CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BIND Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: BIND), a clinical-stage nanomedicine platform company developing targeted and programmable therapeutics called Accurins™, today announced that Andrew Hirsch has been appointed the acting president and chief executive officer of the Company. Mr. Hirsch was formerly BIND’s chief operating officer and chief financial officer and replaces Scott Minick, who will remain a member of BIND’s Board of Directors. BIND intends to announce a permanent CEO following an expeditious evaluation of internal and external candidates.
“BIND is well-positioned to continue as a leader in nanomedicine and we are excited to have Andrew take on this important leadership role at BIND,” said Daniel Lynch, Chairman of BIND’s Board of Directors. “In working with Andrew over the past two years, the Board has recognized his strong operational execution and leadership capabilities, and we are highly confident that he will continue providing high-quality leadership in his role as acting president and CEO. We want to thank Scott for his commitment and leadership over the last five years and support his decision to return to the West Coast for the next chapter of his career.”
“I believe Accurins have demonstrated the potential to become a major new therapeutic modality for patients and I am excited by the confidence the Board has placed in me,” said Mr. Hirsch. “My vision for BIND is to extend our leadership in the space by gaining approval of the first Accurin nanomedicine, advancing and building our proprietary oncology pipeline and applying our technology in new therapeutic approaches like immuno-oncology, DNA-based therapeutics and novel targeting methods. We’ve only scratched the surface of what our platform can do, and we intend to continue building on the foundation that the Company has established under Scott’s leadership to bring promising new medicines to patients and drive value for our shareholders.”
Prior to joining BIND, Mr. Hirsch was chief financial officer at Avila Therapeutics until its acquisition by Celgene, Inc., in March 2012. Previously, Mr. Hirsch served in roles of increasing responsibility during his nearly 10 year tenure at Biogen Idec, most recently as vice president, Corporate Strategy and M&A, where he played a key role in evaluating new strategies for the company and identifying strategic M&A opportunities. While at Biogen Idec, Mr. Hirsch also served as Program Executive for the Tecfidera development team, leading the successful transition from phase 2 to phase 3 clinical trials. He holds a Masters of Business Administration from the Tuck School at Dartmouth College and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.
“Prior to joining BIND as CEO five years ago, I saw the potential for BIND’s nanomedicine platform to create breakthrough targeted therapies and felt the science was compelling enough that I moved from a top-tier venture fund on the West Coast to Cambridge,” said Mr. Minick. “Now that we have a strong leadership team in place, clinical validation of our lead product and platform, a robust pipeline, multiple strategic collaborations and are in a strong financial position, the timing is right for me to return to my family and career on the West Coast having accomplished the goals we set when I arrived. I believe BIND is in excellent hands with Andrew driving the Company forward.”
In connection with Mr. Hirsch’s new role, BIND announced the following key new hires, as well as management and organizational changes:
Key additions to the BIND scientific leadership team:
- Margaret Read, Ph.D., has joined BIND as vice president, Biology. In this position, Dr. Read will play a key role in defining strategic direction for the Company’s Accurin product portfolio. Dr. Read has worked as a consultant with BIND for the past year and was formerly vice president, Product Development, at Infinity Pharmaceuticals. Prior to Infinity, Dr. Read was director of Cell and Molecular Oncology at Millennium.
- David Mantus, Ph.D., has joined BIND as vice president, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance. Dr. Mantus will be responsible for the development and implementation of BIND’s regulatory strategy and lead all interactions with healthcare regulatory authorities. Dr. Mantus was formerly vice president, Regulatory Affairs, at Cubist Pharmaceuticals.
Key organizational changes:
- Dan Koerwer has been appointed chief business officer. In this capacity, Mr. Koerwer will be responsible for business development, commercialization and program and alliance management. Mr. Koerwer joined BIND in 2010 as head of Business Development and was most recently senior vice president, Business Development and Commercial. In this role, he successfully led the creation of key strategic collaborations with AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Merck, Roche and Amgen. Mr. Koerwer is a member of the executive leadership team.
- Hagop Youssoufian, M.Sc., M.D., who joined BIND as chief medical officer in 2014, will continue to lead the Company’s clinical development programs and will take on added responsibility for Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance at BIND in anticipation of advancing BIND-014 into phase 3 pivotal trials. Dr. Youssoufian will continue as a member of BIND’s executive leadership team.
- Chris Lindblom has been promoted to senior vice president, Finance and Administration. In his new role, he will manage operating performance and financing activities, as well as join the executive leadership team. Mr. Lindblom joined BIND in 2014 as vice president, Finance. He previously worked as vice president of Finance and Treasurer at OvaScience and held roles with increasing responsibilities, including vice president of accounting and financial planning, at Infinity Pharmaceuticals.
