Cheung replaces Volk as CEO at Celsion

Founder, 53, succeeds executive, 67, who made firm more business-like

October 10, 2001|By Julie Bell | Julie Bell,SUN STAFF

Spencer J. Volk has retired as president and chief executive officer of Celsion Corp. and resigned from its board of directors, the company announced yesterday.

Volk, 67, was replaced as CEO by Augustine Y. Cheung, 53, founder of the Columbia developer of heat treatments for prostate disease and cancer. Cheung relinquished his position as chairman of the company.

Max Link, 60, a Celsion director since 1997 and the former CEO of Sandoz Pharma and Corange Ltd., has taken over as chairman.

Volk, a former CEO at juice maker Tropicana Products Inc. and an executive at a number of other consumer products companies including toaster maker Sunbeam Corp., joined Celsion as CEO in 1997 to help shore up a management team heavy on scientific knowledge but short on business experience.

In a statement, Volk said he had decided to step aside now that the company had added midlevel executives with the experience to commercialize its treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia, an enlargement of the prostate.

The company recently decided to conserve cash by concentrating on obtaining Food and Drug Administration approval for that treatment, which it hopes will come next year. It also decided to slow human testing of its experimental breast cancer treatment. Both treatments focus heat on problem areas.

Celsion reported $4.6 million in cash at the end of June, which it described as enough to operate through year's end.

"Since assuming the role of chief executive officer in 1997, it has been very satisfying to build and develop a strategic roadmap for Celsion," Volk said.

"The company recognizes it must focus on the development of its fledgling cancer treatment business and recruit management with appropriate industry experience."

Celsion shares lost 3 cents yesterday to close at 47 cents on the American Stock Exchange.

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