ProMIS Neurosciences Adds Pharmaceutical Leader Timothy Rothwell to Board of Advisors

Former Sanofi U.S. Chairman to provide guidance and assistance to ProMIS business development strategies and partnering plans

TORONTO and CAMBRIDGE, MA, Feb. 21, 2019 /PRNewswire/ - ProMIS Neurosciences, Inc. (TSX: PMN) (OTCQB: ARFXF), a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of antibody therapeutics targeting toxic oligomers implicated in the development of neurodegenerative diseases, welcomed Mr. Timothy G. Rothwell to its Business Advisory Board today. Mr. Rothwell is a highly accomplished pharmaceutical leader with more than three decades of experience directing the development and commercialization of new therapies. In his advisory role, Mr. Rothwell will work with ProMIS to provide guidance for business development, particularly as it relates to partnering of ProMIS' neurodegenerative disease programs, which aim to provide disease-modifying therapy for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and ALS by selectively targeting the toxic oligomer, a shared root cause.

Logo: ProMIS Neurosciences Inc. (CNW Group/ProMIS Neurosciences Inc.) (CNW Group/ProMIS Neurosciences Inc.)

Timothy G. Rothwell has been the Chairman of Emisphere Technologies Inc. (OTC: EMIS), since early 2012 and prior to that a Director of the Company. Mr. Rothwell is also the Chairman of Speracura LLC, a healthcare consulting company.

Mr. Rothwell was formerly U.S. Chairman of Sanofi from February 2007 to October 2009. He also served as Chief Executive Officer and President of Sanofi-Aventis from September 2004 to February 2007. Prior to that Mr. Rothwell was President and Chief Executive Officer of Sanofi-Synthelabo, Inc. and was instrumental in the formation of Sanofi-Aventis U.S. in 2004. Mr. Rothwell served in various capacities at Pharmacia, including as President of the company's Global Prescription Business. Mr. Rothwell also served as worldwide President of Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Pharmaceuticals and President of the company's Global Pharmaceutical Operations. In his long career, Mr. Rothwell was Chief Executive Officer of Sandoz Pharmaceuticals, Vice President of Global Marketing and Sales at Burroughs Wellcome and Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales for the U.S. for Squibb Corporation which later became a Division of Bristol-Myers Squibb.

In addition to having served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Archimedes Pharma LLC, Tim has held board positions with several pharmaceutical companies, served as a trustee at the Children's Health Fund, on the Institute of Medicine's Evidence-Based Medicine roundtable, and as Chairman of the Pheo Para Alliance, a non-profit organization serving patients with pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma.

Mr. Rothwell holds a Bachelor of Arts from Drew University and earned his J.D. from Seton Hall University.

Mr. Rothwell joins ProMIS' accomplished board of business advisors, each of them recognized leaders in the fields of biotech business management, diagnostic product development and monoclonal antibody design and manufacture. Advisory Board members currently include:

  • Mara G. Aspinall, MBA, a diagnostic industry pioneer, and Executive Chairman of GenePeeks, a company leading a paradigm shift at the intersection of personalized medicine and computational genomics with genetic testing. Ms. Aspinall is also CEO of Health Catalysts, a healthcare investment firm. Aspinall is former President and CEO of Ventana Medical Systems, a leader in cancer diagnostics. Mara previously spent 12 years as President of Genzyme Genetics and Genzyme Pharmaceuticals. 
  • Nigel Burns, PhD., a 20+ year veteran of the biotech sector, particularly in the field of monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of chronic disease. Dr. Burns has held a series of industry leadership roles including Senior Vice President of Cambridge Antibody Technology, and most recently, CEO and Founder of SweetSpot Therapeutics Ltd. He was entrepreneur-in-residence for Imperial Innovations and has served on multiple national and international scientific and industry advisory boards and committees.
  • Michael Higgins, MBA, an entrepreneur-in-residence at Polaris Partners. Previously, Mr. Higgins held a variety of leadership roles at Genzyme, including Vice President of Corporate Finance and Vice President of Business Development, and was involved with multiple business units, including Cell Therapy, Gene Therapy and Orphan Diseases.

In addition to its Business Advisory Board, ProMIS has assembled and consults the Scientific Advisory Board to help guide the successful advancement of its disease-modifying programs. Last month, ProMIS announced that renowned neuroscientist Dr. Rudy Tanzi joined its team of scientific advisors. Dr. Tanzi is one of the world's leading scientists in research aimed at preventing and treating Alzheimer's disease. 

Commenting on Mr. Rothwell's appointment, ProMIS Executive Chairman Eugene Williams said: "We're thrilled that Tim will contribute his tremendous experience and wisdom to our mission, which benefits not only ProMIS but the larger neurodegenerative diseases community as we collectively bear down on these diseases, finally targeting their root cause. Crossing the finish line to disease modifying therapies requires the expertise and fortitude of the best minds in the field. We're honored to be working with many of them, including Tim and also Rudy, who joined our SAB last month, to help get us there."

Neurodegenerative diseases affect tens of millions of people worldwide. Alzheimer's disease in particular presents one of the most vexing public health challenges of both the past and future decades. Numerous studies show that the root cause of Alzheimer's, and other neurodegenerative diseases, is the toxic oligomer, a misfolded protein that derives from naturally occurring proteins in the brain. Using its novel drug discovery engine, ProMIS can create antibodies that uniquely and selectively target the toxic oligomer, filling a critical gap for drug developers: traditional approaches to developing antibodies are unable to isolate and target the toxic oligomer with adequate precision. The company's lead antibody candidate, PMN310 for Alzheimer's disease, demonstrates a high degree of binding to toxic oligomers without binding to non-toxic forms of naturally occurring amyloid beta protein. Its Parkinson's disease program is based on the development of several potential antibody therapeutic candidates selectively targeting toxic forms of the protein alpha-synuclein, considered a root cause of Parkinson's disease. ProMIS has also identified antibody candidates that selectively target toxic forms of the protein TDP43, considered a root cause of ALS.

About ProMIS Neurosciences
ProMIS Neurosciences, Inc. is a development stage biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing antibody therapeutics selectively targeting toxic oligomers implicated in the development and progression of neurodegenerative diseases, in particular Alzheimer's disease (AD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinson's disease (PD). The Company's proprietary target discovery platform is based on the use of two complementary thermodynamic, computational discovery engines -ProMIS and Collective Coordinates – to predict novel targets known as Disease Specific Epitopes on the molecular surface of misfolded proteins. Using this unique precision approach, the Company is developing novel antibody therapeutics for AD, ALS and PD. ProMIS is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, with offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts. ProMIS is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol PMN, and on the OTCQB Venture Market under the symbol ARFXF.

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