Acacia Pharma appoints Scott Byrd and Christine Soden to its Board Of Directors - Gilde Healthcare

Acacia Pharma appoints Scott Byrd and Christine Soden to its Board Of Directors

March 3, 2015

Cambridge, UK – Acacia Pharma, a pharmaceutical company specialising in the development of drugs for supportive care, announces that Scott Byrd and Christine Soden have joined its Board of Directors.

Scott Byrd has 23 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry.  Most recently, he was the Chief Commercial Officer of Cadence Pharmaceuticals Inc from June 2009 until the company’s acquisition by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals in March 2014 for $1.4 billion. Scott was responsible for all Cadence’s commercial activities, in particular, building and leading the company’s US sales and marketing infrastructure for Ofirmev®, the post-operative pain control product. Previously, Scott served in a variety of US and global roles in sales, marketing, finance, manufacturing and strategic planning at Eli Lilly and Company since January 1992. Scott holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Bradley University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Christine Soden is a chartered accountant and is the Chief Financial Officer of the UK-listed medical device company, Electrical Geodesics Inc.  Previously she was the Chief Financial Officer of the UK-listed companies Optos plc, BTG plc and Celltech-Chiroscience plc following senior finance roles with life sciences companies including Oxagen Limited and Medeva plc. Christine has substantial experience with technology and commercialisation stage companies and is a non-executive director of Fertility Focus Limited and Tower Cold Chain Solutions Ltd.

Ian Kent, Acacia Pharma’s Chairman commented:

“We are delighted to welcome Scott and Christine to the Board. They bring significant commercial and financial experience to the company’s leadership team at a crucial time in its development. Scott’s recent, and very relevant, experience of the US commercialisation of Ofirmev® for post-operative pain will be invaluable as APD421, Acacia Pharma’s lead product for the management of post-operative nausea & vomiting, nears commercialisation. Christine brings significant financial know-how from a range of life science companies in both the private and public sectors.”

Acacia Pharma’s lead product opportunity, is APD421 for the management of post-operative nausea and vomiting (PONV). It comprises a low dose intravenous formulation of the marketed dopamine antagonist amisulpride, which the company has repurposed. Data generated by Acacia Pharma in Phase 2 and Phase 3 clinical trials, indicate that APD421 is an effective, safe, dopamine antagonist, anti-emetic. The company believes that a drug with these characteristics can be used to manage PONV:

  • prophylactically in combination with 5HT3 antagonists and/or corticosteroids in the highest risk patients, and
  • to rescue patients that have not responded to PONV prophylaxis with a 5HT3 antagonist alone or in combination.

About Acacia Pharma

Acacia Pharma is developing supportive care product opportunities for post-surgical and cancer patients. Patients and healthcare professionals urgently need new and improved interventions in these rapidly expanding, yet poorly served, areas of supportive care, to improve treatment outcomes and patients’ quality of life.
Acacia Pharma has generated its pipeline of product opportunities using a commercially driven approach to product discovery identifying completely new uses for marketed drugs, a process termed repurposing. This strategy leads to opportunities with a higher probability of success and enables more rapid development. All of Acacia Pharma’s repurposed programmes are optimised for their new use using a new route of delivery and dose that are appropriate for the new indication identified, thereby differentiating them from the original marketed product.

The company’s lead project, APD421 for post-operative nausea & vomiting (PONV), has generated positive results in Phase 3 clinical studies. Its sister project, APD403 for chemotherapy induced nausea & vomiting (CINV) is under investigation in a Phase 2 dose-ranging study. In addition, the company has completed a Phase 2 study with APD515 for xerostomia (dry mouth) in advanced cancer patients and a Phase 2a study with APD209 for cancer cachexia (muscle wasting).

Acacia Pharma is led by an experienced management team, members of which have successfully built and exited life sciences companies. Management, Gilde Healthcare, Lundbeckfond Ventures, Novo A/S and Fidelity Biosciences are the Company’s key shareholders. Acacia Pharma is based in Cambridge, UK.


Acacia Pharma
Dr Julian Gilbert
Telephone: +44 1223 875132

Citigate Dewe Rogerson
David Dible
Dr Mark Swallow
Telephone: +44 20 7638 9571

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