ST. LOUIS, Dec. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Kereos, a biotechnology company developing targeted imaging agents and therapeutics to improve the detection and treatment of cancer, announced today that G. Allen Nickols, Ph.D., former Director of Pharmacology and Science Fellow at Pfizer Global Research & Development, has been named Vice President of Biology. The company also announced that Gregory Johnson, Ph.D., John Rice, Ph.D., and Martin Sanders, M.D., have been appointed to Kereos' Board of Directors as a result of the recent $20 million Series B venture financing.
As Vice President of Biology, Dr. Nickols will be responsible for preclinical pharmacology and will focus primarily on the in vitro and in vivo testing needed to move Kereos' imaging and chemotherapeutic agents for the detection and treatment of cancer into clinical trials in 2006. During his tenure with Pfizer, Dr. Nickols led new drug projects in several therapeutic areas including cancer. His 25 year career includes professional positions at Pharmacia, Searle and Monsanto, as well as academic appointments at St. Louis University, the University of Texas Medical Branch, and Southern Illinois University. Dr. Nickols holds a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Missouri and is a Fellow of the American Heart Association.
"Allen's expertise in the preclinical testing and development of cancer therapeutics and the biology of integrins fits perfectly with our product pipeline," said Robert Beardsley, Ph.D., President and CEO of Kereos. "His addition enables us to more effectively advance our integrin-targeted MRI and paclitaxel agents and, perhaps most importantly, successfully position them both for clinical trials in 2006. In addition, his cardiology experience should prove beneficial in advancing our collaborations for treatment and detection of cardiovascular diseases."
Kereos also announced the addition of three new directors to its Board as a result of the recent $20 million Series B venture round. Joining the Board of Directors are Gregory Johnson, Ph.D., Managing Director at Prolog Ventures, John Rice, Ph.D., Managing Partner at Triathlon Medical Ventures, and Martin Sanders, M.D., Venture Partner at Charter Life Sciences.
Dr. Johnson brings more than 20 years of venture capital experience to the Kereos Board. Prior to joining Prolog Ventures, he served as General Partner at Gateway Associates and as Vice President of Venture Capital at Monsanto. He also serves on the Boards of Everest Biomedical Instruments, Singulex and Stereotaxis. Dr. Johnson earned his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Rochester.
Dr. Rice combines extensive experience in both venture capital and biomedical research gained at Senmed Medical Ventures and the Battelle Memorial Institute, respectively. He is currently an adjunct professor in the School of Medicine and Public Health at Ohio State University. Dr. Rice serves on the Boards of Bio/Start and Omeris and received his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Virology from Ohio State University.
Dr. Sanders contributes expertise in clinical development and has overseen the design, execution, monitoring or analysis of more than 250 clinical trials involving more than 50 different drugs including many targeted therapeutics. He previously served as a Research Scientist with the National Cancer Institute, spent more than 15 years in drug discovery and development at Centocor and Upjohn, and served as a consultant to several pharmaceutical and biotech companies. In addition to his role with Charter, Dr. Sanders is the President and CEO of Palingen, a clinical stage company focused on hematologic oncology. Dr. Sanders received his M.D. from the University of Chicago and completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Barnes Hospital, Washington University Medical Center in St. Louis.
"We are pleased to welcome Drs. Johnson, Rice and Sanders to our Board of Directors," said Constantine Anagnostopoulos, Ph.D., Chairman of Kereos. "Their talents and capabilities will complement our already strong group of directors. By taking advantage of the experience and know-how of the members of the Kereos board, we can more efficiently bring our products to patients and save lives."
Kereos develops products designed to provide more effective detection and treatment of cancer, the first two of which are expected to enter clinical trials for solid tumors in 2006. The company's proprietary technology pairs diagnosis and therapy by targeting imaging agents or therapeutics specifically to the disease site. The company's targeted imaging agents allow more accurate and sensitive imaging, and its targeted chemotherapeutics deliver potent and precise therapy. In addition to advancing its internal pipeline, Kereos is working with leading pharmaceutical and imaging companies, including Bristol-Myers Squibb Medical Imaging on the development and commercialization of cardiovascular disease magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) agents and Philips Medical Systems on the development of molecular imaging systems. Kereos is headquartered in St. Louis at the Center for Emerging Technologies. For more information, visit Kereos' website at www.kereos.com.