EDMONTON, Alberta – September 5, 2012 – Fedora Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced the appointment of Thomas Parr, Ph.D. to the newly created role of chief scientific officer. Dr. Parr was most recently chief scientific officer at Targanta Therapeutics, where he was instrumental in the development of oritavancin, a lipoglycopeptide for the treatment of Gram-positive bacterial infections.
Christopher Micetich, chief executive officer and founder of Fedora Pharmaceuticals stated, “Tom has worked in the infectious disease space for more than two decades and has broad corporate experience in start-up, public biotechnology and large pharmaceutical companies. This industry knowledge will be invaluable as Fedora, a newly incorporated biotechnology company, advances its first beta-lactam inhibitor candidates through preclinical development and into clinical trials.”
Prior to joining Fedora pharmaceuticals, Dr. Parr served as Targanta Therapeutics chief scientific officer until the company’s acquisition by The Medicines Company. Earlier, Dr. Parr worked in various senior capacities at private biopharmaceutical companies Adaptive Therapeutics, Embiosis Pharmaceuticals (formerly MicroGenomics, Inc.), Xenogen Corporation, Intrabiotics Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Microcide Pharmaceuticals. Before committing to smaller biotech companies, Dr. Parr was a senior research scientist at Eli Lilly and Company. During his career, Dr. Parr worked on a broad range of marketed antibiotics including beta-lactams, glycopeptides, lipodepsipeptides, quinolones, macrolides, echinocandins and a variety of other chemical classes. Dr. Parr received his Ph.D. in microbiology and infectious diseases from The University of Calgary with Professor L. E. Bryan and he was a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. R. E. W. Hancock at the University of British Columbia. He also holds a Master of Arts in philosophy and a Bachelor of Arts in biology and philosophy.
“Having worked, as Chris noted, in the infectious disease industry for most of my career, I have seen both the great potential of antibiotics and the incredible damage caused by antibiotic resistance,” added Dr. Parr. “The beta-lactamase inhibitors being developed at Fedora have the potential to address the increasingly common and costly issue of beta-lactam resistance. I look forward to working with the team here at Fedora to advance these compounds through preclinical and into clinical development.”
Antibiotic resistance and beta‑lactamases
Over time, bacteria have evolved a resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics through the production of betalactamases – enzymes that cleave the beta-lactam ring structure that is common to their molecular structure, thereby inhibiting their antibiotic activity. Beta‑lactam antibiotics, which include penicillin derivatives, cephalosporins, monobactams and carbapenems, have broad utility in the treatment of either Gram-negative or Gram-positive bacteria and as such have been estimated to comprise 65% of the antibiotics market worldwide. It is therefore critical that resistance to beta‑lactam antibiotics be addressed.
First-generation beta-lactamase inhibitors, first introduced in the 1980s, were an important advance and have seen strong market adoption. However, their activity against only one of the four classes of betalactamases has limited their potential.
About Fedora Pharmaceuticals
Fedora Pharmaceuticals is developing a family of beta-lactamase inhibitors designed to have activity against pathogens containing all four classes of beta-lactamases. These and potentially other betalactamase inhibitors will be developed by Fedora for use in combination with various beta-lactam antibiotics to treat those antibiotic infections currently resistant to therapy. Fedora Pharmaceuticals is in the lead optimization stage of preclinical development with its first beta-lactamase inhibitor candidates, and anticipates entering IND-enabling studies in 2013. Fedora was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. For more information on the company, please visit www.fedorapharma.com.
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