Sector News

AstraZeneca spinout Entasis nabs Shire exec as CMO

November 4, 2019
Life sciences

After getting off a $75 million IPO last year, AstraZeneca’s antibiotics spinout Entasis has hired a former Shire executive to lead its R&D programs.

David Altarac, M.D., M.P.A., becomes its new chief medical officer next week and will replace Robin Isaacs, M.D., a four-year veteran of the company since its spinout, who is retiring. (Though he will be an adviser on the later-stage programs as they gear up for a regulatory review.)

In his new role, Altarac will be responsible for leading clinical development for Entasis’ lead programs, sulbactam-durlobactam and zoliflodacin, currently in phase 3, as well as the ETX0282CPDP program (which has had its issues), all the while boosting the biotech’s pipeline of pathogen-targeted antimicrobials.

He will in addition head up the teams for medical affairs, pharmacovigilance, quality and regulatory affairs.

He comes to the biotech from Shire, which has been bought out by Takeda (and seen a series of execs leave the now merged company), where he was senior vice president and head of global regulatory affairs, global drug safety and R&D quality and compliance. He’s also served a stint at NeoStem and more than 13 years at Merck.

Manos Perros, CEO at Entasis, said: “We are truly delighted to welcome David to the team. As our lead programs advance through late-stage development, David’s broad expertise and experience in biopharmaceutical R&D will help drive our strategy and prepare for commercialization, while ensuring quality and patient safety. We thank Robin for his years of dedication, insightfulness, and expertise that drove forward our pathogen-targeted antibacterial programs and look forward to continuing to work with him in his new capacity.”

Massachusetts-based Entasis spun out of AstraZeneca with an antibiotic drug discovery platform and funding in 2015. Since then, Entasis raised $82 million from backers including Clarus Lifesciences, Novo Holdings and Frazier Life Sciences, then got off its IPO last year, though at the lower end of the range.

Altarac added: “Entasis is spearheading a new model for antibiotic development and commercialization, making use of the latest technologies to deliver transformative treatments for patients with the highest unmet medical needs. I look forward to working closely with the team to translate ground-breaking science into meaningful new antimicrobials and to continue building our pipeline of innovative programs.”

By Ben Adams

Source: Fierce Biotech

comments closed

Related News

September 25, 2022

Rise of the machines: Novo Nordisk pledges $200M to create first quantum computer for life sciences

Life sciences

Big Pharma has long seen the potential for AI and machine learning to accelerate drug development. But Novo Nordisk is going a step further by channeling $200 million toward the creation of a computer that will outrun anything in existence.

September 25, 2022

Mount Sinai AI uncovers new brain analysis method to predict dementia, Alzheimer’s disease

Life sciences

Current methods for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease rely on a complex combination of self- and caregiver-reported symptoms, a physical examination and either a PET scan or a spinal tap to look for evidence of amyloid plaque build-ups in the brain. But a new artificial intelligence-based method may make the diagnostic process a much more objective one.

September 25, 2022

New AstraZeneca-backed report finds big money behind diverse owners and entrepreneurs in Europe

Life sciences

There is lots of talk about diversity and inclusion in business, including in pharma and medtech. A new report by the Open Political Economy Network (OPEN), a think tank focusing on migration and diversity, released its “Minority Businesses Matter: Europe” report highlighting the successes and challenges of ethnic minority-owned businesses in Europe.