U.S. Bioscience Inc. announced Monday that Russell C.McLauchlan has been named president and chief operatingofficer.
He is taking over the position of president from Dr. Philip S.Schein, who will remain chairman and chief executive officer.McLauchlan had been president and chief operating officer atImmunomedics Inc. (NASDAQ:IMMU) for the past three years.Before that, he spent nearly 20 years at American CyanamidCo., most recently as vice president and general manager ofLederle Pharmaceuticals.
McLauchlan told BioWorld that the incentive to move to theWest Conshohocken, Pa., company was the opportunity to setup a commercial operation. "U.S. Bioscience has elected to go italone in the U.S. without partners, so that was the immediatelure," he said.
It's too early to tell if he will advocate any major changes,McLauchlan said. "The biggest mission I have immediately is toexpand our marketing, selling and manufacturing operations,"he said. "Right now, we contract manufacture, but we will buildour own manufacturing capability." The company also plans toexpand its nine-member U.S. sales force.
On Jan. 31, an FDA advisory committee recommended againstapproval of the company's Ethyol chemoprotective drug,sending the stock (AMEX:UBS) down 44 percent to $17.75 thefollowing trading day. The committee said interim clinical trialdata were insufficient to warrant approval.
"The company has had private conversations with the FDA tofind the fastest access to market," McLauchlan said. "Therelooks to be a clear path to getting the product into the U.S.marketplace." He declined to elaborate.
U.S. Bioscience has one product on the market, Hexalen to treatrefractory or recurrent ovarian cancer. The drug is sublicensedfrom Wyeth Laboratories Inc., which had licensed it fromRhone-Poulenc.
Three other cancer drugs are in clinical trials. Trimetrexate isin Phase III trials to treat Pneumocystis carinii in AIDSpatients and is in Phase II trials for solid tumors. PALA is inPhase III trials for gastrointestinal, breast and lung cancers.Rogletimide is in Phase II trials for breast and prostate cancers.
The company's shares fell 50 cents Monday to $9.75.
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