News

Santaris Pharma A/S, a Danish biopharmaceutical anti-sense/RNAi company, has announced that Søren Tulstrup, previously Vice President, Global Human Health at Merck & Co, Inc, has been appointed President & Chief Executive Officer, effective July 1, 2008. Prior to joining Merck, Søren Tulstrup held management positions with Sandoz AG (now Novartis) in Basel, Switzerland and Abbott Laboratories in Copenhagen, Denmark. He holds a Master of Science degree in Economics and Business Administration from Copenhagen Business School and the JL Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University, in Chicago.

PreciSense A/S, headquartered in Horsholm, Denmark, is a diagnostics company focusing on minimally invasive continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) technologies. Specific terms of the acquisition are not disclosed.

By this acquisition Medtronic moves significantly closer to providing a closed-loop system that will more frequently and more precisely monitor the available glucose in diabetes patients and more correctly dose the required amount of insulin. A closed-loop system simulates the insulin delivery of a normal pancreas using a device that intelligently accommodates for glucose fluctuations in insulin-challenged persons via an automated delivery of insulin.

Sunstone Capital LSV Fund I initially invested in PreciSense A/S in 2003 and has actively managed PreciSense together with Georg Skøtt (CEO of PreciSense A/S), Scandinavian Life Science Ventures and Omega Funds. The company will cease its R&D operations in the field of CGM and will onwards focus on supporting the agreement pertaining to the acquisition.

Fierce Biotech has announced that Santaris Pharma has been included in the annual FierceBiotech “Fierce 15” list, designating it as one of the top biotech companies of 2008. The editors of FierceBiotech evaluated hundreds of privately-held firms based on company vision, revenue potential, quality of deals, strength of technology, partnerships, and competitive market position. Santaris Pharma was determined to be one of the “fiercest,” proven by their creativity and innovations in the industry.

Zymenex hosts the EU sponsored Alpha-mannosidosis Hue-Man consortium meeting, which takes place in Denmark during the days of May 9 – 10, 2008. The Hue-Man project group consists of leading scientists and clinicians from prominent universities and hospitals from around Europe, who together with Zymenex, have in 2006, received a 3-year 6th framework EU grant of € 3.2 million. The group is devoting their efforts to investigate and establish clinical parameters in the Alpha-mannosidosis mouse model and to perform a natural history study of the human disease in patients, in order to define clinical endpoints for the upcoming first clinical trials in man.

The Hue-Man project takes and expands the knowledge obtained by the joint research group from the three year 5th framework EU grant supported EURAMAN project, which successfully established an enzyme replacement therapy for a mouse model of Alpha-mannosidosis and demonstrated correction of storage in many tissues including brain, after administration of the lysosomal acid a-mannosidase enzyme (rhLAMAN) Lamazym, developed by Zymenex.

About the disease
The disease is due to a deficiency of the a-mannosidase enzyme and affects approximately 500 patients worldwide. Alpha-mannosidosis is a rare inborn disorder that results in mental retardation, skeletal changes, hearing loss, recurrent infections and progression to early death. The children are often born apparently normal and their conditions worsen progressively, without any possibility to prevent this evolution. In the children that are born healthy, a therapy initiated at an early age could contribute to a normal development. Today, the most promising therapy for lysosomal storage diseases is enzyme replacement therapy (ERT), here the enzyme lacking in the patient is introduced into the blood stream, from where it is internalized by the cells and reaches the lysosomes, acting as the original missing enzyme.