RHEI PHARMACEUTICALS APPOINTS DR. GEERT CAUWENBERGH
Company Receives Approval from Chinese Health Authorities
NEW HAVEN, Conn., August 25, 2008 -- RHEI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced the appointment of Dr. Geert Cauwenbergh as Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Cauwenbergh succeeds Joos Horsten, who recently passed away. Dr Cauwenbergh has been assisting RHEI Pharmaceuticals since August 1, 2008 in providing the necessary leadership to continue the Company’s development.
“I am honored to follow in the footsteps of Joos Horsten, a serial entrepreneur who was a key figure in the development of the Western pharmaceutical industry in China,” noted Dr. Cauwenbergh. “As a result of Joos’ leadership and foresight, RHEI Pharmaceuticals is uniquely positioned to accelerate the availability of already approved western medicines in the Chinese market and I am fortunate to be working with the world-class team that Joos had assembled in order to pursue its growth strategy.”
The Company also announced today that it has received approval from the Chinese Health Authorities to launch its final clinical study for Asacard®, a controlled release formulation of aspirin. With this approval in place, RHEI Pharmaceuticals has a low-risk pipeline of novel western medicines lined up for the Chinese market, with multiple product launches expected over the next few years.
Commenting on this news, Dr. Cauwenbergh stated, “With one potential launch this year, followed by three in 2009 (including Asacard®) and an additional product launch planned each year thereafter until 2012, RHEI Pharmaceuticals is expected to achieve very rapid growth. It is our goal to become the partner of choice for western companies that want to tap into the fast growing Chinese Health Care market, as well as for those Chinese companies that are interested in distributing western drugs, domestically.”
Prior to joining RHEI Pharmaceuticals, in February 2008, Dr. Cauwenbergh founded Phases123 LLC, a company focused on identifying high potential health care technology platforms and emerging health care companies. In 2001, Dr. Cauwenbergh founded Barrier Therapeutics, Inc., a company developing novel patented therapeutic agents for treatment of skin diseases. Under his leadership, Barrier Therapeutics went public and raised a total of $250 million in capital, evolving from an R&D organization into a commercial company with expected revenues of $46 to $50 million in 2008, prior to its recent acquisition by Stiefel Laboratories.
Before Barrier Therapeutics, Dr. Cauwenbergh served in numerous positions with Johnson & Johnson (in both the U.S. and Europe), most recently as Vice President of Technology of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Consumer and Personal Care Products Companies, and before that, as Vice President of Research & Development of the J&J Consumer Companies Worldwide. Dr. Cauwenbergh was also previously with the R&D organization of the Janssen Research Foundation in Belgium.
Dr. Cauwenbergh currently serves as a Board member of DARA Biosciences, Upstream Biosciences as well as Ablynx NV, and is a member of the Board of Trustees, and Vice Chairman of Bio New Jersey. Since 2004, Dr. Cauwenbergh has served as Official Trade Advisor for Health Care in North America to the Belgian Government. From 2004 to 2006, he served as a member on the Board of Trustees of the New Jersey Center of Life Sciences and from 2003 to 2005, Dr. Cauwenbergh was a member of the Board of Intercept Inc.
Dr. Cauwenbergh has authored over 100 publications and co-authored several books. He received his Ph.D. in Medical Sciences from the Catholic University of Leuven, Faculty of Medicine, where he also completed his Masters and undergraduate work. In 2004 Dr. Cauwenbergh was inducted in the New Jersey High Tech Hall of Fame.
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