PharmAthene, Inc. (ticker: PIP, exchange: American Stock Exchange (.A))
News Release -
Developer of Anthrax Anti-toxin Names New Management Team
ANNAPOLIS, MD., February 19, 2004 - PharmAthene, Inc. today announced that it has
significantly expanded its management team to help meet its goal of becoming the world's
premier specialist in the prevention and treatment of diseases associated with biological warfare.
David P. Wright, a 30 year veteran of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries who was
named President and Chief Executive Officer in September, said the new team includes:
- James P. Lewkowski, Ph.D., Executive Vice President - formerly with Abbott
Laboratories for 17 years in various management positions in the immunoscience,
thrombolytic, and antiviral ventures. Prior to joining PharmAthene, Dr. Lewkowski directed
the alliances with pharmaceutical company partners for Gene Logic, Inc., a genomics
- Valerie Riddle, M.D., Vice President and Medical Director - former Director of Medical
Sciences of MedImmune, Inc. and former Vice President of Clinical and Medical Affairs of
- Francesca Cook, Vice President, Policy & Government Affairs - former Vice President
of Policy and Reimbursement Services for Guilford Pharmaceuticals and former Vice
President of Covance Health Economics and Outcomes, a healthcare consulting firm.
- Eric I. Richman, Vice President, Business Development & Strategic Planning - a
member of the founding team of MedImmune, Inc. and former Vice President of Corporate
Development of MaxCyte.
- Gopinath N. Menon, Ph.D., Vice President Quality & Chemistry, Manufacturing &
Controls (CMC) - formerly at Abbott Laboratories as Director of Analytical Research,
Director of Pharmaceutical and Analytical R&D and Director of CMC Development.
- Solomon Langermann, Ph.D., Vice President & Chief Scientific Officer - Founder and
President of Integrated Therapeutics Corporation of Baltimore. Formerly with MedImmune,
as Senior Director of the Department of Cell Biology, Director of the Department of
Immunology and Molecular Genetics and Research Scientist for the Department of
- James A. Ratigan, Vice President & Chief Financial Officer - formerly with OraPharma,
Inc. as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. He served as both Venture
Manager and Chief Financial Officer at Adler & Company, a venture capital firm and spent
seven years with Arthur Andersen.
"Biological terrorism is no longer a hypothetical threat," Mr. Wright said, "and we have put
together a team ideally equipped to help PharmAthene confront that threat today." Mr. Wright
joined PharmAthene in July 2003 and was named President & CEO following an investment by
HealthCare Ventures LLC, a leading venture capital firm specializing in biotechnology and lifescience
investing on September 11, 2003. Mr. Wright has held senior sales, marketing, and
management positions with G.D. Searle, Glaxo, Smith-Kline & French, and MedImmune.
Before joining PharmAthene, he was President and Chief Operating Officer of GenVec, Inc., and
prior to that President and Chief Business Officer of Guilford Pharmaceuticals.
Exclusive License from Harvard to Develop Therapeutics and Vaccines
With an exclusive worldwide license from Harvard University, the company is in advanced
development of ToxBloxTM, a dominant negative inhibitor (DNI) therapeutic agent to combat the
effects of anthrax toxin. Anthrax enters the body through inhalation, an open wound or
contaminated food or water. The bacterium begins to replicate and produce lethal and edema
toxins. In the fall of 2001, anthrax toxin killed five people and sickened many others after letters
containing deadly Bacillus anthracis spores were mailed to elected officials and members of the
PharmAthene's DNI technology also shows promise as a vaccine and could represent a major
step forward in this area. The anthrax vaccine currently available calls for a regiment of
injections over 18 months and often causes flu-like symptoms.
"The threat of biological warfare, greatly magnified by 9/11, has not been adequately addressed
by the pharmaceutical industry," said Mr. Wright. "The management team we have put together
has the specialized experience necessary to work with all of the technologies we are focusing on
to combat the effects of anthrax."
Background on PharmAthene, Inc.
PharmAthene, Inc., a privately-held corporation, was formed in March, 2001 by Drs. John
Collier, Stephen Lory and John Mekalanos of Harvard University Medical School, John Young
of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, and Mr. Joel McCleary, a private investor who is
serving as Chairman of the Board. All four scientists are continuing to work closely with the
company to develop the DNI therapeutic and vaccine.
The company has formed a unique relationship with the Defense Advanced Research and Project
Agency (DARPA) and the United States Medical Research and Materiel Command
(USMRMC), which provided funding for early stage development of the DNI therapeutic.
The original work to develop an anthrax therapeutic agent goes back many years. Dr. Collier,
Presley Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Harvard Medical School, first
observed in 1989 the "natural pore" made by the anthrax molecule that pierces human cells and
injects its deadly toxin. In early 2001, after isolating seven pore subunits (PA's), each composed
of as many as 586 amino acids, Dr. Collier and his colleagues found that if only one of the seven
subunits is a mutant, the anthrax toxins cannot move through the pore into the cell.
This formed the basis for the mutated protective antigen (PA) known as the Dominant Negative
PharmAthene is currently manufacturing DNI under GMP conditions for clinical testing. Human
safety an animal efficacy studies are planned for this year. For further information please visit:
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENT
Statements included within this press release that are not historical in nature constitute forwardlooking
statements for the purposes of the safe harbor provided by the Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Readers can identify these statements by the fact that they do not
relate strictly to historical or current facts and use words such as "anticipates," "believes,"
"continue," "estimates," "expects," "intends," "may," "will" and other similar words or terms in
connection with a discussion of PharmAthene's plans and objectives for future operations or
financial performance. Such statements speak only as of the date the statement was made, and
PharmAthene undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking
statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Readers are
cautioned that forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks or uncertainties, some
of which cannot be predicted or quantified. Future events and actual results could differ
materially from those set forth in, contemplated by, or underlying the forward-looking
statements. The risks and uncertainties to which forward-looking statements are subject include,
but are not limited to, the effect of acceptance of the PharmAthene's products by the
marketplace, competition, and other risks. There can be no assurance that PharmAthene's
development efforts will succeed, that any products developed will receive required regulatory
clearance or that, even if such regulatory clearance were received, such products would
ultimately achieve commercial success.