SAN FRANCISCO, CA, December 17, 2008 – Achaogen, an emerging biopharmaceutical company addressing the issue of multi-drug resistant bacterial infections through the discovery and development of innovative broad-spectrum antibiotics, today announced the appointments of Thomas B. King, President and Chief Executive Officer of Alexza Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ALXA), and Christopher T. Walsh, Ph.D., the Hamilton Kuhn Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School, to its Board of Directors.
“We are very pleased to welcome both Tom and Chris to our Board of Directors,” said Kevin Judice, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer of Achaogen. “Tom brings extensive biopharmaceutical company leadership and operational and advisory experience to Achaogen, and his strategic insights will be a significant asset to us as we move our innovative antibacterial products into clinical development. Dr. Walsh offers a rare and remarkable combination of both business and scientific expertise; he has been on the boards of several other successful enterprises, and is a world-renowned enzymologist with extensive knowledge of the evolution of antibiotic resistance and mechanisms of action. He is a valuable addition to our Board.”
Mr. King has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Alexza Pharmaceuticals since 2003. Prior to joining Alexza, Mr. King served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Cognetix, Inc. His executive experience also includes seven years at the Anesta Corporation, where he held the positions of President and Chief Executive Officer. King previously held various marketing, business development and corporate development positions with Somatogen, Inc., Abbott Laboratories and Anaquest, a division of The BOC Group. He received an M.B.A. from the University of Kansas and a B.A. in chemistry from McPherson College.
“I am thrilled to join the Achaogen Board and look forward to working with the world-class team that Achaogen has assembled,” said King. “Within the next five years, Achaogen plans to become the global leader in the development of drugs to combat antibiotic-resistant pathogens. I look forward to being part of this critical mission addressing a growing area of medical concern.”
Dr. Walsh is currently the Hamilton Kuhn Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School, a position he has held since 1991. He has also served as President of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Chairman of the Harvard Medical School Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, and Chairman of the MIT Chemistry Department. He has been a Trustee of the Whitehead Institute and the Helen Hay Whitney Foundation and a member of the scientific review board of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Walsh is currently on the Board of Directors for Magen Biosciences and Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (previously Microbia), and has previously been a Board member for a number of successful biotechnology companies, including Critical Therapeutics, ImmunoGen, Kosan Biosciences, Leukosite, TransForm Pharmaceuticals and Vicuron Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Walsh is a Scientific Advisory Board member for LS9 Inc. and HealthCare Ventures, and also served in this capacity for Sirtris Pharmaceuticals. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Dr. Walsh received a B.A. from Harvard University and a Ph.D. from The Rockefeller University, New York. Dr. Walsh was a postdoctoral fellow at Brandeis University.
Dr. Walsh commented, “The increase in resistance to even the most advanced antibiotics is one of the most concerning healthcare issues today. There exists a critical and unmet medical need for innovation and new mechanisms to overcome this global concern. Achaogen is poised to make a real difference, with its unique approach to the discovery and development of a broad pipeline of clinical candidates, including its portfolio of neoglycosides, next-generation aminoglycosides. I look forward to being involved with Achaogen as the company advances its novel compounds to combat multi-drug resistant bacteria, including Gram-negative infections.”
Achaogen is an emerging biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative, broad-spectrum antibiotics to treat multi-drug resistant bacterial infections. Resistance to available antibacterial therapies continues to rise at an alarming rate, and Achaogen is poised to meet the evolving needs of this market by applying its anticipatory science to develop drugs today that will combat tomorrow’s resistant pathogens. This scientific strategy is critical to address the global bacterial resistance crisis. Achaogen is creating new medicines that anticipate the next wave of anti-bacterial infections, including agents for the underserved Gram-negative infectious disease market and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Achaogen’s most advanced compound, one of our next generation aminoglycosides known as neoglycosides, is entering the clinic in early 2009, and the company has several other innovative small molecule antibacterial programs nearing clinical development. South San Francisco-based Achaogen is backed by top-tier venture investors and has received substantial non-dilutive funding from the NIH, the U.S. Department of Defense, and other sources. Venture capital investors include 5AM Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners, Domain Associates, Venrock Associates and Versant Ventures. For more information, please visit the company’s website at www.achaogen.com.