AltheRx Inks $15 Million

Published: May 02, 2013

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EXTON, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AltheRx Pharmaceuticals, a privately-held clinical development company, today announced a restructuring that includes a $15 million financing, the appointment of Jim Bennethum as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and the appointment of a new Board of Directors.

Effective immediately, Mr. Bennethum joins AltheRx as CEO from Becker Ventures, LLC where he serves as an Executive Vice President. He has previously spent more than twenty years in senior leadership roles at Johnson Controls, Inc. and brings proven global operational and business development experience to AltheRx.

“Jim’s deep expertise in global business development, complex business operations and successful ventures make him an excellent leader for AltheRx in this important time of opportunity for the company,” said Eliot Ohlstein, AltheRx Co-founder, Chief Scientific Officer and Head of R&D. “We are energized after achieving a number of critical milestones that have allowed us to expand our organization and move our lead candidate toward large Phase III clinical trials.”

With more than twenty eight years of automotive systems development and manufacturing experience, Jim Bennethum has recently made an emerging impact in the Health Care / Pharma industry. Jim's past experience includes key positions in leading automotive companies (Johnson Controls, Becker Group, Textron, The Woodbridge Group and Key Plastics). Jim also serves as a Board Member for the Karmanos Cancer Institute in South East Michigan. He earned a BS in Technology Management from Eastern Michigan University.

With new leadership and new funding, AltheRx will continue to focus on advancing its lead candidate solabegron into Phase III trials. Solabegron is a novel beta3-adrenoceptor agonist with high affinity and selectivity that is in development for the treatment of overactive bladder (OAB). Data on solabegron is being presented this weekend at the American Urological Association Annual Meeting.

AltheRx Names New Board of Directors; Former CEO of AstraZeneca North America Joins Board

The newly formed Board of Directors for AltheRx has vast experience establishing, funding and leading successful companies. Charles E. Becker, Chairman of Becker Ventures, LLC will serve as Chairman of the Board. Mr. Becker was the Chief Executive Officer and co-owner of Becker Group, Inc., a global automotive interior components supplier sold to Johnson Controls, Inc.

Jeffrey O’Donnell, Managing Director of BioStar Ventures, will serve as Vice Chair of the Board. Bringing exceptional operational, transaction and leadership experience, Mr. O’Donnell is also currently the Executive Chairman of the Board of Trice Orthopedics, Inc. and previously led six healthcare companies.

Anthony Zook joins the Board with extensive global pharmaceutical industry experience. Mr. Zook previously served as an Executive Vice President of Commercial Operations of AstraZeneca, Chief Executive Officer of AstraZeneca North America, Executive Vice President of Global Marketing of AstraZeneca, and President of MedImmune Inc.

“We are especially pleased to form a new Board of Directors,” said new CEO Jim Bennethum. “Charles Becker and Jeff O’Donnell bring extensive business and transactional expertise while Anthony Zook brings unparalleled pharmaceutical industry insight. These board changes will ensure our programs address the needs of patients, payers and care givers.”

“Solabegron is a promising beta3-adrenoceptor agonist that has the potential to help more than 35 million Americans who suffer from overactive bladder,” said Anthony Zook, Board director. “I am pleased to be joining the Board and lending my insights to help propel this program forward.”

AltheRx management also serving as Directors include Jim Bennethum, Chief Executive Officer, Eliot H. Ohlstein, Ph.D., Co-founder, Chief Scientific Officer and Head of R&D, and Raymond E. Stevens, Co-founder and Vice-President of Operations.

“Today, AltheRx is very well-positioned to achieve its business and clinical development goals,” concluded Bennethum. “We have assembled an experienced management team and prestigious Board advisors, and are advancing a late stage, medical breakthrough for the treatment of overactive bladder.”

About AltheRx Pharmaceuticals

Formed in 2010, AltheRx Pharmaceuticals is a privately held development company whose business model is to advance projects through clinical development and create partnerships with biopharmaceutical companies for commercialization. The Company’s first product, solabegron, is a highly selective and potent beta3-adrenoceptor agonist in development for the reduction of symptoms of overactive bladder.


Company Contact:

AltheRx Pharmaceuticals

Jim Bennethum, 313-344-7669


Media Contact:

Sam Brown Inc.

Mike Beyer, 773-463-4211

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