Oncopeptides Welcomes New Board Member – Luigi Costa
Oncopeptides AB, a clinical stage company developing an effective, peptidase targeted therapy for the treatment of multiple myeloma announces the appointment of Luigi Costa to its Board of Directors.
Mr Costa, currently CEO of Nordic Nanovector ASA, a biotech company focused on the development of innovative treatments in hematology and oncology, brings to Oncopeptides more than 20 years’ experience in the international pharmaceutical and biotech industry. Prior to his current position, he was Vice President of Europe, Middle East and Africa for Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. where he led the company’s international organization and the launch of its multiple myeloma drug Kyprolis® outside the USA.
Prior to joining Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Mr. Costa held various leadership positions at Amgen, including Head of International Oncology Franchise, General Manager of Amgen Italy and President of Amgen France, the company’s then largest market outside the USA. He has also held various leadership positions with Eli Lilly both in Europe and America.
“Luigi further strengthens the Board’s breadth of talent; he brings valuable international development and commercialization experience in the hematology/oncology area in general and in multiple myeloma specifically. We are delighted to welcome such an outstanding individual to the Board” said Alan Hulme, Chairman of Oncopeptides.
Mr Costa commented: “I am delighted to join Oncopeptide’s Board and to have the opportunity to contribute to the Company’s development at such an important stage. Multiple myeloma is a very severe disease and looking at the phase II data, melflufen represents significant promise for patients. I look forward to working with the Board and management and applying my experience to help maximize the Company’s potential”.
Multiple myeloma is the second most common hematological cancer. In 2016 it is estimated that in the US there will be 30,330 new cases, with an estimated 12,650 people dying from the disease1, which carries a five-year survival rate of 48.5% (1).
Oncopeptides is a clinical stage pharmaceutical company developing oncology therapies centered around peptidase targeting. Melflufen – Oncopeptides’ lead compound in clinical development – is a peptidase targeted therapy and a potent anti-angiogenic compound. It triggers rapid, robust and irreversible DNA damage and manifests its cytotoxicity through alkylation of DNA. Many peptidases that are overexpressed in cancer cells, such as tumor cells in multiple myeloma, cleave melflufen so that the concentration of active compound increases in the malignant cells. This results in targeted delivery of the molecule and more effective treatment of the disease. Oncopeptides is currently concluding a Phase II clinical trial with melflufen in patients with relapsed and relapsed-refractory multiple myeloma. The study is being carried out across seven centers: in Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the US (three centers) – with Dana Faber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA being the lead investigator site.