CYGNUS NAMES NEW PRESIDENT AND CEO FORMER CHIRON PRESIDENT JOINS TO LEAD COMMERCIALIZATION
CYGNUS NAMES NEW PRESIDENT AND CEO
FORMER CHIRON PRESIDENT JOINS TO LEAD COMMERCIALIZATION
REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Feb. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Cygnus Therapeutic Systems (NASDAQ: CYGN), a company focused on transdermal drug delivery, today announced that Gregory B. Lawless, Ph.D., former president of Chiron Corporation, has been appointed president and chief executive officer of Cygnus.
"Greg's proven track record in commercializing pharmaceutical and diagnostic products is precisely what Cygnus needs at this stage of our development," said Gary W. Cleary, Ph.D., founder and chairman of the board. "With Nicotrol(TM) 16 hr., our transdermal nicotine product, nearing FDA approval and two more products approaching the end of clinical trials, Cygnus is preparing its transition to profitability."
Dr. Lawless was president and chief operating officer at Chiron Corporation for the last three years and led that company from a $22 million loss in 1989 to profitability over the last six quarters. He led the Chiron team in creating a $200 million diagnostics joint venture with Johnson & Johnson. The joint venture generated over $35 million in earnings for Chiron in 1991. During this three year period, Chiron raised over $300 million from public markets.
"Cygnus has powerful basic technology which has resulted in a series of products with unique competitive advantages. This is especially attractive because we expect the transdermal market, which today exceeds $1 billion, to increase dramatically with the introduction of nicotine patches," Dr. Lawless said. "The company's broad technological base is a tribute to Gary's scientific leadership." Dr. Cleary will continue his active involvement in Cygnus as chief technical officer.
David de Weese, president and chief executive officer, will be leaving his post at Cygnus to help establish a Cygnus-backed start-up company devoted to controlled-release oral drug delivery. "Early R&D at DepoMed Systems is beginning to look promising, and David is interested in devoting his full attention to the venture," Dr. Cleary said. "We are confident David will play a significant role in accelerating the growth of DepoMed just as he did at Cygnus." de Weese will continue to serve on the Cygnus board of directors.
Prior to joining Chiron, Dr. Lawless was with E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. for 20 years. During the last 10 years he held positions in which he was responsible for profit and loss in both diagnostic and pharmaceutical businesses, including two years as chief operating officer of Endo Laboratories, DuPont's pharmaceutical subsidiary. Dr. Lawless earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from Temple University, his M.S. in chemistry from St. John's University in New York and his B.S. in pharmacy at Fordham University, New York.
Headquartered in Redwood City, Calif., Cygnus Therapeutic Systems has approximately 150 employees concentrating on the design, development and manufacture of transdermal drug delivery systems. The company has 13 products in its development pipeline including a nicotine patch, for which an NDA has been filed. Two products are in advanced clinical trials, an estradiol patch for the treatment of the symptoms of menopause and the prevention of osteoporosis, and a fentanyl patch for post-operative pain management. Cygnus has been granted 10 U.S. patents, and has 20 patents pending in the United States and over 312 issued and applied for worldwide covering its transdermal technology.
/CONTACT: Shirley Clayton of Cygnus, 415-369-4300, or Susan Atkins Public Relations, 415-921-5929, for Cygnus/
(CYGN) CO: Cygnus Therapeutic Systems ST: California IN; MTC SU: PER SB -- NYSU002 -- 5985 02/03/92 08:31 EST