NAEJA-RGM Pharmaceuticals Inc.: A Re-Awakening of Canada’s Best-Kept-Secret for Pharmaceutical Research
EDMONTON, Alberta--(BUSINESS WIRE)--NAEJA-RGM Pharmaceuticals Inc. announces it is now in operation. NAEJA-RGM’s predecessor, NAEJA Pharmaceutical Inc., was a quiet giant in the pharmaceutical industry with multiple long term partnerships with major international pharmaceutical companies and a track-record unique amongst the players in the field of infectious disease research. NAEJA-RGM Pharmaceuticals Inc. will continue this work.
“We have a team of international experts in beta-lactam chemistry. To lose that knowledge and expertise with the closing of the original NAEJA Pharmaceuticals is just not an outcome we were willing to accept.”
After NAEJA Pharmaceutical Inc.'s management made an unsuccessful proposal to the company's creditors under the Bankruptcy & Insolvency Act in February 2016, NAEJA’s assets were placed in the hands of a Bankruptcy Trustee. Celine Micetich, the 84-year-old widow of the original founder, Dr. Ronald G. Micetich, was determined not to lose her husband’s life’s work. “My husband was a brilliant researcher, respected by his peers and loved by his employees. He devoted his entire life to the pursuit of treatments for devastating medical conditions. I was very saddened to hear that the company had financial problems. I could not sit by without doing everything in my power to save his legacy.” Mrs. Micetich rescued NAEJA's assets from its Bankruptcy Trustee, including its intellectual property, with a view towards carrying on Dr. Micetich's legacy.
In an effort to recreate her late husband’s “science-first” view of how a drug discovery company should operate, Celine Micetich brought together a new management team to rebuild and restructure operations and has personally funded all initial start-up costs. The management team secured research space in the original building occupied by NAEJA Pharmaceutical Inc. and hired key former NAEJA Pharmaceutical Inc. scientific and administrative staff. One of the most important assets acquired by NAEJA-RGM was an on-going research and development project for a new antibiotic with exciting early-stage results and a provisional patent. NAEJA-RGM commenced operations in July 2016 and met its deadline to file a full patent for this new antibiotic in December 2016. Since January 2017 NAEJA-RGM has been performing the pre-clinical work necessary to bring this exciting new antibiotic to market.
Celine’s late husband, Dr. Ronald G. Micetich, was a research giant, recipient of numerous biotech awards and inducted into the Alberta Biotech Hall of Fame posthumously in 2007. His early research gave the world Zosyn™, a combination of Tazobactam (a beta-lactamase inhibitor created by Micetich’s team) and Piperacillin, used to treat drug-resistant bacterial infections in hospitals around the world. Zosyn™ sales continue to generate more than $1 billion annually. Dr. Ronald G. Micetich’s work also resulted in the creation of Mofezolac, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory known as Disopain™ and N-22. Disopain™ and N-22 are currently distributed worldwide with annual sales in excess of $100 million. Other drug research and development projects from Dr. Micetich’s team are currently in varying stages of clinical development.
The origins of NAEJA-RGM Pharmaceuticals date back to 1987 when Dr. Ronald G. Micetich created a drug research joint-venture company, SynPhar Laboratories Inc., with Taiho Pharmaceuticals Ltd., a major Japanese research company. In 1999, the decision was made to dissolve SynPhar and disentangle assets owned by Dr. Ronald G. Micetich from assets owned by Taiho. The result was the establishment of NAEJA Pharmaceutical Inc., a 100% family-owned company founded in August 1999. Dr. Micetich was NAEJA Pharmaceutical Inc.’s President and Chief Executive Officer until his death in 2005.
When the pharmaceutical research and development industry began to change in the mid ‘90’s, NAEJA Pharmaceutical Inc. took on contract research work while continuing to pursue its own discovery projects. The most recent NAEJA success story is a beta-lactamase inhibitor discovered, developed and patented by NAEJA Pharmaceutical’s research and development team. This NAEJA in-house project was eventually licensed and then sold to a local Edmonton company that subsequently licensed it to a major European pharmaceutical company in a transaction with an estimated value of US$750 million.
“Our father was a collaborative researcher,” says Brenda Micetich Weiermair, the new CEO of NAEJA-RGM Pharmaceuticals Inc. “He spent years transferring his knowledge to his staff, guiding his team in intellectual and technical approaches to solve seemingly impossible chemistry problems.” Deborah Micetich Helfrich, President and COO of the new company, adds “We have a team of international experts in beta-lactam chemistry. To lose that knowledge and expertise with the closing of the original NAEJA Pharmaceuticals is just not an outcome we were willing to accept.”
About NAEJA-RGM Pharmaceuticals Inc.
NAEJA-RGM Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a global, early-stage drug discovery company with a promising new antibiotic project currently in preclinical development. NAEJA-RGM has other projects in various stages of development as well as a compound library developed over many years by Dr. Ronald G. Micetich’s drug discovery team. The headquarters and laboratories are located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.