Veteran Life Sciences Executive Brings Proven Experience Developing CNS Therapeutics
MONTREAL and TORONTO, Jan. 4, 2019 /CNW/ – KalGene Pharmaceuticals Inc., a biotechnology company developing therapeutics to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, today announced the appointment of James Callaway, Ph.D. as chief executive officer, effective immediately.
“This has been a very important transition year as we have confirmed our initial thesis with respect to validating the company’s lead KG207, which in pre-clinical studies was shown to successfully cross the blood brain barrier and safely reduce plaque load. The company has successfully completed early toxicology studies and has carried out all the requisite steps to manufacture product,” said Dr. Jacki Jenuth, Chairperson of the Kalgene’s board of directors. “We are very pleased to have executed on the next key step of our strategy in attracting an accomplished new CEO to the company as we leverage this foundation and address significant inbound interest for the company and its lead program. Jim brings an ideal set of leadership skills and domain expertise to guide the team through the transition from a pre-clinical to a clinical stage company.”
“KG207 has shown exceptional potential in pre-clinical studies, and I am excited about the prospect of bringing such a promising compound into the clinic,” Dr. Callaway commented. “I look forward to working with the savvy and talented team at KalGene as we strive to make a difference in the lives of individuals affected by Alzheimer’s disease.”
Dr. Callaway has over three decades of biopharmaceutical development experience, primarily targeting CNS therapeutics, and has served most recently as CEO for two privately-held biotech companies. As the CEO of ArmaGen, he brought its products from the laboratory to the clinic, helping the company emerge as the first to demonstrate the ability of engineered biologics to cross the blood-brain barrier. In addition, Dr. Callaway led the Alzheimer’s immunotherapy program at Elan Pharmaceuticals, which became the first company to introduce disease-modifying biologics (e.g., AN1792, bapinuzumab, ACC001) into clinical studies. Dr. Callaway has filed and defended numerous NDAs and INDs during his career, including shepherding the approval of MyoBloc® and the production of Tysabri®. He previously served in senior development roles at Bayer Pharmaceuticals, SmithKline Beecham (GSK), and InGene (since acquired by Xoma Corporation). He holds a Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from UCLA, with a focus on peptide chemistry.
About KalGene Pharmaceuticals Inc.
KalGene Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a pre-clinical-stage company focussed on the development of precision medicine therapeutics to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease both safely and effectively. The company’s lead therapeutic candidate, KG207, targets toxic amyloid beta oligomers, and has been shown in animal models of Alzheimer’s disease to cross the blood-brain barrier, significantly reducing the plaque burden and leading to improved cognition and neuronal connectivity. The molecule is a bifunctional agent that is a synthesis of two novel innovations licensed from the National Research Council of Canada (NRC).