VILLA GUARDIA (COMO), Italy, March 3, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Gentium S.p.A. (Nasdaq:GENT) (the "Company") today announced Adrian Haigh has been appointed to the new position of Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations. Haigh will be responsible for preparing the Company for the future commercial launch of Defibrotide following regulatory approval. Adrian Haigh joins Gentium with 28 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology fields and has held various senior roles in European commercial operations. Most recently, he served as a Regional Vice President of Commercial Operations for Biogen Idec. Prior to that, Mr. Haigh spent several years at Amgen, where he held various general management positions overseeing several European territories, and was the head of the international oncology franchise. Mr. Haigh's career also includes positions with SmithKline Beecham, Schering Plough and Novo-Nordisk, and spans a variety of product classes, therapeutic areas, and responsibilities—including new product introductions and establishing sales infrastructures. "We are pleased to have a seasoned professional like Adrian Haigh to lead our corporate efforts in the commercialization of Defibrotide," said Dr. Khalid Islam, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Gentium. "Gentium retains rights to Defibrotide in Europe and other territories outside of the Americas, so Mr. Haigh's extensive sales and marketing experience in the European territories will be an important asset to us. With our preclinical and clinical work now completed, we remain on track to submit regulatory filings in both Europe and the U.S. by the end of Q2 2011." "I have been impressed by results obtained with Defibrotide to date and the reception the product has already received within the clinical community," said Adrian Haigh. "More than 200 clinics across 30 countries have purchased Defibrotide through the Company's expanded access program. My priority is to quickly ensure that all patients with (or at risk of developing) this life threatening condition have the possibility to benefit from this significant therapeutic advancement."