– USA, CT – Melinta Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held company developing and commercializing novel antibiotics to treat serious bacterial infections, and Cempra, Inc. (Nasdaq:CEMP) today announced that their joint chief executive officer selection committee has selected Dan Wechsler to be president and CEO and a member of the board of directors of the combined company.
Mr. Wechsler is a seasoned pharmaceutical executive with more than 25 years of healthcare experience across multiple companies and geographies, and a proven record of strategic, operational and commercial success. His notable antibiotics experience includes the commercialization of Zyvox (linezolid), an antibiotic that achieved blockbuster status.
Mr. Wechsler started his career with The Upjohn Company selling antibiotics and other pharmaceutical products. He subsequently led the team at Pharmacia Corporation that launched Zyvox until the company’s acquisition by Pfizer and has held senior positions at Pfizer Inc, Schering-Plough Corporation and Merck & Co. In 2010, Mr. Wechsler joined Bausch + Lomb Incorporated as executive vice president and global president of pharmaceuticals, where he led a greater than one billion dollar global pharmaceutical business prior to the sale of the company to Valeant Pharmaceuticals for $8.7 billion. Most recently, Mr. Wechsler served as president and CEO of Smile Brands, Inc. until its sale in 2016, at which time he joined Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe as an operating partner. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Rochester and a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Brockport.
“We are delighted to welcome Dan Wechsler as CEO of the combined company. Dan’s deep antibiotics knowledge and extensive commercial and operational experience will be invaluable to the successful launch of Baxdela and the continued progression the company’s market-leading anti-infective pipeline of assets,” said Thomas Koestler, PhD, chairman of the board of directors of Melinta.
“The joint committee conducted a thorough search process that attracted many high caliber candidates. We are very pleased to have chosen Dan and believe his outstanding leadership, track record of success and keen focus on execution will serve the combined company well as we transition into the next stage of growth and innovation,” said Garheng Kong, MD, PhD, chairman of the board of directors of Cempra.
“I am thrilled to join Melinta at this exciting time in its transformation into a commercial-stage organization,” said Mr. Wechsler. “ The combined company will have an exceptional platform of innovative assets, including commercial, clinical and preclinical stage anti-infective programs geared to meet major unmet medical needs in the treatment of serious infections. I look forward to working with the members of the board, the management team, and all of the employees of the company to serve patients, create shareholder value and contribute to the future success of Melinta,” he added.
Mr. Wechsler’s appointment as president and CEO is subject to and effective upon the closing of the merger between Melinta and Cempra. Mr. Wechsler’s appointment as a member of the board of directors of the combined company is subject to the closing of the merger and will be effective ten days following the filing of the supplemental information statement on Schedule 14f-1 relating to Mr. Wechsler. As previously announced, the Cempra shareholder vote on the merger is scheduled for November 3, 2017 and the parties expect to close the merger as promptly as practicable thereafter. The combined company will keep the name Melinta Therapeutics upon the closing of the merger.
About Melinta Therapeutics, Inc.
Melinta Therapeutics, Inc. is dedicated to saving lives threatened by the global public health crisis of bacterial infections, through the development and commercialization of novel antibiotics that provide new and better therapeutic solutions. Melinta’s lead product is Baxdela, an antibiotic approved for use in the treatment of acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSI). Melinta is also committed to developing, through the application of Nobel Prize-winning science, a new class of antibiotics designed to overcome the multi- and extremely-drug-resistant pathogens for which there are few to no options, known collectively as ESKAPE pathogens (Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterobacter species and Escherichia coli), which cause the majority of life-threatening hospital infections. Melinta Therapeutics is privately held and backed by Vatera Healthcare Partners and Malin Corporation plc, among other private investors. In August, Melinta announced its entry into a merger agreement with Cempra, Inc. (Nasdaq:CEMP). The company is headquartered in New Haven, CT with offices in Lincolnshire, IL.
For more information : http://www.melinta.com
About Cempra, Inc.
Cempra, Inc. is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on developing differentiated anti-infectives for acute care and community settings to meet critical medical needs in the treatment of infectious diseases. Cempra’s two lead product candidates are currently in advanced clinical development. Solithromycin has been evaluated in two Phase 3 clinical trials for community-acquired bacterial pneumonia (CABP). Cempra is currently seeking approval for CABP for both intravenous and oral capsule formulations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Solithromycin is licensed to strategic commercial partner Toyama Chemical Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation, for certain exclusive rights in Japan. Cempra is contracted with BARDA for the development of solithromycin for pediatric use and has commenced enrollment in a global Phase 2/3 trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of solithromycin versus standard of care antibiotics in children and adolescents from two months to 17 years of age. Solithromycin is also in development for uncomplicated urogenital urethritis caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae or chlamydia. Fusidic acid is Cempra’s second product candidate, which has completed a Phase 3 trial comparing fusidic acid to linezolid in patients with ABSSSI. Cempra also has an ongoing exploratory study of fusidic acid for chronic oral treatment of refractory infections in bones and joints. Both products seek to address the need for new treatments targeting drug-resistant bacterial infections in the hospital and in the community. Cempra is also studying solithromycin for ophthalmic conditions and has synthesized novel macrolides for non-antibiotic uses such as the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases, endocrine diseases and gastric motility disorders. Cempra was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Chapel Hill, N.C.
For more information : http://www.cempra.com
About the Merger
On August 9, 2017, Melinta Therapeutics, Inc. and Cempra, Inc. (Nasdaq:CEMP), a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on developing differentiated anti-infectives for acute care and community settings to meet critical medical needs in the treatment of infectious diseases, announced the companies had entered a definitive agreement under which Melinta will merge with a subsidiary of Cempra. The merger is expected to create a NASDAQ-listed company committed to discovering, developing and commercializing important anti-infective therapies for patients and physicians in areas of significant unmet need. The combined company will have an extensive pipeline, including U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Baxdela, clinical and preclinical anti-infectives programs in development across several indications, and an innovative platform based on Nobel Prize-winning science. The merger is subject to Cempra shareholder approval, with a shareholder vote scheduled for November 3, 2017.
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