FRAMINGHAM (01/15/2004) - Xechem International Inc. has named orphan disease market veteran William Pursley president and chief operating officer. "My goal is to establish Xechem as the pre-eminent developer and marketer of orphan drugs worldwide," Pursley announced. One step in that direction is to acquire Ceptor, a drug-targeting company with a focus on neuromuscular diseases. "Ceptor represents the perfect strategic fit for Xechem's orphan platform," Pursley said. Ceptor's projected milestones for 2004 include submitting several new applications to the FDA for orphan drug status.