ArmaGen Technologies, Inc. Hires Biotech Executive as CEO
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – ArmaGen Technologies, Inc., a leader in the delivery of biotherapeutics targeting the central nervous system (CNS), today announced James Callaway, Ph.D. as Chief Executive Office and member of the Board of Directors. Dr. Callaway was most recently President and CEO of Cebix Inc. and joins ArmaGen with nearly 30 year of experience in biotechnology research and development, including executive leadership positions at Bayer and Elan Pharmaceuticals prior to joining Cebix.
“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Callaway, a respected drug developer and biotech executive, as CEO of ArmaGen. His extensive experience working within the realm of CNS disorders at both small biotech companies and major pharmaceutical firms will be invaluable to ArmaGen as the company develops its product pipeline and platform technology,” said William M. Pardridge, MD, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of ArmaGen. “I am confident that under his leadership, the dedicated staff at ArmaGen will be well positioned to deliver compelling clinical data for our therapeutic candidates.”
“I am honored to lead ArmaGen through this period of clinical experimentation and validation. The potential for this proprietary Trojan horse technology to transform the therapeutic options in the area of CNS therapies is very exciting,” said Dr. Callaway. “In addition, the specific focus on orphan drug indications within the CNS creates a very attractive development pathway through which to validate this platform technology.”
Dr. Callaway will join Dr. Pardridge on the ArmaGen Board of Directors along with Stuart Swiedler, MD, PhD, Martin Heidecker PhD (Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund), and Arthur Tzianabos, PhD (Shire plc).
Prior to joining ArmaGen, Dr. Callaway served as President and CEO of Cebix Inc., a biology driven company focused on reducing the sequelae associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy with a peptide therapeutic. Previously, Dr. Callaway filled several executive roles during his thirteen-year tenure at Elan Pharmaceutical, including program executive for the Alzheimer’s Immunotherapy program (encompassing 5 development candidates including bapinuzumab and AN-1792), head of development and head of pharmaceutical development. During his tenure at Elan he also led the development and approval of MyoBloc®and the production of Tysabri®. Prior to Elan, Dr. Callaway had development responsibilities at Bayer Pharmaceuticals in Berkeley, SmithKline Beecham (GSK) in King of Prussia as well as Ingene in Santa Monica (Xoma). Dr. Callaway received his Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from UCLA with a focus on peptide chemistry and has filed and defended numerous NDAs and INDs during the course of his career.
Victoria Sergeant & Associates led the successful executive search for this position.
The ArmaGen molecular Trojan horse technology has the potential to re-engineer recombinant proteins for BBB penetration for the treatment of diseases of the brain and spinal cord. The long-term mission at ArmaGen is the development of BBB-penetrating biopharmaceuticals for diseases of the CNS that affect over 250 million people world-wide. Initially, the company will focus on orphan diseases of the CNS with lead biopharmaceuticals for Mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) Type I, or Hurler’s syndrome and MPS Type II, or Hunter’s disease.
ArmaGen Technologies is both a platform technology company and a products company. The platform technology produces IgG fusion proteins formed by fusion of a recombinant protein therapeutic, which does not cross the BBB to an IgG. The IgG domain of the fusion protein is a genetically engineered monoclonal antibody, which crosses the human BBB via transport on endogenous BBB receptors. The IgG domain acts as a molecular Trojan horse to ferry the fused pharmaceutical agent across the BBB from blood. ArmaGen has used the platform technology to develop a diverse pipeline of BBB penetrating recombinant protein therapeutics, including lysosomal enzymes, neurotrophins, decoy receptors, or therapeutic antibodies.