Diffusion Pharmaceuticals Appoints Biotech Industry Veteran Isaac Blech to Board of Directors

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Aug. 15, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Diffusion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (OTCQX:DFFN), a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on the development of novel small molecule therapeutics for cancer, today announced the appointment of Isaac Blech to its Board of Directors, effective August 10, 2016, as Vice Chairman of the Board.

David Kalergis, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Diffusion, stated, “We are honored to welcome such a distinguished member of the biotechnology community to our Board. Isaac’s impressive track record in helping to create and grow leading companies will be instrumental as we advance the clinical development of our lead candidate TSC in oncology and other hypoxia-related indications.”

Isaac Blech remarked, “I’m pleased to join Diffusion’s Board and look forward to providing strategic insight and guidance throughout the clinical development of its novel small molecule platform.”

Mr. Blech, an experienced biotechnology entrepreneur and investor, brings to Diffusion over 35 years of expertise in the biotech industry. He has founded and served on the board of a number of companies that have produced major advances in a broad array of diseases, including the diagnosis of chlamydia, herpes, syphilis and HIV, and the treatment of cystic fibrosis, sexual dysfunction, multiple myeloma and many forms of cancer and hematological disease. Among the companies he has established are Celgene Corporation, the world’s leading company in cancer and hematology, ICOS Corporation that developed the drug Cialis and was purchased by Eli Lilly, Nova Pharmaceutical Corporation that developed a new treatment for brain cancer, Gliadel, and was purchased by Johnson & Johnson, Pathogenesis Corporation that developed the leading drug for cystic fibrosis and was purchased by Chiron, and Genetics Systems Corporation that developed the first rapid accurate diagnostic for chlamydia and the first accurate test to safe guard the world’s blood supply from the AIDS virus and was later purchased by Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Among the boards Mr. Blech currently serves on are Cerecor, Inc., a CNS company, ContraFect Corporation, an infectious disease company, Medgenics, Inc., a biotechnology company, and Edge Therapeutics, Inc., a company that treats life-threatening neurological conditions.

About Diffusion Pharmaceuticals
Diffusion Pharmaceuticals is a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on extending the life expectancy of cancer patients by improving the effectiveness of current standard-of-care treatments including radiation therapy and chemotherapy. The Diffusion technology is a paradigm shift in the approach to the treatment of cancer and other diseases involving hypoxia, or oxygen deprivation, in that it facilitates the diffusion of oxygen to the hypoxic tissues. Diffusion is developing its lead drug, trans sodium crocetinate (TSC), for use in the many cancer types in which tumor hypoxia is known to diminish the effectiveness of current treatments. TSC targets the cancer’s hypoxic micro-environment, re-oxygenating treatment-resistant tissue and making the cancer cells more vulnerable to the therapeutic effects of treatments such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy, without the apparent addition of any serious side effects.

A Phase 2 clinical program, completed in the second quarter of 2015, evaluated 59 patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). This open label, historically controlled study demonstrated a favorable safety and efficacy profile for TSC combined with standard of care. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has agreed upon the design of a Phase 3 trial in newly diagnosed GBM. Additional planned studies, subject to receipt of necessary financing, include the Phase 2 trial in pancreatic cancer and a study in brain metastases. Due to its novel mechanism of action, TSC has safely re-oxygenated a range of tumor types in our preclinical and clinical studies. The Company believes its therapeutic potential is not limited to specific tumors, thereby making it potentially useful to improve standard-of-care treatments of other life-threatening cancers.

Forward-Looking Statements
To the extent any statements made in this news release deal with information that are not historical facts, these are forward-looking statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the company’s plans, objectives, expectations and intentions with respect to future operations and products, the potential of the company’s technology and product candidates, the continued development of TSC in GBM, pancreatic cancer and possibly other indications, and other statements that are not historical in nature, including those that utilize terminology such as “would,” “will,” “plans,” “possibility,” “potential,” “future,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “intends,” “continue,” “estimates,” “targets,” “projects,” “intends,” and similar expressions, derivations of such words and the use of future dates. Forward-looking statements by their nature address matters that are, to different degrees, uncertain and involve both known and unknown risks. These uncertainties and risks may cause the Company’s actual results to be materially different than those expressed in or implied by such forward-looking statements. Particular uncertainties and risks include: general business and economic conditions; the Company’s need for and ability to obtain additional financing; the Company’s ability to satisfy regulatory requirements with respect to its product candidates; the Company’s ability to maintain and defend its intellectual property; the conduct and success of the Company’s clinical trials, including successful enrollment in those trials; the safety and efficacy of the Company’s product candidates; the Company’s ability to retain and recruit qualified personnel; the difficulty of developing pharmaceutical products, obtaining regulatory and other approvals and achieving market acceptance; and the other factors discussed in the Company’s public filings, including the risk factors included in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K. All forward-looking statements in this news release speak only as of the date of this news release and are based on Company management’s current beliefs and expectations. Investors, potential investors and other readers are urged to consider these factors carefully in evaluating the forward-looking statements and are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise after the date of this release, except as required by applicable law.

Diffusion Pharmaceuticals Contacts David Kalergis Chief Executive Officer Diffusion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (434) 220-0718 dkalergis@diffusionpharma.com Stephanie Carrington ICR Inc. (646) 277-1282 Stephanie.Carrington@icrinc.com

Source:Diffusion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.