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IDEA announces new Chief Executive Officer
The Supervisory Board is pleased to announce that Gosse B. Bruinsma, M.D. has been appointed as Chairman of the Vorstand and Chief Executive Officer, also with immediate effect. Dr. Bruinsma has a distinguished career of over 25 years in medicine and business, having served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in several life sciences companies in the USA and Europe.
Dr. Bruinsma, IDEA's new CEO, comments:
"IDEA has an important scientific heretage and sound scientific and development teams which can be aligned to support this new phase of the Company. I am delighted to lead the Company and exploit the larger potential commercial opportunities that IDEA has."
Dr. G.J. Blaker, IDEA's Chairman of the Supervisory Board, adds:
"The Supervisory Board is delighted that Gosse has joined IDEA as CEO and we are confident that his skill set will support the Company during its next phase."
Osteoarthritis (OA), the clinical syndrome of joint pain and dysfunction caused by joint degeneration, affects more people than any other joint disease. It is one of the leading causes of disability, as by the age of 65 an estimated 85% of the population will have some degree of OA. Oral nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the most commonly used drugs for OA treatment. Although effective, they can cause serious adverse side effects, including gastrointestinal and cardiac problems, and kidney and liver abnormalities. Topical NSAID gels, which are now in the EU markets for several decades, were only approved in the US recently (end of 2007), for the 4 times 4 g daily application. Such products are generally perceived as being safer than oral drugs, but if used less frequently and/or at a lower dose have only limited data available to prove their efficacy beyond a twoweek treatment duration (Lin et al., BMJ 2004).
The estimated worldwide sales of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs amount to €14 billion. Globally, approximately 30 million people take oral NSAIDs daily. The main disadvantage is that all classical oral NSAIDs carry a risk of upper gastrointestinal (GI) side effects, with up to 30% of longterm NSAID users developing gastric problems. Close to 20,000 osteoarthritis patients and 2,000 rheumatoid arthritis patients in the US alone die each year from GI complications associated with oral NSAID usage. Oral NSAIDs are thus increasingly combined with proton pump inhibitors (PPI) to manage the potential gastrointestinal side effects. More selective NSAIDs (socalled COX- 2 inhibitors) were moreover developed to inhibit selectively the COX-2 receptor merely, while sparing the COX-1 receptor which is also inhibited by the unspecific NSAIDs. Until recently, COX- 2 inhibitors were seen as a relatively safe therapeutic option. However, COX-2 inhibitors can also lead to serious adverse side effects, such as cardiovascular events, and may still cause bleedings in the lower GI tract. In 2004, Merck &. Co. announced the worldwide withdrawal of Vioxx® (rofecoxib); in 2005, Pfizer Inc. was requested by the FDA to withdraw Bextra® (valdecoxib). In April, 2007, the FDA issued a nonapproval letter for Arcoxia® (etoricoxib), citing the need for additional data in support of the benefittorisk profile before an approval. The FDA has mandated blackbox warnings on all prescribed NSAIDs and similar labelling changes for comparable overthe- counter medicines.
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