Southampton, UK – 2 April 2008 – Innovative pharmaceutical company Karus Therapeutics Ltd has today announced that Ann Hacker has joined the company’s board as an independent non-executive director. Ann brings substantial experience of senior management and corporate governance gained in major pharmaceutical and VC-backed biotechnology companies, which will support Karus’s continued growth and success.
Ann has worked in the healthcare industry for over 30 years and has held senior management positions with Lilly Industries Limited and GSK (formerly Glaxo Pharmaceuticals Plc) as well as having been CEO of three VC-backed life science companies: Biocompatibles International Plc, Deltex Medical Group Limited and Metris Therapeutics Limited. Until 2007 she was a non-executive director of Antisoma. Ann is currently a non-executive director of Frimley Park NHS Foundation Trust Hospital and of Noble Health Fund VCT Plc and is also a Trustee of the William Harvey Research Foundation.
Karus is developing new medicines to treat cancer and inflammatory disease. The company’s first programs are built on a new class of high-potency histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor known as OS-HDI. There is intense pharmaceutical industry interest in HDAC inhibitors, which can slow abnormal tumor-cell growth, cause tumor cell death and correct abnormal cell differentiation. Karus’s OS-HDI drugs are thought to be the most potent histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors known. They are highly selective for HDAC, have a distinctive efficacy profile and are well tolerated in vivo. Consequently, Karus believes that these compounds have best-in-class potential in the treatment of cancer and inflammatory disease.
Karus’s OS-HDI are expected to offer patients the promise of a potent and safer treatment for cancer and inflammatory diseases. Karus has two development programs, one in cancer and one in psoriasis and has initiated further programs in other disease areas, including rheumatoid arthritis and organ transplant rejection.
“We are delighted that Ann has decided to join Karus’s board” said Drummond Paris, Non-Executive Chairman of Karus Therapeutics, “her experience in a wide range of life science companies, from major pharma to innovative biotech, will be extremely valuable as Karus develops”.
“I am looking forward to joining Karus’s board at a key time in the company’s development” said Ann Hacker, “Karus has already assembled a strong management team and board and I l look forward to working with them to make the company a success”.
Karus was created in July 2005 to develop a new family of highly potent, optimized HDAC inhibitors that were identified at the University of Southampton and Cancer Research UK as part of collaborative research conducted between Professor Graham Packham, Dr Ganesan and Dr Paul Townsend.