SAN DIEGO, May 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Arcturus Therapeutics, Inc., a leading RNA medicines company pursuing rare diseases, announced today the appointment of two new members to its Board of Directors. The new directors, Robert Baltera and Stuart Collinson, Ph.D., bring considerable biotech experience to the Arcturus Board.
Robert "Bob" Baltera is a seasoned pharmaceutical executive with vast business and product management experience. Bob was the CEO of Amira Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which was acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company for $325M upfront and $150M in future milestones. Bob was instrumental in focusing Amira's development efforts, strengthening its pipeline and forging key collaborations with partners such as GlaxoSmithKline plc. Before becoming Amira's CEO, Bob worked for 17 years at Amgen Inc., during which time he held a number of senior management positions, the last being vice president of corporate and contract manufacturing. Bob successfully served as the team leader responsible for the approval of Kineret in rheumatoid arthritis. Bob serves in senior roles in several organizations, including Board of Directors at Organovo Holdings Inc. (ONVO), Xencor, Inc., (XNCR), Panmira Pharmaceuticals, LLC, and San Diego Venture Group. He is also a Trustee of the Keck Graduate Institute, Business Advisory panel member of PBS Biotech, Inc. and Executive Chairman at Adheron Therapeutics, Inc. Bob has an M.B.A. from Anderson School at UCLA and earned his B.S. in microbiology and M.S. in genetics from The Pennsylvania State University.
"I am excited to participate in the Arcturus story," said Bob Baltera, "I am eager to help Arcturus maximize their value by effectively translating their core platform technologies UNATM and LUNARTM into the clinic, wherein they can build a strong pipeline of RNA medicines pursuing rare diseases."
Dr. Stuart Collinson is a partner at Forward Ventures and also the Executive Chairman of Tioga Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Previously he was Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Aurora Biosciences Corp. (acquired by Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.). Before Aurora, Dr. Collinson was Chief Executive Officer of Andaris Limited (acquired by Quadrant, now part of Perrigo). He held senior management positions at GlaxoWellcome plc (now GlaxoSmithKline plc) and Baxter International Inc., and was a consultant with The Boston Consulting Group. Dr. Collinson was previously a director of Affinium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (acquired by Debiopharma Group), Cabrellis Pharmaceuticals Corp. (acquired by Pharmion Corp., now part of Celgene Corp.), Conforma Therapeutics Corp. (acquired by BiogenIdec, Inc.), GeneOhm Sciences, Inc. (acquired by Becton, Dickinson and Company), NovaCardia, Inc. (acquired by Merck & Co, Inc.), and Proprius Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (acquired by Cypress Bioscience, Inc.), and Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. Dr. Collinson received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Oxford.
"Arcturus' LUNARTM delivery technology has widespread potential application in the exciting field of RNA medicines," Dr. Collinson said. "I look forward to the opportunity of playing a role in transforming this potential into real solutions for patients."
"We are very pleased to have Bob and Stuart join the Arcturus Board. Both are widely recognized as successful biotech executives with exceptional credentials in cultivating companies and strong track records of execution," said Joseph E. Payne, Arcturus' Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "With the addition of Bob and Stuart, we are building a San Diego biotech all-star team of advisors that will help propel Arcturus toward becoming a substantial player in the life sciences sector."
About Transthyretin (TTR)-Mediated Amyloidosis
Transthyretin (TTR)-mediated amyloidosis is a genetically mediated fatal disease caused by mutations in the TTR gene. Mutated TTR, which is mainly synthesized in the liver, causes errant amyloid proteins to aggregate and deposit, destroying body organs and tissue, such as the peripheral nerves and heart. TTR-mediated polyneuropathy (FAP) affects approximately 10,000 people and TTR-mediated cardiomyopathy (FAC) affects at least 40,000 people with the mean survival of ~2.5 years. With limited therapeutic options, there is a substantial unmet need for effective medicines for patients suffering from TTR-mediated diseases.
About Arcturus Therapeutics, Inc.
Founded in 2013 and based in San Diego, Arcturus Therapeutics is focused on RNA medicines for the treatment of rare diseases. Arcturus has developed a novel, potent and safe RNA Therapeutics platform called LUNARTM, a proprietary lipid-enabled delivery system for RNA medicines including small interfering RNA, messenger RNA, antisense, and microRNA oligotherapeutics. The company owns Unlocked Nucleic Acid (UNA) chemistry technology and patent portfolio (34 patents, USPTO granted) enabling the targeting of any gene in the human genome. For more information, visit www.ArcturusRx.com.
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SOURCE Arcturus Therapeutics, Inc.