“Paul Fonteyne brings critical expertise as we begin to build our commercial strategy for AD109, our lead oral treatment candidate for obstructive sleep apnea,” said Larry Miller, MD, Chief Executive Officer of Apnimed. “Paul’s operational and commercial experience provides the skills and perspective to help position the company for continued growth. We also want to thank Rosy Hu for her support and counsel while on the Board.”
“I’m excited to join Apnimed’s Board of Directors as the company enters its next phase of development,” said Fonteyne. “Apnimed has the opportunity to change the way obstructive sleep apnea is treated for the millions of Americans who currently cannot or will not use existing therapies. I’m looking forward to working with the Apnimed team to achieve their business and clinical goals.”
Fonteyne has more than 30 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, including 15 years of leadership roles in the United States and globally with Boehringer-Ingelheim. He was named President and CEO of Boehringer-Ingelheim USA in November 2011 and subsequently served as its Chairman until he retired in January 2019. Paul also held commercial leadership roles at Merck and Co. Inc. for nine years and at Abbott Laboratories for eight years.
Fonteyne is on the board of several clinical and commercial stage biotechnology companies, including Apellis, Amylyx, Ypsomed and DalCor. He also serves as an Executive in Residence to Canaan Partners, a Venture Capital Fund dedicated to Health Care and Technology early-stage venture investing. Paul has served on the board of PhRMA and chaired the National Pharmaceutical Council. He holds a MS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Brussels and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University.
AD109 has the potential to be the first oral pharmacologic that could both treat the underlying nighttime airway obstruction and hypoxia that characterize OSA, as well as improve the daytime consequences of OSA, such as fatigue. It is a first-in-class, novel, investigational combination dosed once daily at bedtime and is designed to treat OSA patients across a broad spectrum of disease severity. AD109 combines Apnimed’s novel selective antimuscarinic (aroxybutynin) with a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (atomoxetine). AD109 targets key neurological pathways in OSA that activate upper airway dilator muscles to maintain an open airway during sleep. AD109 has the potential to become a safe, effective, and convenient treatment for OSA, addressing some of the key limitations of current standard of care treatments that can be poorly tolerated (e.g., CPAP and oral devices) and/or invasive (e.g., surgery or implanted devices).
AD109 has been granted Fast Track designation by the FDA and is currently in Phase 3.
About Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is one of the most common and serious sleep disorders. It is estimated to affect more than 45 million Americans, though underdiagnosis continues to be a serious problem and the number of affected Americans may be far greater. OSA is characterized by partial or complete upper airway closure that occurs during sleep, which can cause dramatic reductions in overnight oxygen saturation and often leads to poor sleep, and in the long term, has been shown to exacerbate hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. Additionally, OSA can impair work productivity, reduce daytime functional abilities, and lower quality of life. Sleep-related muscular relaxation driven by the central nervous system is the key neurologic mechanism that causes OSA. In patients with OSA, a reduction in neuromuscular control of the upper airway during sleep leads to a corresponding relaxation of the upper airway dilator muscles. The vast majority of diagnosed patients are prescribed positive air pressure therapy devices such as continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, but many patients are dissatisfied with these mechanical nighttime devices and fewer than half are compliant long term, leaving a significant population untreated, undertreated and at risk.
Apnimed is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company working to transform the treatment of sleep apnea based on a simple idea – patients with obstructive sleep apnea could benefit from treatment with a safe and effective oral medication dosed once daily at bedtime. Apnimed’s lead development program targets the neurologic control of upper airway muscles to maintain an open airway during sleep. Based in Cambridge, Mass., the company is developing a portfolio of novel pharmacologic therapies for sleep apnea and related disorders. Learn more at apnimed.com or follow us on X and LinkedIn.
Kendall Investor Relations