Berlin, Germany, and Seattle, WA, U.S.A. – Epigenomics AG (Frankfurt Prime Standard: ECX), the German-American cancer molecular diagnostics company, today announced that Dr. Thomas Taapken, currently Chief Financial Officer at Epigenomics, has been appointed by the Board of Directors to serve as acting Chief Executive Officer in addition to his responsibilities as CFO, effective 1 October 2012. He will replace Geert Nygaard who agreed with the Supervisory Board of the Company that he will leave the Executive Management of the company effective September 30, 2012.
The Supervisory Board concomitantly also widened the responsibilities of Dr. Uwe Staub, currently Senior Vice President for Research & Development, promoted him to COO and granted him “Prokura” (power of attorney). His current duties will be expanded by the responsibility for Medical and Regulatory Affairs and Customer Support.
“We are very pleased to be announcing the appointment of Thomas Taapken to the position of acting CEO in addition to his role as CFO and have full confidence that Thomas will be able to guide the Company through its most critical near-term milestones including the submission of the final Premarket Approval (PMA) module for Epi proColon® and subsequent U.S. FDA approval but will also be pivotal in helping secure the financial resources necessary to fund the operations beyond its current cash reach,” said Heino von Prondzynski, Epigenomics’ Chairman of the Board. “Thomas has proven to be a significant leader with extensive industry insight and experience including a background in corporate development, venture capital, and management leadership. Furthermore, he has a keen understanding of a company’s need to drive shareholder value and the Board of Directors is very pleased that he has agreed to accept this additional challenge.”
“We are also extremely pleased that Dr. Uwe Staub has accepted the newly created function of COO accumulating Medical and Regulatory Affairs and Customer Service to his already existing Leadership in R&D and Operations. He and his actual team have so far reached all promised milestones. Due to their significant contributions the company is fully on track to complete the FDA submission later this year and to reach its ultimate goal of introducing Epi proColon® as the first approved blood-based test for the early detection of colorectal cancer into the U.S. market, milestones extremely important for the near and mid-term future of the company. Reducing the Board to one person is also a significant step in reducing the burn-rate, a task which is on the top of the Management and Board agenda.”
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank Geert Nygaard for his dedication to the Company for the past five and half years. Under his leadership, Epigenomics transformed from a research based organization to a commercially focused company with two products on the market. We wish him well in his future endeavors.”
“I am honored to be appointed by the Supervisory Board as the Company’s acting CEO and am truly excited by the prospect of leading Epigenomics together with my senior management colleagues during this time of significant changes”, said Thomas Taapken. “As we await the results of the head-to-head comparative study of Epi proColon® to fecal immunochemical testing (FIT) which are expected in the fourth quarter we are appropriately conducting pre-marketing activities to build additional awareness of the test and are speaking with private payors and key leaders in colorectal cancer. We remain committed to filing the last module of our PMA soon after the FIT comparison study is completed and I look forward to keeping you apprised of our clinical and regulatory activities. At the same time, we will be making the necessary decisions to secure additional financing in order to extend the current cash reach of the company beyond its most critical milestones”
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Epigenomics (www.epigenomics.com) is a molecular diagnostics company developing and commercializing a pipeline of proprietary products for cancer. The Company’s products enable doctors to diagnose cancer earlier and more accurately, leading to improved outcomes for patients. Epigenomics’ lead product, Epi proColon®, is a blood-based test for the early detection of colorectal cancer, which is currently marketed in Europe and is in development for the U.S.A. The Company’s technology and products have been validated through multiple partnerships with leading global diagnostic companies including Abbott, QIAGEN, Sysmex, and Quest Diagnostics. Epigenomics is an international company with operations in Europe and the U.S.A.
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The information contained in this communication does not constitute nor imply an offer to sell or transfer any product, and no product based on this technology is currently available for sale by Epigenomics in the United States or Canada. The analytical and clinical performance characteristics of any Epigenomics product based on this technology which may be sold at some future time in the U.S. have not been established.