Healthcare Industry News:  aptamer 

Biopharmaceuticals Personnel

 News Release - February 1, 2006

Duncan Higgons Joins Archemix as Executive Vice President, Business Operations

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Feb. 1 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Archemix Corp., the privately-held biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing aptamer-based therapeutics, announced today the appointment of Duncan Higgons to the position of Executive Vice President, Business Operations. In this newly created position, Mr. Higgons will be broadly responsible for providing leadership and strategic direction to Archemix's business development, project management, legal affairs and overall corporate strategy.

"I feel privileged to join Archemix at such an exciting stage of its development," commented Mr. Higgons. "The company's aptamer technology has the potential to bring forth a new class of therapeutics for the treatment of acute and chronic diseases and in my new role I hope to accelerate the realization of this goal. I look forward to contributing to Archemix as the company strives to meet its strategic initiatives and develops its portfolio of aptamer therapeutics."

"Duncan's 20 years of experience in senior leadership roles in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies make him an ideal addition to our senior management team," said Dr. Errol De Souza, President and Chief Executive Officer of Archemix. "Duncan brings to Archemix a breadth of experience uniquely suited to our needs as we grow our organization and advance our growing aptamer product pipeline. His experience and stature in the biotechnology industry will be extremely valuable to Archemix."

During Mr. Higgons' career he has had responsibility for corporate and business development, product commercialization, project management and product development. Most recently, he was Chief Commercial Officer for TransForm Pharmaceuticals, a privately-held biotechnology company that was acquired by Johnson & Johnson. At TransForm, Mr. Higgons was responsible for the continued development and expansion of all commercialization initiatives, including business development, corporate strategy and product development. From 1994 to 2002, he worked at Alkermes, Inc. where his final position was Senior Vice President, Business Development and Marketing, managing a broad range of commercial functions. Prior to Alkermes, Duncan Higgons held senior management positions at Eli Lilly and Co. and Baxter International, Inc. Mr. Higgons is a graduate of King's College, University of London and received an MBA from London Business School, where he was selected by the faculty for an Exchange Scholarship to the Wharton Graduate School at the University of Pennsylvania.

About aptamers

aptamers are single-stranded nucleic acids that form well-defined three-dimensional shapes, allowing them to bind to target molecules in a manner that is conceptually similar to antibodies. aptamers combine the optimal characteristics of small molecules and antibodies, including high specificity and affinity, chemical and biological stability, low immunogenicity and the ability to target protein-protein interactions. In contrast to monoclonal antibodies, aptamers are chemically synthesized rather than biologically expressed, offering a significant cost advantage. As therapeutic agents, aptamers have demonstrated clinical biological efficacy and have excellent, tunable pharmacokinetic properties.

About Archemix Corp.

Archemix Corp. is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The company's mission is to develop aptamers as a class of directed therapeutics for the treatment of human disease. Because of their unique properties and proven efficacy, aptamers are a superior alternative to biologics and small molecules and will be a major class of drugs for the treatment of unmet medical needs.

Archemix's aptamer expertise is complemented by a dominant patent estate comprised of over 220 issued and 230 pending patents covering the identification, composition and use of therapeutic aptamers. In addition to the company's core aptamer generation technology, Archemix possesses strong expertise in both preclinical and clinical drug development. Further information about Archemix can be found at

For further information or to speak with Duncan Higgons or Dr. Errol De Souza, please contact Davia Temin of Temin and Company at 212-588-8788 or

Source: Archemix

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