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Ascentage Pharma Appoints Mr. Gang Zhu as Chief Commercial Officer to Lead Commercial Initiatives

2020-12-04 08:28 1110

SUZHOU, China and ROCKVILLE, Md., Dec. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Ascentage Pharma (6855.HK), a globally focused, clinical-stage biotechnology company engaged in developing novel therapies for cancers, chronic hepatitis B (CHB), and age-related diseases, today announced the appointment of Mr. Gang Zhu, a seasoned pharmaceutical executive with a wealth of experience in commercializing innovative hematologic cancer and solid tumor drugs, to the position of Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), reporting directly to Dr. Dajun Yang, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ascentage Pharma. In this new position, Mr. Zhu will be responsible for the design and implementation of Ascentage Pharma's commercialization roadmap, the formulation of commercial operations strategies, the building of a commercial organization, to spearhead the launch of the company's drug candidates.

Mr. Zhu graduated from Capital Medical University and worked as a clinician in the early years of his career. With over 25 years of experience at large multinational pharmaceutical companies in China, he played various integral roles in the launch and growth of around 10 oncology brands in the country. Prior to joining Ascentage Pharma, Mr. Zhu was the General Manager of Celgene China, where he assembled Celgene's commercial team from the ground up. Prior to that, Mr. Zhu had worked in a range of leadership positions at Sanofi-Aventis and Novartis, including Sales Director, Head of Business Unit, and Vice President. During his tenure at Novartis and Celgene, Mr. Zhu was in charge of the commercial rollouts of numerous hematologic cancer drugs indicated for chronic myeloid leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, myelodysplastic syndromes, lymphocytic leukemia, multiple myeloma, etc.

Mr. Zhu has a proven track record in building and adapting commercial organizations, as well as designing innovative business models to address unmet medical needs in an ever-evolving market access landscape. He has also cultivated many commercial talents throughout his career. With a strong global vision, Mr. Zhu has demonstrated outstanding business acumen in bringing innovative products to the market in China.

Ascentage Pharma is a China-based clinical-stage biotechnology company with a global footprint, focusing on the research and development of innovative therapies. In October 2019, Ascentage Pharma was listed on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. This year, the company has submitted a New Drug Application (NDA) in China for its core candidate drug HQP1351 (olverembatinib), for the treatment of patients with T315I-mutant chronic phase or accelerated phase chronic myeloid leukemia. Subsequently, the application was accepted and granted Priority Review status. This is NDA submission is the very first by Ascentage Pharma, and one that could lead to the market authorization of the first third-generation BCR-ABL inhibitor in China.

"Following the submission of our first NDA, Ascentage Pharma has entered its transition toward commercialization, a crucial phase in the company's growth," said Dr. Dajun Yang, Chairman & CEO of Ascentage Pharma. "Having managed an array of hematologic cancer drugs at various large multinational companies, Mr. Zhu brings with him deep expertise across the full product lifecycle of innovative therapies, from pre-launch to launch and post-launch. We believe that under the leadership of Mr. Zhu, Ascentage Pharma will achieve a successful transition toward commercialization and soon begin to launch much needed novel products into the market, in fulfilling our commitment to patients and the founding mission of 'addressing unmet clinical needs in China and around the world'."

"I am truly honored to join Ascentage Pharma, a leading innovative biotechnology company in China which is living up to its aspiration to become a global player," said Mr. Gang Zhu, Chief Commercial Officer of Ascentage Pharma. "Ascentage Pharma has established highly competitive R&D capabilities and a rich pipeline of assets with first- and best-in-class potentials, laying a solid ground for future growth. I look forward to working with my peers in this excellent management team to drive the commercialization of our investigational assets, and building a commercial success upon the company's exceptional R&D capabilities and competitive pipeline."

About Ascentage Pharma

Ascentage Pharma (6855.HK) is a globally, clinical-stage biotechnology company engaged in developing novel therapies for cancers, CHB, and age-related diseases. On October 28, 2019, Ascentage Pharma was listed on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited with the stock code: 6855.HK.

Ascentage Pharma focuses on developing therapeutics that inhibit protein-protein interactions to restore apoptosis or programmed cell death. The company has built a pipeline of eight clinical drug candidates, including novel, highly potent Bcl-2, and dual Bcl-2/Bcl-xL inhibitors, as well as candidates aimed at IAP and MDM2-p53 pathways, and next-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Ascentage Pharma is also the only company in the world with active clinical programs targeting all three known classes of key apoptosis regulators. The company is conducting more than 40 Phase I/II clinical trials in the US, Australia, and China. HQP1351, the company's core drug candidate developed for the treatment of drug-resistant chronic myeloid leukemia has been granted an Orphan Drug Designation (ODD) and a Fast Track designation by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and a New Drug Application for the drug candidate has been submitted in China. To date, Ascentage Pharma has obtained a total of six ODDs from the FDA for four of the company's investigational drug candidates.

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Source: Ascentage Pharma
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