SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AmpliPhi Biosciences Corporation (NYSE MKT: APHB), a global leader in the development of therapies to treat drug-resistant infections using bacteriophage-based technology, announces the appointment of Paul C. Grint, M.D. as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Dr. Grint has served on the Company’s board of directors since November 2015 and has more than two decades of executive leadership experience in biologics and small molecule development, including the successful development and commercialization of anti-infective products. M. Scott Salka has resigned as CEO and director of AmpliPhi, and will serve as a consultant to the Company during a transition period.
Dr. Grint previously served as President and CEO of Regulus Therapeutics Inc., a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of microRNA therapeutics. Prior to Regulus, he was President of Cerexa, Inc., where he was involved with the development of a portfolio of antibiotics for multidrug-resistant infections including ceftaroline and ceftazidime/avibactam combination. He previously served in senior management roles at Forest Research Institute, Kalypsys, Inc., Pfizer Inc., IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corporation and Schering-Plough Corporation. Dr. Grint is a director of the private biotechnology companies Amplyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Synedgen, Inc. He received his bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s Hospital in London and his medical degree from St. Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College at the University of London. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, a member of numerous professional and medical societies, and the author or co-author of more than 50 scientific publications.
“The board is delighted that Paul has agreed to take on the role of Chief Executive Officer at this critical time. His extensive experience in product development, clinical trials, drug approvals and anti-infectives will serve AmpliPhi well as our focus transitions to clinical development of phage therapies for patients with serious or life-threatening infections,” said Jeremy Curnock Cook, Chairman of AmpliPhi Biosciences. “The past 12 months have been transformative for AmpliPhi as our bacteriophage therapies have progressed through Phase 1 clinical trials. We have also shown the power of our phage-based approach to treat a critically ill patient with a multidrug-resistant (MDR) infection who faced death, being unresponsive to any commercially available antibiotic. On behalf of the board, I’d like to thank Scott for his many positive contributions to AmpliPhi over the past two years and wish him every success in his future endeavors.”
Commenting on his new position, Dr. Grint said, “My passion for innovative science and commercializing therapies that make a difference drew me to AmpliPhi Biosciences as a director, and I am thrilled to be assuming executive leadership of this exciting company. Our phage technology is much-needed in today’s world of antibiotic resistance which, if left unchecked, is projected to result in significant loss of life. AmpliPhi has the opportunity to be a meaningful player in addressing this looming public health crisis.”
About Antibiotic Resistance
Decades of misuse and over-use of antibiotics has led to the rise of multidrug-resistant and pan-resistant bacteria, commonly known as “superbugs.” These superbugs threaten to render existing antibiotic therapies useless, potentially thrusting the world into a “post-antibiotic” era where common infections may be life threatening. Hospitals regularly expose vulnerable patients to pathogenic bacteria. According to the World Health Organization, each year hundreds of millions of patients worldwide suffer from infections acquired in a hospital setting. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that drug-resistant bacteria cause at least 2 million infections per year in the U.S. alone, resulting in over 23,000 deaths and many more people die from other conditions that are complicated by antibiotic-resistant infections. The 2016 O’Neill Report commissioned by the UK government projects that the failure to respond to the threat of antibiotic resistance and the rise of superbugs could lead to an estimated 10 million deaths per year from antibiotic-resistant infections worldwide by 2050, with an accumulated global cost of $100 trillion and a 3.5% reduction in global GDP.
Bacteriophages, or more simply “phages,” are the natural predators of bacteria and are thought to be the most abundant life form on earth. Over eons, phages have evolved an incredible diversity of specialist strains that typically prey upon just one strain of bacteria, enabling phage therapies to precisely target pathogenic bacteria 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.
About AmpliPhi Biosciences
AmpliPhi Biosciences Corporation is a biotechnology company pioneering the development of therapies for antibiotic-resistant infections using bacteriophage-based technology. In May 2017, AmpliPhi announced an additional near-term strategic emphasis on developing precisely targeted and personalized bacteriophage therapies for patients with serious or life-threatening antibiotic-resistant infections. AmpliPhi has reported results from two Phase 1 clinical trials of AB-SA01, one for the treatment of Staphylococcus aureus in chronic rhinosinusitis patients (safety and preliminary efficacy) and one to evaluate the safety of AB-SA01 when administered topically to the intact skin of healthy adults.
AmpliPhi recently announced the completion of an underwritten public offering of common stock and common warrants resulting in net proceeds to AmpliPhi of approximately $9.1 million.
More information is available at www.ampliphibio.com.
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 use of bacteriophages to treat bacterial infections and other potential benefits of phage therapies, the Company’s personalized phage therapies strategy, including the expected benefits therefrom and the Company’s ability to develop targeted and personalized medicines for patients with serious or life-threatening antibiotic-resistant infections, the Company’s ability to advance its research and development programs through partnerships and/or non-dilutive funding, and the regulatory pathway for approval of phage 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 March 31, 2017, as filed 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.