Acacia Pharma Founder Dr. Julian Gilbert steps down - Michael Bolinder, Chief Commercial Officer, becomes CEO in Planned Succession

This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No 596/2014.

Cambridge, UK and Indianapolis, US – Acacia Pharma Group plc (“Acacia Pharma”, the "Company”, the “Group”), (EURONEXT: ACPH), a pharmaceutical company developing and commercialising hospital products for US and international markets, announces that its founder,  Dr Julian Gilbert will step down as Chief Executive Officer and as a Director of the Company on 31 July 2019. He will be succeeded by Michael Bolinder, the Group’s Chief Commercial Officer, who will join the Board of the Company at that time. 
                         
This change is the result of a succession planning exercise undertaken by the Board over the last year and reflects that the Group’s primary focus will be the commercialisation of BARHEMSYS® in the US market.

Mike Bolinder has worked with Acacia Pharma for the last four years and has extensive knowledge of the post-operative nausea and vomiting (PONV) market, and the opportunity BARHEMSYS is expected to address once approved.  Moreover, Mike brings significant commercial expertise with more than 17 years of highly relevant experience in the pharmaceutical industry.

Prior to joining Acacia Pharma, Mike was Head of Marketing and Commercial Strategy for the hospital division of Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals. He joined Mallinckrodt upon its acquisition of Cadence Pharmaceuticals, Inc. which commercialised Ofirmev®, a post-operative pain control product promoted to anaesthetists and surgical teams. Previously he worked at Eli Lilly and Company for 11 years in various sales and marketing roles of increasing responsibility across multiple therapeutic areas and on several successful product launches. Mike graduated from Florida State University with double majors in International Business and Spanish.

Dr. Patrick Vink, Chairman of Acacia Pharma, said “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Julian for his vision in creating Acacia Pharma some 12 years ago and his perseverance and skill in identifying the opportunity in PONV. His contributions to discovering and formulating the BARHEMSYS product and the successful clinical programme were of immense value,  as was his drive in building the strong patent protection and commercial operations that should ensure the Company can deliver on the significant, long-lasting opportunity for the product once approved. I am delighted to confirm that Julian has agreed to continue to share his knowledge and expertise with the Company for a time to come and we wish him well in the future.” 

He added, “The Board is delighted to welcome Mike as Chief Executive Officer and as a Director. He has already made a significant contribution to the Company’s recent progress, particularly in building our high-quality US commercial operations by attracting excellent team members with highly relevant experience. He also played a key role in Acacia’s IPO. Mike’s experience at Mallinckrodt and Lilly will be invaluable as we continue to prepare for the US launch of BARHEMSYS, which is expected early next year.”


Contacts

Acacia Pharma Group plc

Christine Soden, CFO
+44 1223 919760
IR@acaciapharma.com

Citigate Dewe Rogerson (Financial PR) 
Mark Swallow, Shabnam Bashir, David Dible
+44 20 7638 9571
acaciapharma@citigatedewerogerson.com

About PONV

PONV is a common complication of surgery, occurring in approximately 30% of surgical patients and up to 80% of high-risk patients. It is associated with the use of anaesthetic gases and opioid pain-killers and is particularly common following gynaecological, abdominal, breast, eye and ear operations, especially those lasting an hour or more.

The Company estimates that approximately 65 million surgical procedures are conducted in the US each year that require injectable analgesia and are eligible for antiemetic use to prevent PONV. Based on market research, Acacia Pharma estimates that the total market in the US for prophylactic and rescue treatment comprises an estimated 34 million treatment events annually.

PONV has been ranked as the most undesirable of all surgical complications by patients and contributes significantly to patient anxiety and distress. PONV can delay hospital discharge; result in re-admission after in-patient procedures; and lead to day-case patients being admitted to hospital, all of which can result in significantly increased healthcare costs.

About Acacia Pharma

The Group's lead project, BARHEMSYS® for post-operative nausea & vomiting (PONV), has generated positive results in four Phase 3 clinical studies. Its sister project, APD403 for chemotherapy induced nausea & vomiting (CINV), has successfully completed one proof-of-concept and one Phase 2 dose-ranging study in patients receiving highly emetogenic chemotherapy.

Acacia Pharma is based in Cambridge, UK and Indianapolis, IN. The Company is listed on the Euronext Brussels exchange under the under ISIN code GB00BYWF9Y76 and ticker symbol ACPH. www.acaciapharma.com

Forward looking statement

This announcement includes forward-looking statements, which are based on current expectations and projections about future events. These statements may include, without limitation, any statements preceded by, followed by or including words such as “believe”, “expect”, “intend”, “may”, “plan”, “will”, “should”, “could” and other words and terms of similar meaning or the negative thereof. Forward-looking statements may and often do differ materially from actual results. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions about the Company and its subsidiaries and investments, including, among other things, the development of its business, trends in its operating industry, and future capital expenditures and acquisitions. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to future events and circumstances. Any forward-looking statements reflect the Company's current view with respect to future events and are subject to risks relating to future events and other risks, uncertainties and assumptions relating to the Group's business, results of operations, financial position, prospectus, growth or strategies and the industry in which it operates. Save as required by law or applicable regulation, the Company and its affiliates expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking to update, review or revise any forward-looking statement contained in this announcement whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made.

Nice Insight

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Acacia Pharma

Acacia Pharma is a hospital pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of new nausea & vomiting treatments for surgical and cancer patients. The Group has identified important and commercially attractive unmet needs in nausea & vomiting and has discovered two product candidates based on the same active ingredient, amisulpride, to meet those needs.