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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Sept. 25, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Diffusion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: DFFN), a cutting-edge biotechnology company developing new treatments for life-threatening medical conditions by improving the body’s ability to bring oxygen to the areas where it’s needed most, announced today that it has appointed William (“Bill”) Hornung to the position of Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Hornung previously served as Chief Business Officer at the Company, in which capacity he had overseen the company’s business development and investor relations strategies. During his tenure as Chief Business Officer, Diffusion raised $12 million in an underwritten public offering, began enrolling patients in a Phase 3 study for GBM brain cancer; and, most recently, received FDA approval to enroll patients in an ambulance-based Phase 2 clinical trial testing its lead drug, trans sodium crocetinate (TSC), for the treatment of acute stroke.
“Bill has been an essential part of the Diffusion team for some time now, and I’ve seen first-hand that he has the knowledge, experience, and leadership skills to help our company thrive,” saidDavid Kalergis, Chairman and CEO of Diffusion. “As we look to the future, we believe elevating Bill to the position of Chief Financial Officer is an important step in our company’s trajectory as we continue to grow and build a world-class team.”
“I’m excited to keep working with the David and the rest of Diffusion’s talented staff and scientists in this new capacity as we seek to strengthen the Company, pursue new strategic relationships, and develop new treatments for stroke, cancer, and other difficult-to-treat medical conditions,” said Mr. Hornung. “I’ve spent my career working at the intersection of business and clinical innovation. In this new role, I look forward to continuing that effort as part of Diffusion’s leadership team.”
An executive with extensive experience in the pharmaceutical and life-science research industries, Mr. Hornung brings over 20 years of industry insight to his new role as Diffusion’s Chief Financial Officer. He brings a particular expertise in small, innovative, publicly-traded companies with origins in university research communities.
Mr. Hornung formerly served in a variety of roles over the course of 12 years at PTC Therapeutics, Inc., rising from the position of Accounting Manager to Vice President of Finance. In his role as Vice President, Mr. Hornung oversaw PTC’s IPO process in which PTC became a publicly traded company while raising more than $140 million.
Prior to his time at PTC Therapeutics, Mr. Hornung was responsible for strategic planning and operations for the United Kingdom-based European headquarters of The Lipsome Company, during which time it was acquired by Elan Pharmaceuticals for approximately $400 million. The former Chief Financial Officer at Contravir Pharmaceuticals, Mr. Hornung began his career on the business side of clinical research – responsible for financial stewardship and project management of The Hardaradt Group, an emerging clinical research organization which has since been acquired by Quintiles.
Mr. Hornung holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the William Paterson State University of New Jersey. He lives in Virginia with his wife, Kristin.
About Diffusion Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Diffusion Pharmaceuticals Inc. is an innovative biotechnology company developing new treatments that improve the body’s ability to bring oxygen to the areas where it’s needed most —offering new hope for the treatment of life-threatening medical conditions.
Diffusion’s lead drug, Trans Sodium Crocinate (TSC), was originally developed in conjunction with the Office of Naval Research, which was seeking a way to treat hemorrhagic shock caused by massive blood loss on the battlefield.
Evolutions in research have led to Diffusion’s focus today: Fueling Life by taking on some of medicine’s most intractable and difficult-to-treat diseases, including stroke, GBM brain cancer, pancreatic cancer, and brain metastases. In each of these diseases, hypoxia – when essential tissue in your body is deprived of oxygen – has proved to be a significant obstacle for medical providers and the target for TSC’s novel mechanism.
In 2018, the Company began enrolling patients in its Phase 3 INTACT program, using TSC to target inoperable GBM brain cancer. Its in-ambulance Phase 2 acute stroke protocol was granted FDA clearance to proceed in September, 2018. Additional pre-clinical data supports the potential use of TSC as a treatment for other conditions where hypoxia plays a major role, such as myocardial infarction, respiratory diseases such as COPD, peripheral artery disease, and neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
In addition, RES-529, the Company’s PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway inhibitor that dissociates the mTORC1 and mTORC2 complexes, is in the preclinical testing phase for GBM.
Diffusion is headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia—a hub of advancement in the life science and biopharmaceutical industries and is led by CEO David Kalergis, a 30-year industry veteran and company co-founder.
To the extent any statements made in this news release deal with information that is not historical, these are forward-looking statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the company's plans, objectives, expectations and intentions with respect to future operations and products, the potential of the company's technology and product candidates, the anticipated timing of future clinical trials, and other statements that are not historical in nature, particularly those that utilize terminology such as "would," "will," "plans," "possibility," "potential," "future," "expects," "anticipates," "believes," "intends," "continue," "expects," other words of similar meaning, derivations of such words and the use of future dates. Forward-looking statements by their nature address matters that are, to different degrees, uncertain. Uncertainties and risks may cause the company's actual results to be materially different than those expressed in or implied by such forward-looking statements. Particular uncertainties and risks include: general business and economic conditions; the company's need for and ability to obtain additional financing or partnering arrangement; the difficulty of developing pharmaceutical products, obtaining regulatory and other approvals and achieving market acceptance; and the various risk factors (many of which are beyond Diffusion’s control) as described under the heading “Risk Factors” in Diffusion’s filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements in this news release speak only as of the date of this news release and are based on management's current beliefs and expectations. Diffusion undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.