New era for Acacia as Bolinder takes over from Gilbert as CEO
Cambridge-based Acacia Pharma Group plc has changed CEO as it gears up for major growth in the United States.
Company founder Julian Gilbert has stepped down as chief exec and director and CFO Michael Bolinder has taken the reins. Gilbert is staying on “for a time” in an advisory capacity.
The change is the result of a succession planning exercise undertaken by the board over the last year and reflects that the group’s primary focus will be the commercialisation of BARHEMSYS® in the US market. The company aims to launch the product in the States in 2020.
Acacia develops and commercialises hospital products for US and international markets.
Bolinder has extensive knowledge of the post-operative nausea and vomiting (PONV) market and of the opportunity the company expects its lead candidate BARHEMSYS® to address once approved.
BARHEMSYS® is an intravenous formulation of amisulpride, a selective dopamine antagonist, which has completed Phase 3 clinical development for the prophylaxis and treatment of PONV, alone and in combination with other antiemetics.
PONV is a common complication of surgery, occurring in approximately 30 per cent of surgical patients and up to 80 per cent of high-risk patients. It is associated with the use of anaesthetic gases and opioid pain-killers and is particularly common following gynaecological, abdominal, breast, eye and ear operations, especially those lasting an hour or more.
The company estimates that approximately 65 million surgical procedures are conducted in the US each year that require injectable analgesia and are eligible for antiemetic use to prevent PONV.
Based on market research, Acacia Pharma estimates that the total market in the US for prophylactic and rescue treatment comprises an estimated 34 million treatment events annually.
Prior to joining Acacia, Bolinder was head of marketing and commercial strategy for the hospital division of Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals. He joined Mallinckrodt upon its acquisition of Cadence Pharmaceuticals, Inc. which commercialised Ofirmev®, a post-operative pain control product promoted to anaesthetists and surgical teams.
Previously he worked at Eli Lilly and Company for 11 years in various sales and marketing roles of increasing responsibility across multiple therapeutic areas and on several successful product launches.