Healthcare Industry News: protein therapeutics
News Release - March 28, 2007
Rincon Pharmaceuticals Appoints Dr. Peter B. Heifetz as Chief Scientific Officer, Drs. Jacqueline J. Johnson and Alan J. Lewis to Board of Directors, and Drs. Katherine S. Bowdish and Mich B. Hein to Scientific Advisory BoardSAN DIEGO, March 28 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Rincon Pharmaceuticals today announced that Peter B. Heifetz, Ph.D., has joined the company as Chief Scientific Officer and that Jacqueline J. Johnson, Ph.D., and Alan J. Lewis, Ph.D., have been appointed to the Company's Board of Directors. Dr. Heifetz will also join external advisors Katherine S. Bowdish, Ph.D., and Mich B. Hein, Ph.D., on the Company's Scientific Advisory Board. Rincon's mission is to dramatically increase the availability of protein therapeutics by using its patented algal expression system to rapidly develop and commercialize complex recombinant proteins.
"Dr. Heifetz is an accomplished biotechnology executive who brings deep scientific experience to our management team. He has a strong track record of linking research with commercialization opportunities. We look forward to his leadership in further developing our technology and establishing our product-focused R&D programs," said Bruce Steel, CEO of Rincon. "Additionally, we are very pleased that Drs. Johnson and Lewis have elected to join our Board of Directors and Drs. Bowdish and Hein have joined our Scientific Advisory Board. They are each highly experienced and successful biotech entrepreneurs, and we look forward to their knowledgeable guidance as we continue to build our Company." Dr. Johnson will serve as the Company's Chairperson.
About Peter B. Heifetz, Ph.D. -- Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Heifetz brings more than 20 years of life sciences experience to his position and will be responsible for setting the strategic direction of Rincon's research and development functions, and helping drive its growth strategies in the areas of technology and product enablement. Prior to joining Rincon he founded two companies and was interim Chief Scientific Officer at ERA Biotech, S.A. in Barcelona, Spain where he played a key role in developing ERA's bioproductivity platform. He has served as preclinical and clinical science Research Fellow at Diversa Corporation and Head of Biopharma and Consumer Health Research at Syngenta. In the latter role, he led major worldwide research and product development initiatives for Syngenta's biopharma business unit and the Torrey Mesa Research Institute (formerly the Novartis Agricultural Discovery Institute). Dr. Heifetz has held research and management positions at Ciba-Geigy Corporation and its successor, Novartis, and currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of ERA Biotech. He is an inventor of ten series of issued and pending patents and has authored multiple scientific articles and abstracts. He received Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Genetics and Biochemical Engineering from Duke University and was a postdoctoral fellow at Ciba-Geigy Corporation.
About Jacqueline J. Johnson, Ph.D. -- Chairperson, Board of Directors
Dr. Johnson is a seasoned entrepreneur with over 20 years experience in the biotechnology industry. She is currently President of Development and Strategic Consulting Associates, founded in 2003. She was a founder of two biotechnology companies, FeRx and Signal Pharmaceuticals, and was a key member of Amylin Pharmaceuticals's original scientific team. She has a proven track record of building solid management teams and leading organizations with capabilities covering the full breadth of drug development including finance, business development, R&D, cGMP manufacturing, regulatory and global clinical development. Dr. Johnson received her Ph.D. in genetics from Stanford School of Medicine and completed her post-doctoral training at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences.
About Alan J. Lewis, Ph.D. -- Member, Board of Directors
Dr. Lewis is President, Chief Executive Officer, and Director of Novocell, Inc., a stem cell engineering company creating cell and drug therapies for diabetes and other chronic diseases. Prior to Novocell, Dr. Lewis served as CEO and Director of Signal Pharmaceuticals before its acquisition in 2000 by Celgene. He then served as President of the Signal Research Division at Celgene. Dr. Lewis previously held the position of Vice President of Research at Wyeth-Ayerst, where he spent 15 years leading research efforts in diabetes, CNS, cardiovascular, inflammatory, allergy, and bone metabolism diseases. In addition to Rincon, Dr. Lewis currently serves as a Director of Novocell, BioMarin Pharmaceutical, and Cytochroma. He holds a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Wales in Cardiff and completed his postdoctoral training at Yale University.
About Katherine S. Bowdish, Ph.D. -- Member, Scientific Advisory Board
Dr. Bowdish was President of Alexion Antibody Technologies, and Sr. Vice President, Antibody Discovery, Alexion Pharmaceuticals. She was previously founder, Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Scientific Officer of Prolifaron
-- an antibody engineering company. Dr. Bowdish previously held positions at The Scripps Research Institute, Monsanto, and Rockefeller University. She has received several academic honors and awards and has a broad publication and patent portfolio with emphasis in the area of molecular immunology. Dr. Bowdish received her Ph.D. in molecular genetics from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in the City of New York, and has 21 years of experience in biotechnology research and development.
About Mich B. Hein, Ph.D. -- Member, Scientific Advisory Board
Dr. Hein was President and CEO of Chromatin, a development stage biotechnology company focused on expanding the commercial potential of crop plants into the larger pharmaceutical, specialty chemical and nutrition sectors. Previously he was founder and President of Epicyte Pharmaceuticals, one of the first plant-based alternative protein production companies. Dr. Hein was a member of the Department of Cell Biology at The Scripps Research Institute where he was responsible for producing the first plant-derived antibodies for human clinical trials. He was also a research scientist and PPG Industries and Monsanto. Dr. Hein received his Ph.D. in plant physiology at the University of Minnesota.
About Rincon Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Rincon Pharmaceuticals is a San Diego-based biopharmaceuticals company using eukaryotic algae to produce human therapeutic proteins. Rincon's mission is to dramatically increase the availability of protein therapeutics by using its patented algal expression system to rapidly develop and commercialize complex recombinant proteins. Rincon's business strategy is to develop and manufacture both partnered and proprietary products. For additional information please visit www.rinconpharma.com.
Source: Rincon Pharmaceuticals
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