CHAPEL HILL, N.C., Aug. 12 Cempra Pharmaceuticals today announced the appointment of John H. Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of ImClone Systems, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eli Lilly and Company, to the company's Board of Directors. Mr. Johnson brings more than 25 years of biopharmaceutical executive and operational management experience, including leadership of successful anti-infective businesses and numerous flagship pharmaceutical products, to his role as an independent member of the Board.
"I've been closely tied to the antibacterial and public health product markets throughout my career in the biopharmaceutical industry, and Cempra's clinical-stage anti-infective programs address an absolutely critical market need for safe, potent antibiotics," said Mr. Johnson. "Cempra is at a turning point in the company's development of its two lead compounds, as both are poised to advance into later stage clinical trials. I look forward to working with Cempra's other Board members and management to enable the success of these much-needed drugs."
Cempra's lead macrolide, CEM-101, will soon enter a Phase 2 clinical trial for moderate to moderately severe community-acquired bacterial pneumonia. Cempra has also initiated an adaptive design Phase 2/3 trial in acute bacterial skin structure infections for CEM-102, an antibiotic with an established record of treating staphylococcal infections, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Cempra recently completed a $46 million Series C financing that will fund the further development of these compounds.
"John's respected reputation, deep knowledge of the antibacterial market and strong business acumen makes him an extremely well-positioned, highly-valued addition to our Board of Directors," said Prabhavathi Fernandes, President and CEO, Cempra Pharmaceuticals. "Following a very successful financing in May, we're well-funded to continue to move CEM-101 and CEM-102 forward in clinical trials. I am confident that we've assembled the best investors, Board members, and management team with the collective antibacterial market and product strategy experience necessary to deliver against Cempra's business and development objectives."
Mr. Johnson has served as Chief Executive Officer of ImClone Systems since August 2007. He also served as a member of the company's Board of Directors until the company became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eli Lilly and Company in November 2008. Prior to joining ImClone, Mr. Johnson served as Company Group Chairman of Johnson & Johnson's Worldwide Biopharmaceuticals unit. In this executive role, he was responsible for the Johnson & Johnson Biotechnology, Immunology and Oncology commercial businesses, including Centocor, Inc., Ortho Biotech Products, L.P. and the Worldwide Strategic Marketing group. Earlier in his career, Mr. Johnson held roles of increasing responsibility in Sales and Sales Management at Pfizer before joining Johnson & Johnson to help lead their entry into the anti-infectives business. He advanced through positions of increasing responsibility with Ortho-McNeil, including leading the commercial groups responsible for the development of sales, marketing and new product strategies of several of the company's flagship brands, including LEVAQUIN(R), ULTRAM(R) and TOPAMAX(R). Mr. Johnson also previously served as President and CEO of Parkstone Medical Information Systems. He received a B.S. degree from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Johnson is also a member of the Board of Directors of BioNJ.
About Cempra Pharmaceuticals
Founded in 2006, Cempra Pharmaceuticals is a privately-held, clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing two antibacterials to address critical medical needs. These products, both in clinical trials, address the increasingly urgent need for new treatments that target drug-resistant bacterial infections in the hospital and in the community. Cempra is well-funded and is committed to developing commercially viable products with consideration of pricing and reimbursement issues throughout the lifecycles of its products. The company is also using its proprietary chemistry technology to develop macrolides without antibacterial activity for uses related to motilin receptor activation, anti-inflammatory activity and GnRH receptor antagonism. Additional information about Cempra can be found at www.cempra.com.
SOURCE Cempra Pharmaceuticals