REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Atreca, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on developing novel therapeutics based on a deep understanding of the human immune response, announced today that John A. Orwin, formerly CEO of Relypsa, has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Atreca. He will also serve on the Company’s Board of Directors. Mr. Orwin replaces Atreca co-founder Dr. Tito A. Serafini in this role. Dr. Serafini will assume the newly created position of Chief Strategy Officer, responsible directly for research, preclinical development, technology, and intellectual property. Dr. Serafini also will remain on Atreca’s Board of Directors.
“John Orwin is a seasoned leader with a very strong track record in scaling up clinical-stage companies. He brings core capabilities that will complement Tito’s vision and his ability to drive Atreca’s innovative science and the development and application of its broadly enabling technology platform,” stated Brian Atwood, Atreca’s Chairman, and Founder and former President and CEO of Cell Design Labs. “We believe their combined talents and expertise will be highly synergistic, further differentiating the Company from others in the space and accelerating Atreca’s progress.”
Mr. Atwood continued, “During Tito’s tenure leading Atreca, the Company went from early concept through the buildout of its Immune Repertoire Capture® (IRC™) technology, the creation of a discovery engine generating multiple scientific discoveries and a large collection of preclinical assets, and the rapid advancement of a lead candidate, with an anticipated IND filing in mid-2019. We are proud of the corporate culture of excellence Tito established, attracting a fantastic team and leading life sciences institutional investors, and for the considerable accomplishments achieved under his leadership.”
“I am enthusiastically committed to Atreca, a company that I believe can both continue to transform the way new therapies are discovered and ultimately deliver life-changing treatment options to patients in need,” said Dr. Serafini. “John’s joining the Company as CEO will have a profoundly positive impact on Atreca, given his successful track record scaling R&D companies, building out their clinical development organizations, manufacturing capabilities, and commercial and G&A functions. This is a very exciting time for Atreca, and I am thrilled with the Company’s prospects for continued and accelerated growth.”
Mr. Orwin brings over 25 years of diverse experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, having held senior positions at leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Affymax, Rhône-Poulenc Rorer, Genentech, and most recently Relypsa. During Mr. Orwin’s tenure at Relypsa, the company launched and commercialized its lead candidate, Patiromer (US brand name Veltassa®), and was acquired by Galenica (Vifor Pharma) in a transaction worth over $1.5 billion. Prior to Relypsa, he served as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Affymax. Previously, Mr. Orwin was Senior Vice President of the BioOncology Business Unit at Genentech (now a member of the Roche Group), where he was responsible for all marketing, sales, business unit operations and pipeline brand management for Genentech’s oncology portfolio in the United States. He has also held senior marketing and sales positions at Johnson & Johnson, Alza Pharmaceuticals, Sangstat Medical Corporation, Rhône-Poulenc Rorer Pharmaceuticals and Schering-Plough Corporation. Mr. Orwin received an M.B.A. from New York University and a B.A. from Rutgers University.
“Under the collective vision of Tito and his team, Atreca has become the first mover in discovering and advancing candidates based on its unique approach of understanding the active adaptive immune response at the single cell level in patients,” commented Mr. Orwin. “The Company has differentiated itself through its foundational technology, its discovery engine, its strategy for advancing candidates, and in terms of productivity, having generated a library of nearly 1,000 antibodies targeting public tumor antigens. I look forward to contributing to the next chapters of the Company’s evolution, including preparations to bring the first candidates into clinical development in 2019 and 2020.”
About Atreca, Inc.
Atreca is a privately held biotechnology company developing novel therapeutics drawn from human immune responses, including effective anti-cancer immune responses. We are able to measure and analyze the structure of clinically relevant immune responses to identify the antibodies, T cell receptors (TCRs), and targets that are key to successful treatment outcomes. Atreca’s proprietary Immune Repertoire Capture® (IRC™) technology profiles a patient’s immune response at the single-cell level at very high throughput essentially without bias or error. This approach enables the identification, generation, and analysis of functional human antibody and TCR sequences from single B and T cells without prior knowledge of antigen. Atreca is advancing a pipeline of candidates designed to engage the human immune response in oncology and other indications, thus driving better therapeutic outcomes. For more information on Atreca, please visit www.atreca.com.