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Former Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR) Executive Named AerovectRx Corporation CEO


7/29/2008 6:28:48 AM

NORCROSS, Ga.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AerovectRx Corporation, an aerosol drug delivery and therapeutics company, announced the appointment of David Johnston, Ph.D., as chief executive officer. Dr. Johnson succeeds Ed Cannon, Ph.D., who becomes executive chairman of the board.

“As a member of the board for AerovectRx for the past few months, I witnessed firsthand the potential of the company’s technology and market opportunity,” said Dr. Johnston. “I look forward to bringing the technology to market, creating collaborative development agreements and improving healthcare with this novel drug delivery system.”

“David is the most qualified person to take the company to the next level and create significant value,” said Dr. Cannon. “His successful experience in the inhaled drug delivery market and broader knowledge of drug development will be invaluable as we launch our initial therapeutic AeroCell™-based products.”

Dr. Johnston is a senior pharmaceutical executive with extensive experience in preclinical and clinical drug development, regulatory affairs and product commercialization. He was most recently Senior Vice President of Research and Development for Nektar Therapeutics, where his responsibilities included planning and operations for drug delivery, including inhalation technologies, pegylation technology, clinical development, regulatory affairs and safety, quality control and assurance for clinical supplies, and product and device development.

Prior to Nektar, he was Chief Development Officer for Control Delivery Systems, where he oversaw co-development of the Retisert™ product, marketed by Bausch and Lomb for the treatment of uveitis. He has previously held executive leadership positions with AAI International and Oread, Inc., both Contract Research Organizations providing product development and support services for pharmaceuticals, biologics and medical devices. He began his pharmaceutical career with Sterling Winthrop and Sanofi Winthrop research, where he held positions of increasing responsibility in discovery and product and development, his last position being VP of Product development and Deputy International group director for Preclinical Development. Dr. Johnston earned his bachelor’s and doctorate degrees in chemistry from St. Andrews University (Scotland) and completed postdoctoral training at the Max Planck Institute for Medicinal Research (Heidelberg, Germany).

AerovectRx is a spin out from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”). The company’s AeroCell™ products are based on patented technology exclusively licensed from the CDC and utilize state of art ultrasonic vibrating mesh technology integrated with a unit dose medication cartridge as a disposable consumable to reliably and efficiently deliver complex biologics and vaccines as well as small molecule drugs to the respiratory tract. These features eliminate maintenance, reduce risk of patient reinfection, and improve dosage control. Aerosol delivery of therapeutics and vaccines directly to the respiratory tract is optimal for treating and/or preventing respiratory diseases. Additionally, aerosol delivery will be preferred in certain non-respiratory diseases as an alternative to injection, to achieve rapid onset of activity or to avoid GI side effects and/or GI and first pass hepatic metabolism. The annual market for inhaled drug delivery is currently estimated at $20 billion.

About AerovectRx

AerovectRx Corporation is an aerosol drug delivery and therapeutics company. The company’s AeroCell™ products provide reliable, efficient delivery of complex biologics, including vaccines, and small molecule drugs to the respiratory tract. AerovectRx commercializes AeroCell™ technology through partnerships for respiratory delivery of its partners’ high value therapeutic and vaccine products and also exploits the technology in its own therapeutic development programs. For more information, visit www.aerovectrx.com.

Contact:

AerovectRx Corporation Bill Wells, 404-281-7490

Source: AerovectRx Corporation



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