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NPS Pharmaceuticals Expands Executive Leadership Team to Support its U.S. and International Growth and Global Orphan-Drug Leadership

Companies mentioned in this article: NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

BEDMINSTER, N.J. -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:NPSP), a global biopharmaceutical company pioneering and delivering therapies that transform the lives of patients with rare diseases worldwide, today announced the appointment and promotion of two key executives to support the company’s vision of becoming the world’s premier orphan drug business.

Paul Firuta has joined NPS as president, U.S. commercial operations. Most recently, Mr. Firuta was vice president and general manager, Americas for ViroPharma, Inc. While at ViroPharma, Mr. Firuta led the U.S. launch of the orphan biologic product, Cinryze®, a C1 esterase inhibitor indicated for routine prophylaxis against angioedema attacks in adolescent and adult patients with Hereditary Angioedema, or HAE. Cinryze was launched in December 2008 and generated $97 million in first-year sales, making it one of the most successful orphan drug launches in the U.S. Prior to ViroPharma, Mr. Firuta held commercial leadership positions at OraPharma, Inc. and SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals (GlaxoSmithKline).

To support NPS’ continued expansion into international markets, Eric Pauwels has been promoted to the new position of president, NPS Pharma International and will be responsible for all international commercial operations. Since joining NPS in September 2011, Mr. Pauwels has built a high-caliber commercial team and directed the successful U.S. launch of Gattex® (teduglutide [rDNA origin]) for injection for adult Short Bowel Syndrome, or SBS. Before joining NPS, Mr. Pauwels led the worldwide commercial functions for the Human Genetic Therapies (HGT) division of Shire plc.

“I am delighted that Paul Firuta will be leading our U.S. Commercial Operations and serve as the U.S. counterpart to Eric Pauwels who will now devote his skills and talents to building our international capabilities. The expansion of our leadership team and focus will help us accelerate our global growth strategy to build the world’s premier rare disease company,” said Francois Nader, MD, president and chief executive officer, NPS Pharmaceuticals. “Paul’s successful track record makes him the ideal executive to deliver continued success for Gattex® while preparing for the launch of Natpara®. And Eric’s extensive experience building international commercial teams, along with his deep global understanding of the orphan drug landscape, makes him ideally suited to run our international commercial operations.”

About NPS Pharmaceuticals

NPS Pharmaceuticals is a global biopharmaceutical company pioneering and delivering therapies that transform the lives of patients with rare diseases. The company’s lead product, Gattex® (teduglutide [rDNA origin]) for injection is approved in the US for adult patients with Short Bowel Syndrome (SBS) who are dependent on parenteral support. In the EU, teduglutide (trade name: Revestive®) is approved for the treatment of adult patients with SBS; patients should be stable following a period of intestinal adaptation after surgery. Teduglutide is not approved for the treatment of pediatric SBS patients. The safety and efficacy of teduglutide in this population is currently being evaluated in a global registration trial.

A Biologics License Application is undergoing FDA review for Natpara® (rhPTH [1-84]) for the treatment of hypoparathyroidism, a rare endocrine disorder characterized by insufficient levels of parathyroid hormone. The Prescription Drug User Fee Act goal date for the Natpara application is October 24, 2014.

NPS’ earlier stage pipeline includes NPSP795, a calcilytic compound with potential application in rare disorders involving increased calcium sensing receptor activity, such as autosomal dominant hypocalcemia (ADH). NPS complements its proprietary programs with a royalty-based portfolio of products and product candidates that includes agreements with Amgen, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and Kyowa Hakko Kirin.

Additional information about NPS is available through its corporate website,

“NPS,” “NPS Pharmaceuticals,” “Gattex,” “Natpara,” “Preotact,” and “Revestive” are the company's trademarks.

Disclosure notice

Statements made in this press release, which are not historical in nature, constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on the company's current expectations and beliefs and are subject to a number of factors and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. Forward looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning the company’s future financial performance and plans for the commercialization of its products, beliefs or expectations regarding our products in development, statements concerning the company’s plans for international expansion, beliefs or expectations regarding potential revenue and earnings from product sales, including beliefs regarding our ability to grow sales, expectations regarding the market size for our products, including those in development, and beliefs or expectations regarding our operating expenses. Risks associated to the company's business include, but are not limited to, the risks associated with any failure by the company to successfully commercialize Gattex/Revestive (teduglutide [rDNA origin]) for injection, including the risk that physicians and patients may not see the advantages of Gattex/Revestive and may therefore be reluctant to utilize the product, the risk that private and public payers may be reluctant to cover or provide reimbursement for Gattex, risks related to regulatory approvals for Natpara (recombinant human parathyroid hormone 1-84 (rhPTH 1-84)), the risks associated with the company's strategy, global macroeconomic conditions, the impact of changes in management or staff levels, the effect of legislation effecting healthcare reform in the United States, as well as other risk factors described in the company's periodic filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K and Form 10-Qs. All information in this press release is as of the date of this press release and NPS undertakes no duty to update this information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Susan M. Mesco, 908-450-5516