forth under the headings
"Business," "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of
Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in the company's Annual Report
on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012, as well as those described
in the company's other press releases and SEC filings.
Anika Therapeutics, Inc.
Charles H. Sherwood, Ph.D., President and CEO
Sylvia Cheung, CFO
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