Visterra, Inc., a developer of new medicines to prevent and treat infectious and other major diseases, has tabbed Brian Pereira as the company's president and CEO. The decision, which was announced July 15, comes at a critical time for the Cambridge, Mass.-based company, which is working to advance its product candidates into human clinical trials for infectious diseases that impact global health.
A seasoned biopharmaceutical and healthcare leader, Pereira has also been appointed to the board of directors for Visterra.
"I am excited to take on the opportunity and grow Visterra as the company takes the next steps to develop and commercialize innovative therapies for infectious and other diseases with such broad potential to impact global health," said Pereira. "I envision Visterra as a company with the potential to deliver multiple products from its novel therapeutic platform, and I look forward to working with the strong team that is in place, so that together we will accelerate opportunities to develop and commercialize innovative medicines."
Prior to joining Visterra, Pereira served as the president and CEO of AMAG Pharmaceuticals from 2006 to 2011. At AMAG, Pereira excelled in the leadership position by rapidly creating value, raising four financing rounds at increasing valuations, and building the clinical development, manufacturing, supply-chain, commercial and financial infrastructure for AMAG's iron therapy product for anemia.
Prior to AMAG, Pereira served as the president and CEO of a Tufts Medical Center Physician Organization from 2001 to 2005, where he was instrumental in restructuring operations to enable greater financial strength. He also served in earlier various roles at Tufts Medical Center, including as interim chief operating officer in 2001, vice chairman for Strategic Development of the Department of Medicine from 1999-2001, and as a staff physician beginning in 1993.
Pereira currently serves on the board of directors for a number of companies and organizations, including Biodel Inc., NephroPlus Ltd., The American India Foundation, and Youth That Care, Inc. He was the chairman of the board for the Harvard-MIT Biomedical Enterprise Program and was also the president of the National Kidney Foundation from 2002 to 2004.
Pereira is currently an adjunct professor of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, Sackler School of Biomedical Sciences and Tufts Clinical & Translational Sciences Institute. He has contributed over 200 published scientific articles and has edited the leading medical textbook on chronic kidney disease.
Visterra discovers and develops novel antibodies for the prevention and treatment of infectious and other major diseases. The company's proprietary antibody discovery platform generates unique structural information that identifies novel target epitopes (sites recognized by antibodies) and guides the design of antibodies which specifically target these epitopes to effectively combat disease. The company's lead antibody product candidate, VIS410, is a broad spectrum monoclonal antibody for the prevention and treatment of both seasonal and pandemic influenza. The company is building a proprietary pipeline of novel antibodies in infectious disease and continuing to expand its disease area focus through strategic partnerships in infectious and other diseases.