Healthcare Industry News: influenza
News Release - July 15, 2013
Visterra Appoints Brian Pereira, M.D., as President and Chief Executive OfficerCompany to Accelerate Product Development based on Novel Antibody Platform focused on Infectious Diseases
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network)--Visterra, Inc., developer of novel medicines to prevent and treat infectious and other major diseases, today announced the appointment of Brian J. G. Pereira, M.D., as President and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Pereira takes on the role of CEO at a time when Visterra is advancing its product candidates into human clinical trials for infectious diseases that impact global health. He is a seasoned biopharmaceutical and healthcare leader with experience in financing and growing companies, including the clinical development and commercialization of innovative drug products.
Dr. Pereira has also been appointed to the Board of Directors for Visterra. He succeeds Steven Brugger, who will be leaving Visterra to pursue other opportunities.
"We thank Steve Brugger for his many contributions to Visterra. Under his leadership, we have built a team with extraordinary capabilities, developed a pipeline of products that have the potential for significant patient impact, forged a key collaboration with Pfizer, and secured an important strategic partnership with and equity investment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation," said Alan Crane, Chairman of Visterra's Board of Directors and General Partner at Polaris Partners. "We are extremely pleased that Brian Pereira has become Visterra’s CEO as the company embarks on its next stage of growth. Brian brings his proven industry leadership with an impressive track record for managing high-performance teams and building significant company value, and these skills will augment the expertise of the existing Visterra team to advance the company’s strategy and product development programs.”
"I am excited to take on the opportunity and grow Visterra as the company takes the next steps to develop and commercialize innovative therapies for infectious and other diseases with such broad potential to impact global health," said Brian J. G. Pereira, President and Chief Executive Officer of Visterra. "I envision Visterra as a company with the potential to deliver multiple products from its novel therapeutic platform, and I look forward to working with the strong team that is in place, so that together we will accelerate opportunities to develop and commercialize innovative medicines."
Prior to joining Visterra, Dr. Pereira served as the President and CEO of AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (AMAG) from 2006 to 2011 and as its President from 2005 to 2006. At AMAG, Dr. Pereira played the leadership role in rapidly creating value, raising four financing rounds at increasing valuations, and building the clinical development, manufacturing, supply-chain, commercial and financial infrastructure for AMAG’s iron therapy product for anemia. Prior to AMAG, he served as the President and CEO of a Tufts Medical Center Physician Organization from 2001 to 2005, where he was instrumental in restructuring operations to enable greater financial strength. He also served in earlier roles at Tufts Medical Center including Interim Chief Operating Officer in 2001, Vice-Chairman for Strategic Development of the Department of Medicine from 1999-2001, and as a staff physician beginning in 1993.
Dr. Pereira currently serves on the Board of Directors of Biodel, Inc. (BIOD), NephroPlus Ltd., The American India Foundation, and Youth That Care, Inc. He was the Chairman of the Board of the Harvard-MIT Biomedical Enterprise Program, President of the National Kidney Foundation (USA) from 2002 to 2004 and served on its Board for 10 years. He is an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, Sackler School of Biomedical Sciences and Tufts Clinical & Translational Sciences Institute. He has contributed over 200 published scientific articles and has edited the leading medical textbook on chronic kidney disease. He received his medical degree (MBBS) from St. John’s Medical College, MD (Medicine) and DM (Nephrology) from the Post Graduate Institute, and an MBA from Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
Visterra discovers and develops novel antibodies for the prevention and treatment of infectious and other major diseases. The company’s proprietary antibody discovery platform generates unique structural information that identifies novel target epitopes (sites recognized by antibodies) and guides the design of antibodies which specifically target these epitopes to effectively combat disease. The company’s lead antibody product candidate, VIS410, is a broad spectrum monoclonal antibody for the prevention and treatment of both seasonal and pandemic influenza. The company is building a proprietary pipeline of novel antibodies in infectious disease, and continuing to expand its disease area focus through strategic partnerships in infectious and other diseases. The company announced an antibody discovery collaboration deal with Pfizer in September, 2012. Visterra was founded based on the scientific work of Dr. Ram Sasisekharan at MIT, and is currently backed by Polaris Partners, Flagship Ventures, Lux Capital, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Omega Funds. For more information please visit www.visterrainc.com.
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