MELBOURNE, Florida, March 18 /PRNewswire/ -- QuoNova LLC, which is developing multiple classes of safe and efficacious anti-virulence agents in the global fight against bacterial infection and damage caused by microbial biofilms, has appointed three new senior executives in global roles to support its next phase of growth.
QuoNova's is developing and commercializing its proprietary Quorum Sensing Blocker ("QSB") platform as part of a strategy to introduce a disruptive paradigm of "smart microbial control". QuoNova, which is 88.7% owned by XL TechGroup, Inc. (AIM: XLT), is targeting multiple multi-billion dollar markets including therapeutics, medical devices, consumer care, agriculture and several industrial applications.
Michael Rochelle has joined QuoNova as VP Strategic Marketing & Business Development. He has over 20 years of commercial experience in biopharmaceuticals, clinical laboratory and consulting. Most recently, Michael was Vice President at Nabi Pharmaceuticals, serving in a variety of roles including strategic planning and business development. He led the acquisition at Nabi of the product PhosLo(R) from Braintree Laboratories, a $100 million deal. Michael's background includes business development roles with International Clinical Laboratories, SmithKline Beecham Laboratories and Integrated Genetics/Genzyme Corporation. He has a BA in Chemistry from Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts and an MBA from Bryant University, in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Jim Walls is the new VP Product Development for QuoNova. He has over 25 years of medical device product development experience, 15 years of which were dedicated to reducing hospital acquired medical device infections. He has held VP of R&D positions for Kendall Healthcare (now Covidien, LLC) and C.R. Bard, Inc. Most recently he was VP of Business Development for Bacterin International, Inc. Jim holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Connecticut, an MS in Biomedical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and has completed a Clinical Engineering Internship at Hartford Hospital. He has also completed courses towards his MBA at the University of New Haven.
Mohamed Baccouche has joined as VP Regulatory Affairs and is based in QuoNova's office in Germany. He has 30 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry with clinical development, project management and regulatory strategy for new drugs and maintenance of worldwide marketed products. Most recently, he was head of Global Regulatory Affairs and Scientific Information at Byk Gulden and Altana Pharma. Mohamed holds an MS in Chemistry and a Ph.D in Organic Chemistry from the University of Braunschweig, Germany.
QuoNova's QSB technology is an anti-virulence approach, which shows potential to prevent the consequences of microbial infection while not promoting resistance. In recent months, QuoNova has demonstrated the efficacy of its QSB technology in a predictive animal model where QSBs significantly reduced the ability of clinically relevant bacteria to colonize secondary burn wounds. In addition, a marked synergy with Silver Sulfadiazine, a commonly used antibacterial preparation, has been observed. QuoNova has also generated in-vitro data indicating high efficacy of selected QSBs in inhibiting biofilm formation by MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) strains and fungal organisms such as Candida.
Dr. Heiri Gugger, CEO of QuoNova, said: "The excellent progress continuing to be made by our scientific team in identifying, optimizing and testing our compounds across a broad spectrum gives us even greater confidence in our QSB platform to rapidly move towards targeted development and commercialization. I am therefore delighted that we have been able to attract top industry talent with years of relevant experience, which is a testament to our progress and further validates the growth potential of QuoNova.
Notes to Editors
About QuoNova LLC
QuoNova was founded in December 2006 and is the fifth portfolio company of XL TechGroup. QuoNova develops safe and efficacious anti-virulence agents in the global fight against infection and damage caused by microbial biofilms. QuoNova's business strategy is to develop and commercialize its proprietary Quorum Sensing Blocker ("QSB") platform and introduce a disruptive paradigm of "smart microbial control". QuoNova is targeting multiple multi-billion dollar markets including therapeutics, medical devices, consumer care, agriculture and several industrial applications.
Micro-organisms use chemical signal molecules to communicate and recognize population density (Quorum Sensing) in order to organize their social behaviour, and co-ordinate the production of virulence factors, such as the release of toxins and biofilm formation. Biofilms are complex matrices produced by colonies of micro-organisms, and are very difficult to eradicate as they protect themselves against the immune system or conventional treatments such as antibiotics or biocides. In the healthcare environment they contribute significantly to complications in lung disease and wound healing, to medical device-associated infections as well as to dental plaque and contact lens-associated infection. In the home and in industrial processes they are a major cause of contamination, corrosion and efficiency reductions.
QuoNova's QSB technology disrupts microbial communication systems and by so doing inhibits toxin production, prevents biofilm formation and promotes degradation of already established biofilms. Moreover, research to date indicates that QuoNova's QSB compounds have a favourable safety profile. QSB molecules employ an anti-virulence approach and do not kill micro-organisms, but instead influence their life style to maintain or return them to a state where they can be removed by intrinsic control mechanisms such as the immune system or by treatments much less aggressive than those currently available. This should significantly reduce or eliminate the processes that lead to the development of drug resistant organisms, and differentiates QSBs substantially from conventional antimicrobial approaches. QSB molecules will therefore initiate a new era in preventing the effects of microbial colonization, capable of overcoming the decreasing effectiveness of conventional treatments against biofilms and multi-resistant pathogens.
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