CAMBRIDGE, Mass, March 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Archemix Corp., the privately-held biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing aptamer-based therapeutics, announced today that Frank L. Douglas, Ph.D., M.D. has been appointed to the company's Board of Directors.
Until his recent retirement, Dr. Douglas was Executive Vice President, Drug Innovation & Approval and Chief Scientific Officer of Aventis Pharma AG, where he oversaw Aventis' worldwide pharmaceutical research and development activities and was a member of the Board of Management of Aventis SA. Dr. Douglas is currently an Executive-in-Residence at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management.
"We are privileged to have such an experienced and knowledgeable industry leader as Dr. Douglas join our Board," commented Dr. Errol De Souza, Chief Executive Officer of Archemix. "Dr. Douglas's extensive pharmaceutical and drug development and regulatory expertise make him an exceptional addition to our Board of Directors and will serve Archemix well as we continue to rapidly advance our aptamer product pipeline."
"Archemix is at an exciting stage of its development," stated Dr. Douglas. "The company's aptamers have the potential to bring forth a new class of therapeutics for the treatment of acute and chronic diseases. The rapid cycle time for the discovery of drug candidates relative to existing therapeutic modalities provides a great opportunity to bridge the pipeline gaps that our industry currently faces. I look forward to lending my experience and perspectives to Archemix as the company develops its portfolio of aptamer therapeutics."
Dr. Douglas has been recognized as a leader in innovation in pharmaceutical research and development, and was the recipient of the Global Pharmaceutical R&D Director of the Year Award in 2001 and 2004.
In addition to his responsibilities at Aventis, Dr. Douglas was Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Science and Regulatory Section of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association of America (PhRMA). He was a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the FDA, the Advisory Board of the Paul Ehrlich Foundation, the Society of Trade, Industry and Science, the Board of Directors of Medtronic, Inc., and the Chemistry Visiting Committee of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
At Aventis, Dr. Douglas implemented the transformation of the traditional R&D organization into a novel organization called Drug Innovation and Approval. Prior to the 1999 merger of Hoechst Marion Roussel and Rhone Poulenc Rorer that formed Aventis, Dr. Douglas served as head of Global Research and Development at Hoechst Marion Roussel. In 1992 he joined Marion Merrell Dow as Executive Vice President of Global Research and Development. He first joined the pharmaceutical industry in 1984 when he became Senior Vice President and Director of U.S. Research for Ciba Geigy.
After serving a medical internship and residency at Johns Hopkins University and a fellowship in neuroendocrinology at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Douglas taught medicine and clinical pharmacology and directed the hypertension clinic at the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago. He is a fellow of the High Blood Pressure Council.
Aptamers are single-stranded nucleic acids that form well-defined three-dimensional shapes, allowing them to bind to target molecules in a manner that is conceptually similar to antibodies. Aptamers combine the optimal characteristics of small molecules and antibodies, including high specificity and affinity, chemical and biological stability, low toxicity and immunogenicity and the ability to target protein-protein interactions. In contrast to monoclonal antibodies, aptamers are chemically synthesized rather than biologically expressed, offering a significant cost advantage. As therapeutic agents, aptamers have demonstrated clinical biological efficacy and have excellent, tunable pharmacokinetic properties.
About Archemix Corp.
Archemix Corp. is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The company's mission is to develop aptamers as a class of directed therapeutics for the treatment of human disease. Because of their unique properties and proven efficacy, aptamers are a superior alternative to biologics and small molecules and will be a major class of drugs for the treatment of unmet medical needs.
Archemix's aptamer expertise is complimented by a dominant patent estate comprised of over 220 issued and 230 pending patents covering the identification, composition and use of therapeutic aptamers. In addition to the company's core aptamer generation technology, Archemix possesses strong expertise in both preclinical and clinical drug development. Further information about Archemix can be found at http://www.archemix.com/.
For further information or to speak with Dr. Frank L. Douglas or Dr. Errol De Souza, please contact Davia Temin or Jane Trombley of Temin and Company at 212-588-8788 or firstname.lastname@example.org.