New Board appointment for Pharmaxis

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Sydney-based Pharmaxis (ASX: PXS) has appointed Dr Kathleen Metters to its Board of Directors.

Dr Metters, formerly the head of worldwide basic research at US-based MSD, has more than 25 years of experience in the discovery and development of novel therapies for the treatment of serious diseases.

She spent nine years as a senior executive with MSD (Merck & Co in the US). That was followed by an appointment to design and establish External Discovery and Preclinical Sciences, created to expand Merck’s scientific network to the greater research community in academia, biotechnology, and government; building partnerships in life sciences, medicine, engineering, and information technology.  

After leaving Merck in 2011 Dr Metters was appointed President and CEO of Lycera, a biopharmaceutical company pioneering approaches to novel oral medicines for treatment of autoimmune diseases and cancer. Under her leadership, Lycera developed a robust pipeline of proprietary and partnered immune modulator programs which formed the basis, in June 2015, of an exclusive global collaboration with Celgene Corporation.

Dr Metters will serve as a non executive director on the Pharmaxis Board – joining current members Malcolm McComas, Simon Buckingham, Will Delaat and Gary Phillips.

Pharmaxis has enjoyed a run of positive announcements in recent months, including in relation to its ongoing collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim on the development of PXS‐4728A. The collaboration, which initially covered development of the compound for the treatment of the debilitating liver disease non‐alcoholic Steatohepatitis), was recently extended to include a second disease indication.

Pharmaxis Chairman Malcolm McComas said, “The appointment of Dr Metters to the Pharmaxis Board follows a global search for a candidate who could contribute to the Pharmaxis business model of creating value through excellence in drug discovery and development.  Her distinguished career in drug discovery inside a major multinational Pharma company and more recent role as a CEO of a smaller biotech company gives Dr Metters the experience and insight to make a significant contribution to Pharmaxis.  We are delighted to welcome her to the Board at a time when we are making significant steps forward with our pipeline of anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic therapies and progressing our aim to building a globally competitive company.”