The Institute for OneWorld Health, the first US-based non-profit pharmaceutical company that develops drugs for people with neglected infectious diseases in the developing world, today announced the appointment of Matthew A. Wikler, M.D., M.B.A., F.I.D.S.A. as its new Chief Medical Officer.
Dr. Wikler brings more than 25 years of drug development experience, primarily in the field of infectious diseases, to OneWorld Health. Prior to joining OneWorld Health, Dr. Wikler served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Beach BioSciences, Inc., a development stage biopharmaceutical company that develops novel therapeutics for the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases.
Previously, Dr. Wikler held senior level positions at numerous large and small pharmaceutical companies, including SmithKline, Burroughs Wellcome, Johnson and Johnson, Bristol-Myers Squibb, ViroPharma, Peninsula Pharmaceuticals and Mpex Pharmaceuticals.
During his career, he has played a major role in the development of antibiotics (penicillins, cephalosporins, quinolones), vaccines (Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B), antivirals (famciclovir, penciclovir, pleconaril), and topical antimicrobials (Bactoban). Dr. Wikler spent two years at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, serving as Deputy Director, Division of Anti-Infective Drug Products. More recently, he served as the Chair of the Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing Subcommittee of the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI).
"Dr. Wikler is a highly talented clinician and seasoned pharmaceutical executive. The mission and capabilities of OneWorld Health will be strengthened by such an accomplished drug developer joining our team," said Dr. Richard Chin, M.D., OneWorld Health's Chief Executive Officer.
"It is gratifying to join the OneWorld Health leadership team at this exciting time and contribute to the organization's mission of developing safe, effective and affordable drugs to combat infectious diseases afflicting the world's poorest communities," said Dr. Wikler.
Dr. Wikler earned an M.D. degree from Temple University, completed his Infectious Diseases Fellowship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and is a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
He also received an M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business.
Dr. Wikler succeeds Ahvie Herskowitz, M.D., OneWorld Health's co-founder and former chief medical officer, who will transition to a senior advisor role providing consulting services to the organization. Dr. Chin said, "Dr. Herskowitz is a true visionary and we are deeply indebted to him for bringing the organization to where it is today and for his leadership. He has made enormous contributions to OneWorld Health and to the patients we serve."