Jakob interviewed by Di.TV – as new CEO about going forward
November 15, 2021
In conjunction with the announcement of Jakob Lindberg as new CEO of Oncopeptides, he was interviewed by the Swedish economy TV channel Di.TV about the company’s priorities going forward.
Below is a transcript of an interview in DI-TV in Stockholm this Monday, following the announcement that Jakob Lindberg has resumed his position as CEO.
Journalist: Less than one month after the share price plummeted, the CSO Jakob Lindberg resumes his position as CEO of Oncopeptides, which has led to a significant increase of the share price. Marty Duvall, who has been the CEO during more than a year, leaves the company.
What´s your first priority when you are back as CEO?
To control the cost base. We had developed a large organization in the US and elsewhere to support the commercial launch. Given the current situation it´s not a viable option to continue as is, we need to significantly reduce the cost base and ensure that we can build shareholder value with our cash. We have currently a very low trust on the financial market, so the options to attract additional financing are limited. We need to regain trust-and the proof is really in the pudding.
Will you be able to regain trust?
I should not answer that question. We will focus on delivering results, and then it´s up to the market to make their assessment.
What results will you be able to deliver?
Near term we will focus on three priorities;
The first priority is to control the cost base, and here we have made significant progress. Unfortunately we have been forced to notify 2/3 of our employee base, and there is more to come. However I can´t provide more details since we are still in union negotiations.
The second priority is to agree with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the regulatory path forward for our PDC-platform. As previously communicated we are convinced that we can deliver value to patients, however we clearly failed to persuade the FDA, and as a consequence we ultimately decided to withdraw Pepaxto from the market in the US.
The third priority is to fulfill the filing with the European Medicines Agency EMA, and ensure a conditional approval of melflufen in Europe which is estimated to happen during the summer of 2022.
You failed significantly in the dialogue with FDA, does this have wider implications on your portfolio?
This is a complex question to answer; Scientifically I have difficulties explaining what actually happened. Many opinion leaders are equally astonished. The outcome of the FDA review became very dramatic. We have to go back and learn from this, and leverage these learnings in our dialogue with the EMA. We filed for a conditional marketing authorization in April 2021, and are now halfway through the review process.
The Company´s share price collapsed following the withdrawal, and you plan to present a new strategy in Q1 2022, can you tell us more about the direction going forward?
It´s very much in line with what I said; Ensure that we can control the cost base, agree with the FDA on the regulatory path forward, and fully support the European application. There are of course many underlying activities, however we will get back to them later on. We expect to present an updated cash runway in conjunction with the Q3 report on November 24, and to get more clarity on the way forward with the FDA and EMA during Q1, 2022.
You are resuming your position as CEO of Oncopeptides after more than a year as CSO, how does that feel?
Mixed feelings of course, this was not the plan. The withdrawal made me very sad, and I also feel anger, due to the from my perspective unfair outcome. We met the primary endpoint in the OCEAN study, and it´s evident that we provide value to patients. Despite that, the company and the product were hit unexceptionally hard. With that in mind I feel very motivated and energized to get the company back on track again.