Atlantic Healthcare Appoints Karl Keegan as Chief Financial Officer


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Atlantic Healthcare Appoints Karl Keegan as Chief Financial Officer


Atlantic Healthcare plc, an emerging trans-Atlantic pharmaceutical company with a core focus on gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, today announces the appointment of Karl Keegan, as Chief Financial Officer.

Prior to joining Atlantic Healthcare, Karl gained significant experience in the UK, European and U.S. healthcare markets working in senior positions at a number of private and publicly listed companies and leading international investment banks. Within these he accumulated considerable transaction and financial experience, including numerous financings, IPOs, M&A and licensing deals.

Most recently, Karl was Chief Corporate Development Officer at Vectura Group plc (LSE: VEC), where he was responsible for M&A identification and execution, business development, alliance management and investor relations. In 2010, Karl became CFO at Pharming Group NV (AMS: Pharm) where he led a series of successful financings to progress the growth of business, and the development of the late stage clinical pipeline. In 2009, he served as CFO at Minster Pharmaceuticals plc (listed on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM) concluding in a successful sale of the business. Prior to that, Karl spent 12 years as a highly-ranked biotech analyst with a number of City firms including Canaccord (as Head of Research), UBS and Bank of America. He began his career at SmithKline Beecham (now GlaxoSmithKline (LSE:GSK)) in research, later moving into Strategic Product Development.

At Atlantic Healthcare Karl will be responsible for executing the financial strategy in support of the Group’s growth plans. To date, the Group has raised approximately $40 million including investment from blue chip institutions, highly successful industry executives and a $3m UK Government grant award. Atlantic Healthcare’s lead product, alicaforsen, is undergoing a pivotal Phase 3 trial for pouchitis, with read-out estimated at H2 2017. Alicaforsen is ready to start a second pivotal Phase 3 trial in ulcerative colitis. The Group is also developing alternative formulations of alicaforsen to treat other IBD indications including Crohn's disease. Atlantic Healthcare's business strategy is to build a portfolio of products that will generate multiple revenue streams through its own sales and marketing team.

Toby Wilson Waterworth, CEO at Atlantic Healthcare, said: "We are pleased to welcome Karl to Atlantic Healthcare during this exciting period in the Groups' growth. Karl is an established and well-regarded executive who has considerable experience within highly successful public and private healthcare groups and leading international investment banks. His strong financial expertise, knowledge of the industry and capital markets, plus broad experience across M&A and licensing transactions will be particularly important for the team at this important time.”

Karl Keegan, CFO at Atlantic Healthcare, said: “I am delighted to be joining Atlantic Healthcare at this exciting and important stage of the Groups' evolution. I believe alicaforsen, currently in Phase 3 clinical trials in pouchitis inflammatory bowel disease, is a key near term value driver. I am looking forward to working with Toby and the team to build on the strong foundations and accelerate the growth of the Atlantic Healthcare business.”

Atlantic Healthcare

Toby Wilson Waterworth (CEO)
+44 1799 512 055
Karl Keegan (CFO)
+44 1799 512 056
Adam Michael (Head of Communications)
+44 1799 512 055
+44 777 588 1813

Consilium Strategic Communications
Mary-Jane Elliott / Matthew Neal / Jessica Hodgson / Melissa Gardiner
+44 20 3709 5700

Notes to Editors:

About Atlantic Healthcare plc (

Atlantic Healthcare is an emerging trans-Atlantic pharmaceutical company with a core focus on gastrointestinal disorders including Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). The Group's lead product is alicaforsen enema, in a pivotal Phase 3 trial for pouchitis, and in preparation for Phase 3 clinical development in ulcerative colitis (UC). Alicaforsen is also generating early repeat revenues in Europe through unsolicited requests via Named Patient Supply protocols. The Group has FDA and EMA Orphan Drug designations, and an FDA letter of Fast-Track, in pouchitis. Atlantic Healthcare has a highly committed investor base and an experienced international management team. Atlantic Healthcare's fundraising to date includes $3m/£1.9m through SBRI funding with InnovateUK, the UK Government's innovation agency ( In Q1 2016 the Group closed a $24m round led by LDC (the private equity division of Lloyd's Banking Group), with investment from founders of Salix Pharmaceuticals and Clinigen Group, and existing shareholders.

About Alicaforsen

Alicaforsen enema has the potential to establish a new class of therapy for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), with clear differentiating features.

Alicaforsen enema is currently in a Phase 3 trial agreed with U.S., Canadian and European regulatory agencies in patients with active, chronic pouchitis. The trial is recruiting 138 patients to approximately 40 trial centres across the U.S., Canada and Europe . Alicaforsen is an antisense oligonucleotide with a novel mode of action for treatment of IBD. Alicaforsen is targeted at ICAM-1, a cell-surface protein which is involved in the inflammatory response and over-expressed in patients with IBD.

Alicaforsen enema is being developed as a locally active topical formulation which has demonstrated, in five Phase 2 clinical studies involving 377 patients, an ability to reduce inflammation and promote mucosal healing with good tolerability and a durable effect. Alicaforsen enema has commenced Phase 3 for pouchitis and is ready to commence Phase 3 for active distal ulcerative colitis (UC). There is currently no approved treatment for pouchitis in the U.S. or Europe and there are limited treatment options for UC.

Alicaforsen in pouchitis has FDA Fast Track designation plus U.S. and European Orphan Drug designations. Alicaforsen is generating early repeat revenues in Europe through unsolicited requests via Named Patient Supply protocols. This has demonstrated further evidence of efficacy and safety in the pouchitis[1] and UC indications [2,3].


1. Alicaforsen, an antisense inhibitor of ICAM-1, as treatment for chronic refractory pouchitis after proctocolectomy: A case series. Thomas Greuter, Luc Biedermann, Gerhard Rogler, Bernhard Sauter and Frank Seibold. UEG Journal (2015) DOI: 10.1177/2050640615593681.

2. Alicaforsen Retention Enema Induces Long-Term Remission in Patients with Ulcerative Colitis. Zaid Heetun, David Gibson, Denise Keegan, Kathryn Byrne, Hugh E Mulcahy, Garret Cullen, Glen A Doherty. Irish Soc Gastroenterol Nov 2014

3. Alicaforsen, ICAM-1 enema as a treatment option when treating distal ulcerative colitis . LA. Bark 1 , I. Löfberg 1 , B. Håkansson 1 , U. Sjöqvist 1 ( 

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