Press releases

Pharnext appoints Dr. Burkhard Blank as new Chief Medical Officer and Head of Research & Development


Dr. Burkhard Blank brings more than 25 years of industry experience and will support the ongoing PREMIER pivotal Phase III trial for lead candidate PXT3003 to treat Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease Type 1A (‘CMT1A’)

PARIS, France, November 22, 2021, 6:00 p.m. CET – Pharnext SA (FR0011191287 - ALPHA) (the “Company”), an advanced late-stage clinical biopharmaceutical company pioneering new approaches to developing innovative drug combinations based on big genomics data and artificial intelligence using its PLEOTHERAPY™ platform, announces the appointment of Dr. Burkhard Blank as Chief Medical Officer (‘CMO’) and Head of Research & Development effective January 1, 2022.

Dr. Burkhard Blank is an experienced leader in global drug development, medical and regulatory affairs, and pharmacovigilance with more than 25 years of industry experience. He joins Pharnext from Acorda Therapeutics where he held the position of CMO and Head of Research & Development for the past six years. At Acorda, he notably oversaw the Phase III development being conducted in North America and in Europe for InbrijaTM in Parkinson’s Disease with subsequent one cycle approvals by the FDA and the EMA. Dr. Blank will continue to provide part-time consulting services to Acorda in 2022. Prior to this, Dr Blank served as CMO for several biopharmaceutical companies, including Boehringer Ingelheim, Herantis Pharma, and Mersana Therapeutics. While at Boehringer Ingelheim, he oversaw the submission of five New Drug Applications (NDAs) each of which subsequently resulted in FDA approvals and has also served as a strategic advisor to numerous biotech companies. Dr Blank received his medical degree from Universitaet Marburg, Germany, and is board-certified in internal medicine.

At Pharnext, Dr Blank will be responsible for driving the company’s clinical development pipeline and R&D activities with a particular focus on the continued development of PXT3003, Pharnext’s lead candidate designed to treat CMT1A, a rare progressive, inherited neurological disorder that affects the peripheral nerves with currently no existing approved therapies.

Dr. David Horn Solomon, Chief Executive Officer of Pharnext, commented:I am delighted to welcome Burkhard to the team and look forward to working with him. Burkhard brings decades of expertise and invaluable experience as we continue to progress our Phase III trial for PXT3003 and build our clinical development pipeline. His appointment as CMO comes at a pivotal time for the company as Dr. Adrian Hepner has decided to depart for a new external opportunity. On behalf of the team, I want to thank Adrian for his commitment and engagement to the development of PXT3003 and wish him all the best in his new role.”

On his appointment as Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Burkhard Blank commented: “I’m pleased to be joining such an experienced team and am excited by the prospect of supporting this important medicine through late-stage clinical development and potential commercialization. Pharnext is seeking to address a major unmet medical need by securing an approval for the first clinically approved treatment for CMT1A, which affects around 1.5 million people globally with symptoms that progress throughout life. I look forward to working with the team to help achieve this and transform the quality of lives of those who endure the consequences of CMT1A.”

About Pharnext
Pharnext is an advanced clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for orphan and common neurodegenerative diseases that currently lack curative and/or disease-modifying treatments. Pharnext has two lead products in clinical development. PXT3003 completed an international Phase III trial with positive topline results for the treatment of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1A (‘CMT1A’) and benefits from orphan drug status in Europe and the United States. An international pivotal Phase III study of PXT3003 in CMT1A, the PREMIER trial, is currently ongoing. PXT864 has generated encouraging Phase II results in Alzheimer’s disease and will be advanced through partnerships. Pharnext has developed a new drug discovery paradigm based on big genomics data and artificial intelligence: PLEOTHERAPY™. Pharnext identifies and develops synergic combinations of drugs called PLEODRUG™. More information can be found at
Pharnext is listed on the Euronext Growth Stock Exchange in Paris (ISIN code: FR0011191287).

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements concerning Pharnext and its business, including in respect of timing of and prospects for clinical trials and regulatory submissions of the Company’s product candidates as well as a potential financing transaction, the use of proceeds therefrom and cash runway. Such forward-looking statements are based on assumptions that Pharnext considers to be reasonable. However, there can be no assurance that the estimates contained in such forward-looking statements will be verified, which estimates are subject to numerous risks including the risks set forth in Pharnext’s URD approved by the AMF on November 9, 2020 under number N° R. 20-029 as well as in its annual periodic management reports and press releases (copies of which are available on and to the development of economic conditions, financial markets and the markets in which Pharnext operates. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are also subject to risks not yet known to Pharnext or not currently considered material by Pharnext. The occurrence of all or part of such risks could cause actual results, financial conditions, performance or achievements of Pharnext to be materially different from such forward-looking statements. Pharnext disclaims any intention or obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
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