Zevra Therapeutics Appoints Global Medical Leader, Adrian Quartel, M.D., FFPM, as Chief Medical Officer

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CELEBRATION, Fla., Jan. 04, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Zevra Therapeutics, Inc. (NasdaqGS: ZVRA) (Zevra or the Company), a rare disease therapeutics company, today announced the appointment of Adrian Quartel, M.D., FFPM, as Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Quartel brings more than 20 years of experience in the international pharmaceutical industry with senior roles in clinical development, pharmacovigilance and medical affairs.

"It is an honor to welcome Dr. Quartel to our team during an exciting period of growth for Zevra after our recent acquisition of Acer Therapeutics and the expansion of our rare disease portfolio,” said Neil F. McFarlane, President and Chief Executive Officer of Zevra. “His extensive expertise in overseeing clinical development and leading the commercialization of multiple rare disease assets will play a pivotal role in advancing Zevra's vision to develop and commercialize therapies for rare and ultra-rare diseases with significant unmet needs."

“I am grateful for the opportunity to join Zevra and its exceptional team, prominent for their track record in drug approvals and their fervent dedication to developing treatments for patients with rare diseases,” said Dr. Quartel. “I look forward to leveraging my experience to support the company’s mission of developing treatments for patients with rare conditions that deserve quality care. This includes supporting the strategic commercialization of its recently acquired OLPRUVA® and its recently filed NDA for arimoclomol, which both address rare, chronic metabolic conditions and have the potential to help these underserved communities.”

Dr. Quartel was previously the Chief Medical Officer of Acer Therapeutics – Recently acquired by Zevra –, where he played a key role in guiding clinical development, medical affairs and regulatory compliance. Prior to that, he was the Chief Medical Officer at Adamas Pharmaceuticals, a company focused on drug development for neurological diseases. He previously served as the former Group Vice President of Global Medical Affairs at BioMarin Pharmaceuticals Inc., where he spearheaded the launch of six treatments for rare diseases or genetic disorders, including KUVAN®, VIMIZIM®, and Brineura®. Before his tenure at BioMarin, he oversaw clinical development and held senior medical leadership positions at Astellas, Chiltern, and ICON Clinical Research. Earlier in his career, Dr. Quartel worked as a clinical research fellow at UCLA Cedar Sinai and as a resident in cardio-thoracic surgery at Erasmus University Medical Center. He holds an M.D. from Erasmus University Medical School, Rotterdam, and has a postgraduate specialization in pharmaceutical medicine from the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine in London. Dr. Quartel is board certified by the General Medical Council (GMC) in pharmaceutical medicine in the United Kingdom.

Inducement Awards: 

Additionally, on January 3, 2024, the Compensation Committee of Zevra’s Board of Directors granted (i) to Dr. Quartel an inducement equity award consisting of an option grant to purchase 300,000 shares of Zevra’s common stock, vesting over four years, with 25% vesting on the first anniversary of Dr. Quartel’s start date and the remainder vesting in three equal annual installments thereafter, and (ii) to six individuals inducement equity awards consisting of option grants to purchase an aggregate of 100,000 shares of Zevra’s common stock, vesting over four years, with 25% vesting on the first anniversary of each respective individual’s start date and the remainder vesting in three equal annual installments thereafter. The inducement awards were granted under the Zevra Therapeutics, Inc. 2023 Employment Inducement Award Plan (as amended and/or restated, the Inducement Award Plan) and, in each case, an award agreement thereunder.

The stock option awards were granted as inducement material to the individuals entering into employment with Zevra in accordance with Nasdaq Rule 5635(c)(4). The Inducement Award Plan is used exclusively for the grant of equity awards to individuals who were not previously employees of Zevra, or following a bona fide period of non-employment, as an inducement material to such individuals’ entering into employment with Zevra.

About Zevra Therapeutics: Zevra Therapeutics is a rare disease company melding science, data, and patient needs to create transformational therapies for diseases with limited or no treatment options. With unique, data-driven clinical, regulatory, and commercialization strategies, the Company is overcoming complex drug development challenges to bring much-needed therapies to patients. With regulatory, clinical-stage and commercial assets, the Company is building its capabilities to make new therapies available to the rare disease community. 

Expanded access programs are made available by Zevra Therapeutics and its affiliates and are subject to the Company's Expanded Access Program (EAP) policy as published on its website at www.zevra.com. Participation in these programs is subject to the laws and regulations of each jurisdiction under which each respective program is operated. Eligibility for participation in any such program is at the treating physician's discretion. 

Cautionary Note Concerning Forward-Looking Statements: This press release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include all statements that do not relate solely to historical or current facts, and which can be identified by the use of words such as "may," "will," "expect," "project," "estimate," "anticipate," "plan," "believe," "potential," "should," "continue," "could," "intend," "target," "predict," or the negative versions of those words or other comparable words or expressions, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words or expressions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future actions or performance. These forward-looking statements include without limitation statements regarding Zevra’s strategic and product development objectives, including with respect to becoming a leading, commercially-focused rare disease company, and Dr. Quartel’s role in advancing such objectives, and Zevra’s industry, plans, goals and expectations concerning market position, future operations and other financial and operating information. Forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to Zevra and its current plans or expectations, and are subject to several known and unknown uncertainties, risks, and other important factors that may cause actual results, performance, or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These and other important factors are described in detail in the “Risk Factors” section of Zevra’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2022, as updated in Zevra’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2023, and Zevra’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. While Zevra may elect to update such forward-looking statements at some point in the future, it disclaims any obligation to do so, except as required by law, even if subsequent events cause their respective views to change. Although Zevra believes the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it cannot assure that such expectations will prove correct. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing Zevra’s views as of any date after the date of this press release.  

Zevra Contacts: Nichol Ochsner +1 (732) 754-2545 nochsner@zevra.com 

Russo Partners Contacts: David Schull  +1 (858) 717-2310 david.schull@russopartnersllc.com Ignacio Guerrero-Ros +1 (646) 942-5604 ignacio.guerrero-ros@russopartnersllc.com 

 

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