“The addition of Margaret and David, together with Hagop, Dan and Chris taking on expanded roles, gives us a team with the deep experience needed to take BIND to the next level,” continued Mr. Hirsch. “I am excited about the opportunities in front of us and confident in the team we have in place to achieve them.”
About BIND Therapeutics
BIND Therapeutics is a clinical-stage nanomedicine platform company developing a pipeline of Accurins, its novel targeted therapeutics designed to increase the concentration and duration of therapeutic payloads at disease sites while reducing exposure to healthy tissue. BIND is leveraging its Medicinal Nanoengineering platform to develop a pipeline of Accurins targeting hematological and solid tumors and has a number of strategic collaborations with biopharmaceutical companies to develop Accurins in areas of high unmet need. BIND's lead drug candidate, BIND-014, is a prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) -targeted Accurin that contains docetaxel, a clinically-validated and widely-used cancer chemotherapy drug. BIND-014 is currently in development for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, or NSCLC, in patients with KRAS mutations or squamous histology. In addition, BIND plans to initiate clinical trials with BIND-014 in cervical, bladder, head and neck and cholangio cancers in 2015. BIND is also advancing BIND-510, its second PSMA-targeted Accurin drug candidate containing vincristine, a potent microtubule inhibitor with dose limiting peripheral neuropathy in its conventional form, through important preclinical studies to position it for an Investigational New Drug (IND) application filing with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2016. Lastly, BIND is developing Accurins designed to inhibit PLK1 and KSP, both of which BIND believes are promising anti-mitotic targets that have been limited in the clinic due to myelotoxicity prior to reaching therapeutic doses.
BIND has announced ongoing collaborations with Pfizer Inc., AstraZeneca AB, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. and Merck & Co., or Merck (known as Merck Sharp & Dohme outside the United States and Canada), to develop Accurins based on their proprietary therapeutic payloads and targeting ligands.
Forward-Looking Statements Disclaimer
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements contained in this press release that do not relate to matters of historical fact should be considered forward-looking statements, including statements regarding our intentions regarding a permanent chief executive officer; beliefs that Accurins have the potential to become a major new therapeutic modality; goals to gain approval of the first Accurin nanomedicine, advance and build BIND’s proprietary oncology pipeline and apply BIND’s technology in new therapeutic approaches; expectations regarding BIND’s nanomedicine platform; expectations regarding our leadership team and opportunities; and financial position.
These forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the following: the fact that the Company has incurred significant losses since its inception and expects to incur losses for the foreseeable future; the Company’s need for additional funding, which may not be available; raising additional capital may cause dilution to its stockholders or require it to relinquish rights to its technologies or drug candidates; the Company’s limited operating history; failure to use and expand its medicinal nanoengineering platform to build a pipeline of drug candidates and develop marketable drugs; the early stage of the Company’s development efforts with only one drug candidate in clinical development; failure of the Company or its collaborators to successfully develop and commercialize drug candidates; clinical drug development involves a lengthy and expensive process, with an uncertain outcome; delays or difficulties in the enrollment of patients in clinical trials; serious adverse or unacceptable side effects or limited efficacy observed during the development of the Company’s drug candidates; inability to maintain any of the Company’s collaborations, or the failure of these collaborations; the Company’s reliance on third parties to conduct its clinical trials and manufacture its drug candidates; the Company’s inability to obtain required regulatory approvals; any conclusion by the FDA that BIND-014 does not satisfy the requirements for approval under the Section 505(b)(2) regulatory approval pathway; the inability to obtain orphan drug exclusivity for drug candidates; failure to obtain marketing approval in international jurisdictions; any post-marketing restrictions or withdrawals from the market; effects of recently enacted and future legislation; failure to comply with environmental, health and safety laws and regulations; failure to achieve market acceptance by physicians, patients, or third-party payors; failure to establish effective sales, marketing and distribution capabilities or enter into agreements with third parties with such capabilities; effects of substantial competition; unfavorable pricing regulations, third-party reimbursement practices or healthcare reform initiatives; product liability lawsuits; failure to retain key executives and attract, retain and motivate qualified personnel; difficulties in managing our growth; risks associated with operating internationally, including the possibility of sanctions with respect to our operations in Russia; failure to obtain and maintain patent protection for or otherwise protect our technology and products; effects of patent or other intellectual property lawsuits; the eligibility of a significant portion of the Company’s total outstanding shares to be sold into the market, which could cause the market price of its common stock to drop significantly; increased costs as a result of operating as a public company; and any securities class action litigation. These and other important factors discussed under the caption "Risk Factors" in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, on November 6, 2014, and our other reports filed with the SEC could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements made in this press release. Any such forward-looking statements represent management's estimates as of the date of this press release. While we may elect to update such forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we disclaim any obligation to do so, even if subsequent events cause our views to change. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.