Appointment Strengthens Management Team as Company Advances Clinical Development of Voxelotor, a Potential Disease-Modifying Therapy for Sickle Cell Disease
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., March 06, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc. (GBT or the “Company”) (Nasdaq:GBT) today announced the appointment of David L. Johnson as chief commercial officer, effective March 12, 2018. Mr. Johnson joins GBT from Gilead Sciences, Inc., where he was vice president, sales and marketing, Liver Disease Business Unit. At GBT, Mr. Johnson will create and lead the Company’s commercial operations, where he will be responsible for building and leading sales, marketing, business analytics and market access. GBT is currently developing voxelotor (previously called GBT440) as a potentially disease- modifying therapy for sickle cell disease (SCD).
“David is a seasoned and accomplished executive with an extensive track record of success in building commercial infrastructures and launching specialty pharmaceuticals during his more than 25 years in the biopharmaceutical industry,” said Ted W. Love, M.D., president and chief executive officer of GBT. “His leadership, strategic vision, execution and operational excellence will be invaluable in building our commercial operations as we continue to advance the clinical development of voxelotor and as we look to expand our pipeline.”
“I am excited to join GBT at this important time as the Company advances toward its goal of commercializing voxelotor for the potential treatment of SCD,” said Mr. Johnson. “I look forward to working with GBT’s leadership team and using my experience to build its sales, marketing and commercial organization in preparation for the potential launch of voxelotor, as well as future product candidates.”
Mr. Johnson spent 15 years at Gilead, where he held roles of increasing responsibility in the company’s commercial organization. He was instrumental in the commercial launch of Gilead’s hepatitis C treatments Sovaldi®, Harvoni®, Epclusa® and Vosevi®, and its hepatitis B treatment Vemlidy®. As vice president, sales and marketing, for Gilead’s Antiviral Business Unit, he launched the HIV treatments Complera® and Stribild®. Before Gilead, Mr. Johnson had an 11-year tenure at Glaxo Smith Kline, where he held various positions in sales, product marketing, business development, global commercial strategy and portfolio development. He received a B.A. in business marketing from the University of Puget Sound and an M.B.A. from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina.
About Voxelotor in Sickle Cell Disease
Voxelotor (previously called GBT440) is being developed as an oral, once-daily therapy for patients with SCD. Voxelotor works by increasing hemoglobin's affinity for oxygen. Since oxygenated sickle hemoglobin does not polymerize, GBT believes voxelotor blocks polymerization and the resultant sickling of red blood cells. With the potential to restore normal hemoglobin function and improve oxygen delivery, GBT believes that voxelotor may potentially modify the course of SCD. In recognition of the critical need for new SCD treatments, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted voxelotor Fast Track, Orphan Drug, Rare Pediatric Disease and Breakthrough Therapy designations for the treatment of patients with SCD. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has included voxelotor in its Priority Medicines (PRIME) program, and the European Commission (EC) has designated voxelotor as an orphan medicinal product for the treatment of patients with SCD.
GBT is currently evaluating voxelotor in the HOPE (Hemoglobin Oxygen Affinity Modulation to Inhibit HbS PolymErization) Study, a Phase 3 clinical study in patients age 12 and older with SCD. Additionally, voxelotor is being studied in the ongoing Phase 2a HOPE-KIDS 1 Study, an open-label, single- and multiple-dose study in pediatric patients (age 6 to 17) with SCD. HOPE-KIDS 1 is assessing the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and exploratory treatment effect of voxelotor.
About Global Blood Therapeutics
GBT is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company determined to discover, develop and deliver innovative treatments that provide hope to underserved patient communities. GBT is developing its lead product candidate, voxelotor, as an oral, once-daily therapy for sickle cell disease. To learn more, please visit www.gbt.com and follow the Company on Twitter @GBT_news.
Statements we make in this press release may include statements that are not historical facts and are considered forward-looking 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. We intend these forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the therapeutic potential and safety profile of voxelotor (previously called GBT440), our ability to implement and complete our clinical development plans for voxelotor, our ability to build our sales and marketing organization in preparation for a potential launch of voxelotor, regulatory review and actions relating to voxelotor, the potential expansion of our pipeline of future product candidates, and the timing of these events, to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act and are making this statement for purposes of complying with those safe harbor provisions. These forward-looking statements reflect our current views about our plans, intentions, expectations, strategies and prospects, which are based on the information currently available to us and on assumptions we have made. We can give no assurance that the plans, intentions, expectations or strategies will be attained or achieved, and furthermore, actual results may differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements and will be affected by a variety of risks and factors that are beyond our control including, without limitation, the risks that our clinical and preclinical development activities may be delayed or terminated for a variety of reasons, that results of clinical trials may be subject to differing interpretations, that regulatory authorities may disagree with our clinical development plans or require additional studies or data to support further clinical investigation of our product candidates, that drug-related adverse events may be observed in clinical development, that data and results may not meet regulatory requirements or otherwise be sufficient for further development, regulatory review or approval, that we may be unable to build a commercial function, and that we may be unable to expand our product pipeline, along with those risks set forth in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, as well as discussions of potential risks, uncertainties and other important factors in our subsequent filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Myesha Lacy (investors)
Julie Normart (media)
Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc.