SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AmpliPhi Biosciences Corporation (NYSE MKT: APHB), a global leader in the development of bacteriophage-based antibacterial therapies to treat drug-resistant infections, today announced the appointment of Igor P. Bilinsky, Ph.D., as its Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, effective January 30, 2017. Dr. Bilinsky brings to AmpliPhi nearly two decades of experience as a life sciences company executive and consultant, serving public and private companies. He succeeds Wendy S. Johnson, who served as AmpliPhi’s interim COO since September 2014 and continues to serve on AmpliPhi’s board of directors.
“Igor’s broad experience in strategic planning, operational and entrepreneurial management at biopharmaceutical companies makes him ideal to lead operations at AmpliPhi,” said M. Scott Salka, CEO of AmpliPhi Biosciences. “The expertise he brings to our executive team will help us achieve our ambitious plans to deliver a new generation of therapies to patients plagued by multi-drug resistant bacterial infections. All of us at AmpliPhi extend a warm welcome to Igor.”
“I am excited to join AmpliPhi, a company at the forefront of developing innovative bacteriophage-based therapies. These therapies have a unique and transformative potential to help patients with deadly antibiotic-resistant infections that are not susceptible to any existing therapies, which is an increasingly common problem that presents a significant threat to humanity,” said Dr. Bilinsky. “Phage therapies also hold the promise of bringing precision medicine to the field of infectious diseases by enabling the precise targeting of pathogenic bacteria while sparing the microbiome, recognized as essential to robust human health. AmpliPhi’s product pipeline is rapidly advancing toward Phase 2 clinical development later this year, and I look forward to leveraging my experience in building and leading a team of professionals to manufacture and develop these much-needed therapeutics and bring them to patients as soon as possible.”
Mr. Salka added, “We are extremely fortunate to have had Wendy Johnson serve as interim COO and have benefitted tremendously from her experience and guidance. Ms. Johnson continues to serve as a member of our board of directors and has also agreed to provide transition and other consulting services to AmpliPhi. We look forward to her continuing contributions to our company.”
Prior to joining AmpliPhi, Dr. Bilinsky was General Manager of Immuno-Oncology and Senior Vice President of Special and Research Operations at Ignyta, Incorporated. Previously he was Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at Vical Incorporated and was Vice President, Business Development and Special Operations at Halozyme Therapeutics. Earlier in his career, Dr. Bilinsky was CEO of Androclus Therapeutics. At The Boston Consulting Group, he served in positions of increasing responsibility as a management consultant, project leader and ultimately as principal in the healthcare practice, where he advised companies in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and life science industries on business strategy, operational performance and mergers and acquisitions. Dr. Bilinsky received a B.S. in physics from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and a Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Bacteriophages, or more simply “phages,” are the natural predators of bacteria and are thought to be the most abundant life form on earth, outnumbering even the stars in our universe. Over eons, phages have evolved an incredible diversity of specialist strains that typically prey upon just one strain of bacteria, enabling a phage-based therapeutic to precisely target a pathogenic bacterial population while sparing the beneficial microbiota. Phages can infect and kill bacteria, whether they are antibiotic-resistant or not, and even when they have formed protective biofilms. Such biofilms are a major line of defense for bacteria, sometimes rendering them impervious to conventional antibiotics. Phages are able to penetrate biofilms, producing strong local therapeutic effects without the side-effects commonly produced by antibiotics.
About AmpliPhi Biosciences
AmpliPhi Biosciences Corporation is a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of novel bacteriophage-based antibacterial therapeutics. AmpliPhi's product development programs target infections that are often resistant to existing antibiotic treatments. AmpliPhi has reported final results from two Phase 1 clinical trials of AB-SA01, one for the treatment of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) in chronic rhinosinusitis patients and one to evaluate the safety of AB-SA01 when administered topically to the intact skin of healthy adults. AmpliPhi is also developing bacteriophage therapeutics targeting Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) and Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) in collaboration with a number of leading organizations focused on the advancement of bacteriophage-based therapies. For more information, visit www.ampliphibio.com.
Forward Looking Statements
Statements in this press release that are not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements about the potential advancement of AB-SA01 into a Phase 2 trial later in 2017, the potential use of bacteriophages to treat bacterial infections, including infections that do not respond to antibiotics, the potential benefits of phage therapy, and AmpliPhi’s development of bacteriophage-based therapies. Words such as “believe,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “expect,” “intend,” “will,” “may,” “goal,” “potential” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, though not all forward-looking statements necessarily contain these identifying words. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in these forward-looking statements are risks and uncertainties associated with AmpliPhi’s business and financial condition and the other risks and uncertainties described in AmpliPhi’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2016, as filed with the SEC, and other filings with the SEC. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement, and AmpliPhi undertakes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release.