SEATTLE, Wash. and VANCOUVER, British Columbia, September 30, 2020 – – Achieve Life Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: ACHV), a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company committed to the global development and commercialization of cytisinicline for smoking cessation, today announced the promotion of John Bencich to Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Bencich has been serving as Achieve’s Chief Financial and Operating Officer since 2017. Mr. Bencich will join the Board of Directors in his role as Chief Executive Officer. Rick Stewart, Achieve’s current Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, will remain with Achieve as the Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Additionally, Dr. Cindy Jacobs will be promoted to the role of President. Dr. Jacobs has been serving as the Chief Medical Officer of Achieve since 2017 and will continue in this role leading the regulatory and clinical development efforts for cytisinicline. Dr. Anthony Clark will step down from the Board of Directors but will remain in his role as Chief Scientific Officer. Mr. Jerry Wan, currently Achieve’s Sr. Director of Accounting Operations, will assume the role of Principal Accounting Officer.
“John, Cindy, and Jerry have demonstrated exemplary leadership driving the clinical development, regulatory, and financial objectives of Achieve in its pursuit of cytisinicline as an aid to smoking cessation,” stated Rick Stewart, Executive Chairman of Achieve. “Given our focus on regulatory approval and commercialization in the U.S. plus international travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we feel this is the appropriate time to recognize their contributions and transition to our new management structure.”
The Company had approximately $26.7 million of cash available on a pro forma basis when including cash on hand at June 30, 2020 and proceeds from equity financings and warrant exercises in the third quarter. The company plans to initiate the Phase 3 ORCA-2 trial in the fourth quarter of 2020.
About Achieve and Cytisinicline
Tobacco use is currently the leading cause of preventable death and is responsible for more than eight million deaths annually worldwide. It is estimated that 28.7% of c