PRINCETON, N.J., Nov. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Pharmasset, Inc. appointed Patrick T. Higgins as Executive Vice President, Marketing & Sales, responsible for coordinating the global product launch and marketing activities for Pharmasset’s drug candidates. Mr. Higgins, who has served as a consultant to Pharmasset since 2006, was recently Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Virology at Hoffmann-LaRoche, Inc. His areas of expertise include hepatology, HIV and cytomegalovirus for transplant patients. Mr. Higgins was responsible for directing the development and implementation of marketing and sales plans for Roche’s US hepatology franchise, including the global launch of Pegasys(R) and Copegus(R) for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C infection.
Mr. Higgins has over 25 years of pharmaceutical industry sales and marketing experience. Throughout his career, he has participated in a total of 13 product launches for antiviral, oncology, dermatologic and allergy indications. Prior to joining Roche, Mr. Higgins served in a variety of advertising, sales and marketing roles at Schering Corporation. He was instrumental in developing Schering’s Oncology/Biotech group that launched Intron-A(R) (interferon alfa-2b) for the treatment of chronic hepatitis.
“I am delighted to join Pharmasset at this stage of its development,” stated Mr. Higgins. “I see the same characteristics and potential in Pharmasset’s science, drug candidates and people that I saw in both Roche and Schering prior to their successful product launches.”
“Pharmasset intends to commercialize clevudine for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B infection,” stated Schaefer Price, Pharmasset’s President & CEO. “To accomplish this goal, we plan to capitalize on Patrick’s extensive experience in the field of hepatology, his personal relationships with key opinion leaders and his proven ability to build successful marketing and sales organizations.”
Mr. Higgins received his M.B.A. from Seton Hall University and his Bachelor of Arts from Villanova University.
Pharmasset is a clinical stage pharmaceutical company committed to discovering, developing and commercializing novel drugs to treat viral infections. Pharmasset’s primary focus is on the development of oral therapeutics for the treatment of hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Pharmasset is currently developing three product candidates. Clevudine, being developed for the treatment of chronic HBV infection, is enrolling Phase 3 clinical trials for product registration in the Americas and Europe. Clevudine is already approved for HBV in South Korea and marketed by Bukwang Pharmaceuticals in South Korea under the brand name Levovir. R7128, being developed as an oral treatment for chronic HCV infection, is enrolling a 4- week Phase 1 clinical trial in combination with Pegasys(R) (peginterferon alfa-2a) and Copegus(R) (ribavirin) through a strategic collaboration with Roche. Racivir, being developed for the treatment of HIV in combination with other approved HIV drugs, has completed a Phase 2 clinical trial.
Pegasys(R) and Copegus(R) are registered trademarks of Roche. Intron-A(R) is a registered trademark of Schering Corporation.
Alan Roemer, Vice President
Investor Relations & Corporate Communications
Office: (609) 613-4125
Pharmasset “Safe Harbor” Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding our business that are not historical facts are “forward-looking statements” that involve risks and uncertainties, including without limitation the risk that our collaboration with Roche will not continue or will not be successful, the risk that the on-going or anticipated clinical trials for any one or more of our product candidates will not be successful or will not provide meaningful data and the risk that any one or more of our product candidates will not be successfully developed and commercialized. For a discussion of these risks and uncertainties, any of which could cause our actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see the section of our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2007 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission entitled “Risk Factors” and discussions of potential risks and uncertainties in our subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission