PharmAthene Appoints Industry Leader Thomas R. Fuerst Chief Scientific Officer
Seasoned R&D and Manufacturing Executive Brings Over Two Decades of Specialized Experience to PharmAthene
ANNAPOLIS, Md., April 5, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --PharmAthene, Inc. (NYSE Amex: PIP), a biodefense company developing medical countermeasures against biological and chemical threats, today announced the appointment of Thomas R. Fuerst, Ph.D., as the company's Senior Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer. In this newly created role, Dr. Fuerst will oversee PharmAthene's research and development programs and provide strategic scientific direction for the Company.
Dr. Fuerst is a senior biotechnology leader and former government official with over 20 years of experience in the research, development, and manufacturing of biological products, and strategic planning. He has served as a leader at the nexus of government, industry, and academia and brings to PharmAthene extensive scientific expertise and knowledge of state-of-the-art technologies and practices used in the discovery and development of vaccines and biotherapeutic products.
"Tom has dedicated his life and career to this industry and we are honored to have him as a new member of the PharmAthene team," said David P. Wright, Chief Executive Officer. "His executive management experience in both government and private industry, coupled with specialized scientific and manufacturing expertise, will be a valuable asset to PharmAthene as we pursue our goal of becoming the leading provider of medical countermeasures to the U.S. government."
Prior to joining PharmAthene, Dr. Fuerst was Director, Vaccines and Biologics (2004-2007), and Senior Science and Technology Advisor (2007-present) for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In these positions, he led the development and acquisition of vaccines and biotherapeutic products for biodefense and other emerging public health threats, including anthrax, smallpox, botulism, and pandemic flu. During his tenure at HHS, Dr. Fuerst helped establish the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and oversaw the planning, implementation, and monitoring of medical countermeasure development and acquisition, while managing a budget of approximately $3.0 billion. Dr. Fuerst received several awards for his exemplary service including the Secretary's Award for Distinguished Service, Outstanding Performance and Leadership in 2005 and 2006.
Previously, Dr. Fuerst served as Executive Director of Corporate Development at Sanofi Pasteur, Inc., where he oversaw the scientific and business transactions for vaccines and immunotherapeutic products for infectious diseases and cancer, and played a key role in establishing the company's biodefense initiative post 9/11. He also led a collaborative R&D group to develop a next generation anthrax vaccine in response to the National Institute of Health's Request for Proposal (RFP).
Prior thereto, he was Vice President, Research and Development, at Genelabs Technologies, additionally, Dr. Fuerst served as Director, Molecular Genetics, at MedImmune, Inc. He also served as a senior fellow at the National Institutes of Health, NIAID, in Bethesda, MD.
Dr. Fuerst holds a B.A. in Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley, a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from Cornell University, and a MBA in Science, Technology, and Innovation from the George Washington University. He has published over fifty research articles and has been issued six patents. His professional affiliations include the American Society for Microbiology, the American Society for the Advancement of Science, and the Licensing Executive Society.
"The development and procurement of modern, state-of-the-art vaccines and therapeutics to protect the U.S. civilian population and military personnel represents an important national security imperative," commented Dr. Fuerst. "PharmAthene has established a leading portfolio of urgently needed, next generation medical countermeasures based on modern biotechnology principals, which incorporate significant product development and technological advancements that may provide significant health and economic advantages for our nation. I am delighted to have the opportunity to apply my expertise in medical countermeasures development to assist PharmAthene in its mission, and look forward to working closely with our partners in government to advance these important technologies."
About PharmAthene, Inc.
PharmAthene was formed to meet the critical needs of the United States and its allies by developing and commercializing medical countermeasures against biological and chemical weapons. PharmAthene's lead product development programs include:
SparVaxTM - a second generation recombinant protective antigen (rPA) anthrax vaccine
Third generation rPA anthrax vaccine
Valortim® - a fully human monoclonal antibody for the prevention and treatment of anthrax infection
Protexia® - a novel bioscavenger for the prevention and treatment of morbidity and mortality associated with exposure to chemical nerve agents
For more information about PharmAthene, please visit http://www.pharmathene.com/.
Statement on Cautionary Factors
Except for the historical information presented herein, matters discussed may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements preceded by, followed by, or that include the words "potential"; "believe"; "anticipate"; "intend"; "plan"; "expect"; "estimate"; "could"; "may"; "should"; or similar statements are forward-looking statements. PharmAthene disclaims, however, any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements. Risks and uncertainties include risk associated with the reliability of the results of the studies relating to human safety and possible adverse effects resulting from the administration of the Company's product candidates, unexpected funding delays and/or reductions or elimination of U.S. government funding for one or more of the Company's development programs, the award of government contracts to our competitors, unforeseen safety issues, challenges related to the development, scale-up, technology transfer, and/or process validation of manufacturing processes for our product candidates, unexpected determinations that these product candidates prove not to be effective and/or capable of being marketed as products, as well as risks detailed from time to time in PharmAthene's Forms 10-K and 10-Q under the caption "Risk Factors" and in its other reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC").
Copies of PharmAthene's public disclosure filings are available from its investor relations department and our website under the investor relations tab at http://www.pharmathene.com/.
SOURCE: PharmAthene, Inc.