TORRANCE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Emmaus Life Sciences, Inc. (Emmaus), having initiated the commercial roll-out of Endari™ (L-glutamine oral powder), its prescription drug for sickle cell disease, has strengthened its operations by appointing Mr. Kurt Kruger as Chief Financial Officer and Mr. Daniel Frey as Controller. Mr. Kruger succeeds Willis C. Lee, who will continue as the company’s Chief Operating Officer and Vice Chairman of Emmaus. Endari™ was approved by the FDA in July 2017 to reduce the acute complications of sickle cell disease in adult and pediatric patients 5 years and older.
“We’re excited to have both Kruger and Frey join our management team as we continue the transition to a commercial-stage company,” said Yutaka Niihara, MD, MPH, Chairman and CEO of Emmaus Life Sciences. “With approval by the FDA last year to market Endari™, we have dramatically increased our sales and marketing activities. Kruger’s and Frey’s financial and operational expertise and leadership will further advance these efforts.”
Mr. Kurt Kruger, Chief Financial Officer
Until recently, Mr. Kruger headed up the life sciences investment banking group for WR Hambrecht + Co. With a 30-plus year career in the life sciences industry, his experience ranges from product design as a biomedical engineer to raising capital for, and following, publicly-traded medical products companies.
Early in his career, he served as a marketing manager for CPI/Guidant, now Boston Scientific, a large pacemaker company, where he developed the launch plans for the first-ever implantable defibrillator. Mr. Kruger then went on to Wall Street where he continued to work in life sciences as a high-profile equities research analyst for two well-regarded investment banks, Hambrecht & Quist and Montgomery Securities (Banc of America Securities), firms that played significant roles in funding many of the notable biotechnology and medical products companies such as Genentech, Amgen, Ventritex, Cytyc and Kyphon.
Mr. Kruger received an Sc.B. degree in Biomedical Engineering from Brown University, a Master’s degree in Bioengineering from the University of Michigan, and a business degree (S.M.) from the Sloan School at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He also completed the premedical post-baccalaureate program at Columbia University.
Mr. Daniel Frey, Controller
Mr. Frey has more than 20 years of financial experience, both domestically and internationally, in privately held and publicly-traded companies, as well as government organizations. He possesses extensive experience reporting financial results to board of directors, investors, executive and audit committees under United States GAAP, as well as, SEC reporting guidelines.
Mr. Frey began his career in the Los Angeles offices of PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Since then he has held senior financial management roles at Occidental Petroleum Corporation, Digicel, a multinational Jamaica-based cellular service provider, United States Agency for International Development, TPx Communications, a communications and network provider, and as a financial consultant at Toyota Financial Services and Willis Tower Watson, a global multinational risk management company.
Mr. Frey is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive) in California and received a B.S. in Business Administration from California State University, Northridge.
Important Safety Information
The most common adverse reactions (incidence>10 percent) in clinical studies were constipation, nausea, headache, abdominal pain, cough, pain in extremities, back pain and chest pain.
Adverse reactions leading to the treatment discontinuation included one case each of hypersplenism, abdominal pain, dyspepsia, burning sensation and hot flash.
The safety and efficacy of Endari™ in pediatric patients with sickle cell disease younger than five years of age has not been established.
For more information, please see the full Prescribing Information of Endari™ at www.ENDARIrx.com/PI.
About Emmaus Life Sciences
Emmaus Life Sciences, Inc. is engaged in the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative treatments and therapies for rare diseases. The company’s research on sickle cell disease was initiated by Yutaka Niihara, MD, MPH, Chairman and CEO of Emmaus, at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. For more information, please visit www.emmausmedical.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, regarding the commercialization of Endari™ and related matters. Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and involve inherent risks and uncertainties, including factors that could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from current expectations. These risks and uncertainties are described in reports filed by Emmaus Life Sciences, Inc. with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Emmaus is providing this information as of the date of this press release and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.