Achaogen Appoints Chief Medical Officer Kenneth Hillan to Chief Executive Officer

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Achaogen, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company discovering and developing treatments for life-threatening, multi-drug resistant (MDR) Gram-negative bacterial infections, announced today that the company's board of directors has appointed Kenneth J. Hillan, M.B. Ch.B., the company’s chief medical officer, to succeed J. Kevin Judice, Ph.D., as chief executive officer and member of the board of directors effective October 3, 2011. Dr. Hillan will continue in his role as chief medical officer of the company.

"We are deeply grateful to Kevin for his leadership of Achaogen since the company was founded in 2004,” said Bryan E. Roberts, Ph.D., general partner, Venrock Associates and chairman of the Achaogen board of directors. “With three promising drug development programs and an exceptional team, Achaogen is well positioned to continue its mission."

Dr. Judice commented, "I am extremely proud of the team and the pipeline we have built at Achaogen, and believe the organization is well positioned for the future. Kenneth’s established track record of building successful leadership teams and in drug development make him the ideal candidate to ensure that Achaogen capitalizes on its opportunities to bring important new antibiotics to patients."

"I would like to thank Kevin for his leadership of Achaogen thus far, and for bringing the organization through a critical period of development,” added Dr. Hillan. “We are on track to complete a Phase 2 study for plazomicin (ACHN-490) for the treatment of complicated urinary tract infection and acute pyelonephritis in 2012, and have two additional compounds for which we anticipate submitting Investigational New Drug (IND) applications to the Food and Drug Administration in the next three to six months. With support from experienced healthcare investors and our partnerships with NIH and the U.S. Departments of Health and Defense, we believe we are well positioned to advance our pipeline in an innovative way that best addresses the acute need for new drugs to treat serious infections caused by MDR Gram-negative bacteria."

Dr. Hillan joined Achaogen as chief medical officer in April 2011, bringing deep experience in both medicine and global drug development. He spent the previous 16 years with Genentech (now part of the Roche group), where he most recently served as senior vice president and head of product development, Asia Pacific, with responsibility for Roche’s overall drug development strategy in the region. Prior to that, he was senior vice president, clinical development, inflammation after holding a variety of positions at Genentech including vice president, research operations and pathology; vice president, development sciences; and vice president, immunology, tissue growth and repair. Dr. Hillan has authored dozens of scientific publications and is a named inventor on almost 50 issued patents. He holds an M.B. Ch.B. (Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery) degree from the faculty of medicine at the University of Glasgow, and is a fellow of the UK’s Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS), and of the Royal College of Pathologists (FRCPath).

About Achaogen, Inc.

Achaogen is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to discovering and developing treatments for serious infections that address the significant, growing, unmet medical need caused by multi-drug resistant Gram-negative bacteria. The company’s pipeline includes plazomicin (ACHN-490), an aminoglycoside currently being evaluated in a Phase 2 clinical study for the treatment of complicated urinary tract infection (cUTI) and acute pyelonephritis, and late-stage preclinical programs with differentiated activity against multi-drug resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter baumannii. Resistance to available antibacterial therapies continues to rise, and Achaogen has established specialized capabilities to pursue the discovery and development of new antibiotics, funding its growth with a blend of private investments and non-dilutive funding from partnerships with BARDA, NIAID, the United States Department of Defense, and others. For more information, please visit the company’s website at


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INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Health  Biotechnology  Infectious Diseases