Healthcare Industry News: i-STAT
News Release - June 6, 2007
Two Significant Hires Round-Out VaxInnate's Core Management TeamNewly appointed CFO and COO bring extensive experience to support and further the company's vaccine development programs
CRANBURY, N.J.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--VaxInnate announced today the appointment of Andrew T. Drechsler as chief financial officer (CFO) and Edward J. Arcuri, Ph.D., as chief operations officer (COO). Mr. Drechsler, formerly CFO of Valera Pharmaceuticals, possesses the depth and breadth of financial expertise necessary to successfully guide VaxInnate's financial operations. Dr. Arcuri, formerly COO and executive vice president, Emergent Biosolutions, Inc., brings extensive, targeted experience in corporate management of the development, manufacture, and commercialization of vaccines, antibodies, and biodefense products. As part of VaxInnate's executive management team, both will play an integral role in overseeing the financial and corporate operations of the company as it advances the development of its vaccines for human and avian flu, malaria, and other therapeutic indications.
"Andy and Ed are both joining VaxInnate at the opportune time to lend their expertise to our upcoming milestones and highly-visible vaccine programs. With the science in place to move these programs forward, we rely on the strategic counsel of our management team to ensure our clinical candidates' progression toward, and success in, the marketplace," said Alan Shaw, President and CEO of VaxInnate. "We anticipate that both Andy and Ed's expertise in biotechnology and pharmaceutical corporate management, and their collective experience in all aspects of the business including securing funding, setting up strategic transactions and partnerships, and managing clinical development and operation activities serve important functions in advancing our human and avian flu vaccine candidates, and other vaccine programs, through clinical trials and to market."
As CFO, Mr. Drechsler will provide the financial insight and expertise in biotechnology field to maximize the company's position through investor relations and future commercial collaborations. Mr. Drechsler commented, "VaxInnate has certainly made a mark for itself in the vaccine space, substantiated by its strong financial backing by prominent investors. I look forward to maintaining those relationships, managing the funding to achieve the best possible outcomes in our clinical programs, as well as fostering the appropriate infrastructure to ensure the success of the company."
In his role as COO, Dr. Arcuri will be overseeing the development and operations activities of clinical candidates, including QA, QC, and regulatory affairs. "VaxInnate is poised to pioneer the next generation of vaccines, and my role is to make sure that we have the proper short-term and long-term operational strategies in place to bring our clinical candidates through to commercialization."
Mr. Drechsler and Dr. Arcuri complete VaxInnate's core management team, made up of industry-leading experts Alan Shaw, Ph.D., CEO, formerly with the Merck Vaccine Research Division; David Taylor, MD, CMO, formerly with Salix Pharmaceuticals; Jeff Powell, Ph.D., Vice President, Research, formerly with SUGEN; David Jackson, Vice President, Process Development and Manufacturing, formerly with BioReliance; and Robert Becker, Ph.D., Vice President, Business Development, formerly with Sanofi Pasteur.
Prior to serving as CFO of Valera Pharmaceuticals, Mr. Drechsler served in various senior financial positions including Corporate Controller of i-STAT Corporation which was acquired by Abbott Laboratories and Corporate Controller of Biomatrix, Inc. which was acquired by the Genzyme Corporation. He also is affiliated with several financial organizations, including the American Institute of CPAs, the New Jersey Society of CPAs, Financial Executives International, the New Jersey Tech Council, and the Association of Bioscience Finance Officers. He received his degree in accounting from Villanova University, graduating Magna Cum Laude.
Before his role as COO at Emergent, Dr. Arcuri served as Senior VP of Manufacturing, Vaccines, and then Senior VP, Manufacturing Operations, at MedImmune, Inc.; VP of Manufacturing, Senior VP of Operations, and then COO and Senior VP, at Aviron, Inc.; VP, Manufacturing Operations and Process Development, North American Vaccine, Inc.; and Senior Director, Biological Manufacturing, Merck & Co. He also held a variety of scientific and research positions at SmithKline Beecham, Merck, The Helicon Foundation, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Dr. Arcuri graduated with honors with a degree in biology from the State University of New York at Albany, and went on to earn both his M.S. degree and Ph.D. in Biology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
VaxInnate is a privately-held biotechnology company focused on developing novel, proprietary vaccines for both pandemic and seasonal influenza. The company's Toll-like receptor (TLR) technology platform allows for genetic engineering of the vaccines using recombinant DNA techniques. This technology physically links TLR agonists to vaccine antigens, which allows the conjugated vaccine to trigger an adaptive immune response. VaxInnate is using its TLR platform technology to enhance the immunogenicity of a series of antigens which will be combined into a number of different influenza products. The technology platform is also being investigated for development of vaccines for other diseases. For more information on VaxInnate, please visit http://www.vaxinnate.com.
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