|To all: from the Financial Post- "Stressgen Increases Focus On U.S. Growth - Hiring deal maker"|
Stressgen Biotechnologies Corp. confirmed yesterday it is getting set to hire a head of
corporate development, a move that typically signals that a drug developer is hunting for
a marketing alliance with a major pharmaceutical company.
The new officer will work out of Stressgen's San Diego office, alongside Daniel
Korpolinski, the company's chief executive, and Don Tartre, its chief financial officer.
Mr. Tartre was hired in March to replace a Victoria-based incumbent. Messrs.
Korpolinski and Tartre spend about half their time at the British Columbia office,
according to the company.
Although the hiring of a head of corporate development is seen as an important step for
Stressgen, industry observers say it is also indicative of the worrying trend in B.C.'s
biotech sector -- a drift to the United States.
So far, at least four B.C.-based drug developers have moved part or all of their
operations to the United States, where the business environment is attractive and the
talent pool is larger.
Aside from Stressgen, publicly traded ID Biomedical Corp., NeuroVir Therapeutics Inc.
and Terragen have moved some, or all of their operations, to the United States.
Stressgen, which is developing a cancer treatment, is officially based in Victoria, but
has been slowly migrating south. Most of its clinical trials are handled by its Philadelphia
office, which is home to its vice-president of clinical research as well as its vice-
president of research and development.
San Diego is considered the Silicon Valley of biotechnology, and Stressgen hopes its
move to Southern California will help raise its profile, as well as attract deals and
The company's lead drug, HspE7, is in phase III clinical trials for the treatment a
precancerous condition called anal dysplasia.
The drug is also in late-stage trials for other diseases caused by the human papilloma
One of the mysteries of cancer is that it is undetected by the body's immune system,
and thus can grow unhindered. Essentially, Stressgen's drug works by switching on the
immune system so the cancer can be stopped.