Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation has announced a reorganization of its leadership team. As part of these changes, effective January 6, 2014, Dr. Michael Abrams will join the company as Executive Vice President and Chief Discovery Officer, and Dr. Ian MacLachlan will head a newly formed group focused on medical countermeasures as Executive Vice President and Chief Technical Officer.
"We are pleased to announce Ian MacLachlan's appointment as Chief Technical Officer, with a particular focus on developing medical countermeasures. Under Ian's stewardship, our TKM-Ebola program continues to advance under a contract with U.S. Department of Defense valued at approximately $140 million. By leveraging his extensive knowledge and applying our most recent technology advances, Ian will lead the expansion of this part of our pipeline, seeded with initiatives such as our TKM-Marburg program, to create further shareholder value," said Dr. Mark J. Murray, Tekmira's President and CEO.
"In addition, we are pleased to have Mike Abrams join Tekmira as our Chief Discovery Officer. This strong addition to our executive team underscores the importance of our drug discovery efforts in support of a broader pipeline of RNAi-based products. Mike is an accomplished drug developer with extensive experience from leadership roles within the biotech and pharmaceutical industry that have led to successfully commercialized therapeutics," stated Dr. Murray.
"These strategic changes announced today, along with other recent additions to Tekmira's executive team, represent both a restructuring and strengthening of our leadership, underpinning our focus as a product company with an industry-leading technology platform," added Dr. Murray.
Concurrent with Dr. Abrams' appointment as Chief Discovery Officer, he will resign his position as an independent Director on Tekmira's Board.
Prior to joining Tekmira, Dr. Abrams was Chief Innovation Officer and VP, Research and Development at CDRD Ventures Inc. Previously, Dr Abrams was President and CEO of Inimex. He was the founding CEO of AnorMED, Inc. and led that company as President and CEO for ten years.
AnorMED discovered and developed Mozobil, a drug for improving stem cell mobilization for patients undergoing stem cell transplantation.
Mozobil was approved by the FDA in 2008 and AnorMED was acquired by Genzyme Corp. in 2006 for $580M. Prior to AnorMED, Dr. Abrams was Manager Biomedical Research for Johnson Matthey, plc where he led the spin-off of the biomedical research group to form AnorMED. From 2009 to 2013, Dr. Abrams served as Board Chairman of Indel Therapeutics. Dr.
Abrams has a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BA in Chemistry from Bowdoin College. In 2009 he was a co-recipient of the Georg Charles de Hevesy Nuclear Pioneer Award from the Society of Nuclear Medicine for his work in the invention of the radiopharmaceutical, Cardiolite.