George Tziras to succeed Peter Rands as Small Pharma Chief Executive Officer
– Building on strong foundations to take Small Pharma through development to commercial success
– Peter Rands to take on role as Chief Innovation & Intellectual Property Officer
LONDON, July 18, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Small Pharma Inc. (TSXV: DMT) (OTCQB: DMTTF) (the “Company” or “Small Pharma”), a biotechnology company focused on short-acting psychedelic-assisted therapies for mental health conditions, is pleased to announce that the Company’s board of directors (the “Board”) has appointed Mr. George Tziras as Chief Executive Officer of the Company (“CEO”), effective as of July 20, 2022. Mr. Peter Rands, founder and current CEO, will take on the role of Chief Innovation & Intellectual Property Officer of the Company (“CIIPO”). Mr. Rands will be relocating to the United States as part of a planned succession to better position the business for the later stages of clinical development and establishing the Company’s footprint in the United States. Mr. Rands will continue to serve on the Board following the transition.
Lyne Fortin, Chair of the Board, said: “With key data expected from our lead candidate, SPL026, and the anticipated launch of new clinical trials later this year, we have focused on building strength and breadth to our leadership team. George brings decades of international capital markets expertise and relationships, and critically he brings a sharp focus on corporate strategy to take the business forward at this pivotal stage of the Company’s growth. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Peter. Small Pharma is the organization it is today due to his vision, entrepreneurship and ambition to find innovative therapeutic solutions for under-served mental health patients. With the recent addition of Dr. Alastair Riddell as COO, and Peter focused on innovation and intellectual property, we have a strong team to support George as he leads Small Pharma in building its reputation as a world leader in alternative treatments for mental health.”
Peter Rands, current CEO and future CIIPO of Small Pharma, added: “I am delighted to be handing the reins of the Company to my colleague, George. The best biotech companies must always have the right person at the top to take them through each stage of development. I am proud of what we have achieved in building the foundations of Small Pharma and now is the right time for George, with his deep understanding of markets, deal structure and business expertise to lead the Company into our critical next phase of evolution. For me, my new role is taking me back to where my heart is: innovation and the protection of it. I look forward enormously to supporting George in this job as we continue to shape the future of mental health treatment.”
George Tziras, current Chief Business Officer (“CBO”) and future CEO of Small Pharma, commented: “I am looking forward to taking on this role and the new challenges it will bring. Small Pharma is a great company with a bright future, which has the potential to deliver new alternative therapies that could change the lives of patients. Peter has done a brilliant job. I am excited to be leading the Company into the next stage of growth.”
Mr. Tziras initially joined Small Pharma in 2015 as a director of Small Pharma Ltd, the Company’s main operating subsidiary, before also being appointed to the role of CBO and director of the Company in 2021. George has been pivotal in building the Company’s reputation across the capital markets, leading to the successful fundraising of CDN$63 million in 2021, and its transformation from a private to a public company. His role has been responsible for business development and strategy, investor relations and overseeing corporate activities.
Prior to joining Small Pharma full-time, George was an Executive Director at Goldman Sachs. George has over 15 years’ experience in investment banking and international capital markets, having worked at a number of global financial institutions including Credit Suisse, Nomura, Lehman Brothers and CIBC. Over the course of his career, he has executed a broad range of transactions including debt and equity financings; mergers, disposals and acquisitions; and private equity buyouts and debt restructurings, all across a number of industries, including healthcare.
Mr. Tziras holds a BA degree in Economics and Management from the University of Oxford and a MA degree in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
In relation to Mr. Tziras’ appointment as CEO of Small Pharma, the Board has granted him options to purchase up to an aggregate of 1,000,000 common shares in the capital of the Company (the “Common Shares”) pursuant to the Company’s stock option plan. Each option is exercisable for one Common Share at a price equal to the greater of (i) $0.105 per Common Share; and (ii) the closing price of the Common Shares on July 18, 2022, being the first trading day after the release of the Company’s financial results. The options are exercisable for a period of ten years and are subject to certain vesting requirements.
About Small Pharma
Small Pharma is a biotechnology company progressing a pipeline of short-acting psychedelics with therapy for the treatment of mental health conditions, with a current focus on depression. Small Pharma initiated a clinical program into N,N-dimethyltryptamine (“DMT”) assisted psychotherapy in February 2021. This program includes a Phase I/IIa trial on the Company’s lead candidate alongside the development of a pipeline of proprietary preclinical assets.
DMT is a naturally occurring psychedelic tryptamine found in plants and in the brain of mammals. Scientific evidence suggests DMT offers the potential for rapid-acting and long-lasting antidepressant effects. DMT is differentiated by its short psychedelic experience (< 30 mins), which allows for short treatment sessions and offers the potential for convenient supervised treatments within patient clinics.
For further information contact:
Peter Rands Chief Executive Officer
Tel: +44 (0)20 7112 9118
Media Relations Contacts:
USA: McKenna Miller
KCSA Strategic Communications
Tel: +1 (949) 949-6585
Investor Relations Contacts:
Tel: +1 (646)-889-1200
KCSA Strategic Communications
Tel: +1 (212) 682-6300
Rest of World:
Tel: +44 (0)7720 326 487
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains statements that constitute “forward-looking information” (“forward-looking information”) within the meaning of the applicable Canadian securities legislation. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking information and are based on expectations, estimates and projections as at the date of this news release. Any statement that discusses predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions, future events or performance (often but not always using phrases such as “expects”, or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, “plans”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “forecasts”, “estimates”, “believes” or “intends” or variations of such words and phrases or stating that certain actions, events or results “may” or “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken to occur or be achieved) are not statements of historical fact and may be forward-looking information. Forward-looking statements in this news release include statements regarding the release of key data from the Company’s SPL 026 Phase IIa clinical trials; the timeline for the anticipated launch of additional clinical trials; the Company’s ability to deliver novel treatments and build its reputation as a world leader in alternative treatments for mental health; and the Company’s ability to develop solutions to effectively address depression through DMT-based therapies.
In disclosing the forward-looking information contained in this press release, the Company has made certain assumptions. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking information are reasonable, it can give no assurance that the expectations of any forward-looking information will prove to be correct. Known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results and future events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Such factors include but are not limited to: compliance with extensive government regulations; domestic and foreign laws and regulations adversely affecting the Company’s business and results of operations; the impact of COVID-19; and general business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking information contained in this press release. Except as required by law, the Company disclaims any intention and assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information to reflect actual results, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in assumptions, changes in factors affecting such forward-looking information or otherwise.
Small Pharma makes no medical, treatment or health benefit claims about its proposed products. The MHRA or other similar regulatory authorities have not evaluated claims regarding DMT-assisted therapies and other next generation psychoactive compounds. The efficacy of such therapies has not been confirmed by MHRA-approved research. There is no assurance that such DMT-assisted therapies and other psychoactive compounds can diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition. Vigorous scientific research and clinical trials are needed. Any references to quality, consistency, efficacy and safety of potential therapies do not imply that Small Pharma verified such in clinical trials or that Small Pharma will complete such trials. If Small Pharma cannot obtain the approvals or research necessary to commercialize its business, it may have a material adverse effect on Small Pharma’s performance and operations.
The TSX Venture Exchange (“TSXV”) has neither approved nor disapproved the contents of this news release. Neither the TSXV nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSXV) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.