SAN CARLOS, Calif., May 22 Nektar Therapeutics(Nasdaq: NKTR) announced today that Bharatt Chowrira, Ph.D., J.D. has joinedthe Company as Chief Operating Officer and Head of the PEGylation BusinessUnit. His responsibilities include overseeing and managing all aspects of thePEGylation Business Unit, including research and manufacturing, as well asoperations across the Company. He will also serve as Chairman of Nektar IndiaPvt., Ltd. He will report to Nektar President and CEO Howard W. Robin.
"Bharatt has a rare combination of expertise in molecular biology,business strategy, and intellectual property -- and a proven track record ofbuilding shareholder value," said Nektar President and CEO Howard W. Robin."He will be hugely important to our efforts to develop a robust therapeuticpipeline by leveraging and expanding our industry leading PEGylationtechnology platform."
Dr. Chowrira had previously served as Executive Director, WorldwideLicensing & External Research at Merck & Co. in San Francisco. He wasresponsible for identifying and evaluating R&D, licensing and partneringopportunities across all therapeutics areas, therapeutic modalities (includingsmall molecules, biologics, vaccines and oligonucleotides), and technologyplatforms, throughout Asia. Dr. Chowrira was a key member of the team thatestablished collaboration agreements between Merck and leading pharmaceuticalfirms in India such as Nicholas Piramal and Ranbaxy Labs. Dr. Chowrira alsoserved as Vice President of Sirna Therapeutics, a wholly owned subsidiary ofMerck, where his responsibilities included strategic planning and licensing.
Prior to Merck, Dr. Chowrira was a member of the executive management teamat Sirna Therapeutics, a development-stage biopharmaceutical firm focused onthe discovery and development of RNAi-based drugs that selectively targetdisease-causing genes and viruses. As Vice President at Sirna, he played apivotal role in the restructuring and 2003 relaunch of the company, as well asthe development of its pipeline and intellectual property portfolio. He ledthe effort to identify research opportunities that resulted in corporatecollaborations and licensing agreements with all of Sirna's partners, whichincluded industry leaders such as GlaxoSmithkline, Allergan, and Eli Lilly &Co.
Dr. Chowrira earned his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics fromthe University of Vermont and his J.D. degree from the College of Law at theUniversity of Denver. He earned his M.S. in Molecular Virology from IllinoisState University and his B.Sc. in Microbiology from the University ofAgricultural Sciences, Bangalore, India.
"I am delighted to be joining a company that is the industry leader inPEGylation and polymer chemistry -- and has the approved products,partnerships and pipeline to prove it," said Dr. Chowrira. "Moreover, Nektarhas the fundamentals, expertise, and validated platform technology necessaryto rapidly build and expand its pipeline and partnerships, particularlythrough the development of high-value PEGylated small molecules andbiologics."
Nektar Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company that develops andenables differentiated therapeutics with its industry-leading PEGylation andpulmonary drug development technology platforms. Nektar PEGylation andpulmonary technology, expertise, manufacturing capabilities have enabled eightapproved products for partners, which include the world's leadingpharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Nektar also develops its ownproducts by applying its PEGylation and pulmonary technology platforms toexisting medicines with the objective to enhance performance, such asimproving efficacy, safety and compliance.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that reflect thecompany's current views as to its products, development programs, science andtechnology and business prosp