NEWTON, Mass. – June 4, 2013 – Alcresta™, a science-driven company developing innovative enzyme-based nutritional products for adults, infants, and patients battling acute conditions or chronic diseases, today announced the appointment of Steve Dubin, former chief executive officer of nutrition company Martek Biosciences, to the company's board of directors. Alcresta is also expanding its product advisory board with the appointments of Gaetan Crucke, former group vice president of Wyeth Nutrition, and Chris Bleck, former vice president and general manager of Abbott, Ross Products Division and current chief commercial officer of OvaScience.
"It is an honor to welcome Steve, Gaetan and Chris, all leaders in the nutritional industry to Alcresta's boards," said Alexey Margolin, Ph.D., founder, president and chief executive officer of Alcresta. "Since the launch of the company a little over one year ago, Alcresta has made significant progress in development of our proprietary line of novel point-of-care nutritional products. These key board appointments offer proven industry expertise and will provide experienced counsel and support to Alcresta as we transition into a commercial stage company."
Alcresta's lead program is focused on improving the digestion and absorption of critically important "good fats" – in particular long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) like omega-3 and omega-6, thereby maximizing their benefit. The importance of LCPUFAs is well documented across the full spectrum of patient care from premature infants to aging adults and individuals battling acute conditions or chronic diseases. In nutritional drinks, LCPUFAs are supplied as triglycerides (fats) and therefore have to be hydrolyzed (digested) prior to absorption to fully realize their benefits. Unfortunately, when the pancreas, gastrointestinal track or liver is compromised, it can lead to an inability to digest and absorb fats, and result in poor growth and development, reduced caloric intake, weight loss, diminished quality of life and reduced life expectancy. Alcresta's point-of-care products are designed to enable the proper digestion of fats into their free fatty acid and mono-glyceride form, which can then be absorbed into the bloodstream and taken up by the tissues.
"Alcresta is driving innovation in nutritional science with the development of its personalized solutions for people with critical nutritional needs," said Mr. Dubin. "Alcresta has demonstrated important progress to date in advancing its programs focused on addressing this unmet need for improved patient nutrition. The Alcresta team has a proven track record of success and experience in enzyme-based products, and I look forward to working with the company at this important stage in the company's evolution and growth."
There is growing recognition of the critical role that improved nutrition plays across a person's lifetime. The demand for high-quality nutritional products is driving the growth of a $36 billion global market for adult and infant nutritional drinks. Global growth and the incidence of chronic diseases in the adult population are expected to drive the market to more than $50 billion by 2016.
"Alcresta has a unique product portfolio that holds the potential to significantly impact patients and health care around the world, whether people are cared for at home or in the hospital," said Mr. Crucke. "From infants to aging adults, there is a growing need for improving nutritional outcomes in people who can not be adequately managed by currently available nutritional drinks or products. Alcresta's lead product has the ability to fundamentally change nutritional care for those most vulnerable people who are unable to digest and absorb fats."
Board of Directors
Steve Dubin is currently a principal at SDA Ventures LLC, a firm focused on assisting emerging growth and middle-market companies, primarily in the health, wellness and nutritional products markets. Mr. Dubin is also the former chief executive officer of Martek Biosciences Corporation, a leader in long-chain polyunsaturated (LCPUFA) nutritional products. Mr. Dubin played a key role in developing Martek's business from an R&D company to a fully integrated, profitable, commercial organization with more than $470 million in annual sales. He served in a variety of positions during 14 years with the company before his election to chief executive officer in July 2006, and served in that capacity until the sale of the company to Royal DSM in 2011 for approximately $1.1 billion. Mr. Dubin holds a B.S. from the University of Maryland, College Park and Juris Doctor degree from the National Law Center at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Product Advisory Board
Gaetan Crucke was the former group vice president of Wyeth Nutrition, where he led the company's nutrition business worldwide. Mr. Crucke spent nearly 30 years at Wyeth, serving in roles of increasing responsibility and seniority, including group vice president, nutrition, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Crucke's roles included responsibilities for marketing, new products, R&D, medical affairs and regulatory. Prior to his tenure at Wyeth, Mr. Crucke worked in a number of various roles at Abbott Laboratories in Canada. He holds a Licensié in Sciences Economiques from the Univerisité Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium.
Chris Bleck has more than 25 years of successful senior management experience in the nutrition, medical device, diagnostic and pharmaceutical industries, including 18 years in senior management at Abbott Laboratories, Ross Products Division where he held positions as corporate vice president, pediatric products, and president and general manager, Abbott Canada. Mr. Bleck is currently the chief commercial officer of OvaScience, a life sciences company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of new treatments for infertility. Prior to OvaScience, Mr. Bleck served as president and chief executive officer of Incept BioSystems, where he led the product and clinical development of a micro-fluidic culture system designed to improve the quality of human embryos. Mr. Bleck holds a B.S. in pharmacy and an M.B.A. from The University of Connecticut.
Alcresta is a science-driven company developing and commercializing innovative enzyme-based nutritional products to improve the digestion and absorption of key nutrients to support pediatric growth and development and improve nutrition in people battling acute conditions or chronic diseases. The demand for high-value nutritional products is increasing, driving the growth of a $36 billion global market. While there have been important recent advances in nutritional drinks and products, there remains a significant need for enzyme-based nutritional products that support healthier living and complement conventional medical care. Leveraging its existing proprietary platform of nutritional products, Alcresta has developed a lead product designed to improve the digestion and absorption of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (including omega-3 and omega-6). The importance of LCPUFAs is well documented across the full spectrum of patient care from premature infants to aging adults and individuals battling acute conditions or chronic diseases. The company's platform is supported by the Alcresta team's extensive experience in pharmaceutical and nutritional product development. Based in Newton, Mass., the company is backed by top-tier venture investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Frazier Healthcare and Third Rock Ventures. For more information, please visit www.alcresta.com.