PRNewswire -- Genetronics Biomedical Ltd. (Amex: GEB; Toronto) today announced it has elected Felix Theeuwes, D.Sc., as a new member of its Board of Directors. Dr. Theeuwes is Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer at DURECT Corporation, which was established in 1998 to focus on products based on ALZA Corporation's (NYSE: AZA - news) DUROS® system technology.
ALZA Corporation, Palo Alto, Ca., was founded in 1968 to improve medical treatment through controlled drug delivery technologies. Its DUROS® implant system is designed to offer convenient, comfortable alternatives to injections used to administer proteins, peptides and new large-molecule biotechnology products. During his tenure with ALZA, Dr. Theeuwes held positions directing research, technology development and product development of a variety of controlled drug delivery systems. He also directed transdermal research and development and initiated the company's electrotransport/iontophoresis program.
"Because of his significant entrepreneurial talents, his experience in drug delivery and his successful business career, Dr. Theeuwes is a perfect addition to our Board of Directors," said Gunter Hofmann, Ph.D., Genetronics Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer. "Felix was instrumental at ALZA in developing numerous pharmaceutical alliances and we look forward to his assistance in this and other important efforts." The appointment of Dr. Theeuwes brings the current Genetronics Board membership to nine.
"I am looking forward to assisting Genetronics, to take advantage of its business opportunities, and to properly position it within the financial community," Dr. Theeuwes said. "Electroporation Therapy is a viable solution for delivering any drug or gene into the cell. With several potential applications for this technology, I believe Genetronics is positioned to partner and move toward commercialization in gene therapy, the logical next step from oncology."
Dr. Theeuwes initiated the DUROS® osmotic implant program, a subcutaneous system that allows for the delivery of a continuous dose of medications over months or years. He holds more than 210 U.S. patents and has published more than 80 articles and book chapters. Dr. Theeuwes currently serves as a consultant to ALZA and was the first recipient of the ALZA Corporation's Founder's Award. He received his undergraduate and graduate education in physics at the University of Leuven, Belgium, with a D.Sc. degree and completed the Stanford University Executive Program.
Founded in 1983, Genetronics is headquartered in San Diego and is recognized worldwide as the technology leader in the field of electroporation. It has been working since 1991 to devise ways to use electroporation outside the laboratory to improve treatment of catastrophic illnesses, including cancer and heart disease. Electroporation takes advantage of the natural phenomenon that occurs when an electric pulse is applied to a human cell. These pulses momentarily open pores in the cell membrane, which allows for easier entry to the cell's interior by the desired therapeutic drug or beneficial gene.
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