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SAN DIEGO, Jan. 22, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Innovus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTCBB:INNV) ("Innovus Pharma") today announced the appointment of Bassam Damaj, Ph. D. to serve as President & CEO, and a member of the Board of Directors, effective immediately. Dr. Damaj replaces Vivian Liu, who resigned from the Company's management team. Ms. Liu will continue to serve on the Board of Directors. Innovus Pharma will also move its corporate headquarters from Sierra Madre, California to San Diego, California.
Before joining Innovus Pharma, Dr. Damaj served as President & Chief Executive Officer of Apricus Biosciences, Inc., (Nasdaq:APRI) from December 2009 until November 2012. At Apricus Bio, Dr. Damaj was responsible for the approval of its lead drug Vitaros, a treatment for erectile dysfunction. Dr. Damaj also signed multimillion dollar partnerships between Apricus Bio and leading pharmaceutical companies such as Abbott, Novartis-Sandoz and Takeda. "I am delighted to join Innovus Pharma," said Dr. Damaj. "The company has a number of important drugs either approved or under development, and I look forward to filling the company's product pipeline and building it into a true commercial revenue-generating organization."
Innovus Pharma also announced that director Henry Esber Ph.D. has been appointed Chairman of the Board. Commenting on today's news, Dr. Esber said: "We are fortunate to be able to recruit an executive officer with Bassam's accomplishments, expertise and identity in the marketplace. At Apricus Bio, he successfully designed and executed on a business plan that resurrected the Company, its technology platform and its products, and grew the Company to over 100M in market capitalization."
Before Apricus Bio, Dr. Damaj was a co-founder of Bio-Quant, Inc. and served as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer and a Director of Bio-Quant's board of directors from its inception in June 2000 until its acquisition by Apricus Biosciences in June 2011. In addition, Dr. Damaj was the founder, Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer of R&D Healthcare, and the co-founder of Celltek Biotechnologies. He also served as a Director of the Board of Directors at CreAgri, Inc. and was Member of Scientific Advisory Board of MicroIslet, Inc.