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Myriad steps up
February 2008
by David Hutton  |  Email the author


SALT LAKE CITY,—In an effort to ramp up discovery and development efforts, Myriad Genetics Inc. announced it has expanded its commercial and clinical capabilities, tapping several industry veterans to spearhead the effort. The company bolstered its staff in part by naming Dr. Robert Rubens vice president of medical affairs and James DeMarco vice president of sales.Rubens will oversee professional education, publications, Phase IV studies, the CNS medical science liaison team, and the medical information functions at Myriad. He will lead the formulation of strategic approaches to further clinical study programs, including managing investigator-initiated clinical trials and post-marketing studies. Additionally, he will provide medical review of all promotional materials, sales training materials and medical communications. DeMarco is responsible for all sales-related activities for Myriad Pharmaceuticals Inc. He will formulate the brand strategy to optimize sales of commercial products and lead the U.S. and global sales organizations, while overseeing functional areas of field sales, sales training and sales operations. Myriad is one of a number of companies prospecting for Alzheimer's gold, and it hopes it has found it in Flurizan.  Ian Sanderson, analyst for Cowen and Co., said that Flurizan will probably be the first among the next generation of Alzheimer's drugs to go before the FDA. He says he believes it could reach $600 million in annual sales by 2012 and would eventually peak at $1.2 billion.Wayne Laslie, Myriad COO, says the company's strategy going forward is to finish clinical development for Flurizan in Alzheimer's disease and submit an NDA to the FDA late in 2008 in hopes for a second half 2009 launch. "Our build-up in commercial capability is in anticipation of this event," Laslie says. "The company anticipates partnering Flurizan for sale in Europe and in the United States. We also expect to partner MPC-0920, our anti-thrombotic program, for further clinical development."According to Laslie, Myriad will market the cancer drugs through its own oncology sales force, which currently numbers more than 200 representatives. Myriad is also strengthening its management of clinical programs  by naming Dr. Margaret Yu director of clinical research in oncology and Dr. Andrew Beelen senior director of clinical research in infectious diseases. Yu is responsible for the strategic direction of clinical development plans for oncology-related compounds, including Azixa. Beleen is responsible for the overall strategy and direction of clinical development in the infectious disease field, including Vicecon. DDNeditconnect: e020819
Code: e020819



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