ANN ARBOR — Adeona Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NYSE Amex: AEN) has swapped bosses as it continues testing new drugs for multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). It’s also considering a new business focus and a name change.
Jeff Riley, a member of the Adeona board of directors since March 2010 and chairman of the board since November 2011, was appointed as the company’s president and CEO.
Scott L. Tarriff and Nelson K. Stacks were appointed independent members of the company’s board.
James S. Kuo will continue to serve on the company’s board, having resigned from his day-to-day management positions to pursue other opportunities. Riley has stepped down from Adeona’s audit and nominations committees; independent director Jeffrey Kraws was elected to the Nominations Committee and Stacks was elected to the audit committee.
“As we align ourselves with our new focus on the emerging field of synthetic biologics, these management transitions and board appointments position Adeona to benefit from the expertise of each of these experienced life science leaders,” Kraws said. “The board of directors welcomes Jeff to the executive management team as he assumes the responsibilities of CEO. Jeff’s considerable management and financial experience during his career will help shape the vision and skills needed to lead Adeona to future success. We also thank Jim for his service to Adeona as he transitions out of his management role, and appreciate the continuity he will bring to the company as a member of the board.”
Riley has more than 20 years of experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries during which he negotiated numerous worldwide strategic corporate alliances, established joint ventures, and assisted in obtaining venture financings to support product development. Most recently, in addition to serving as Adeona’s chairman, where he played an integral role in the formation of the company¹s recent collaboration with Intrexon Corp., he served as managing director of 526 Ventures, a life science-focused venture capital and advisory firm. Prior to this, Riley was a venture partner with QIC Bioventures Fund, the life science-focused venture component of the $70 billion Australian-based Queensland Investment Corp. Over his career, he held senior positions within the mergers & acquisitions and in country management groups at both SmithKline Beecham and Pfizer. Additionally, he served as CFO and vice president of corporate development for Nichols Institute Diagnostics, a division of Quest Diagnostics Inc. Riley holds a bachelor of science degree in international relations and biology and participated in a dual-degree graduate program in business and information management sponsored by Arizona State University and the Thunderbird School of Global Management.
“This is a very exciting time for our company,” Riley said. “I have been actively involved in the efforts to move Adeona forward as chairman, and look forward to leading Adeona into its new phase of development in the area of synthetic DNA-based therapeutics, continuing to build shareholder value and pursuing an important contribution to the future of healthcare. Having served in leadership positions with several biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, and having experience with both public and private equity investors, I am pleased to be taking on an active leadership role.”
Tarriff brings more than 25 years of pharmaceutical experience to Adeona. In January 2007, he formed Eagle Pharmaceuticals Inc., a hospital specialty company focused on developing, distributing and in-licensing injectable IV products. Prior to forming Eagle, Tarriff served as president, CEO and director of Par Pharmaceutical Companies Inc. During his tenure at Par, he also served as the executive vice president of business and as president and CEO of Par Pharmaceutical Inc., the company’s principal operating subsidiary. Tarriff joined Par following a 12-year career at Bristol-Meyers Squibb, where he held several positions of increased responsibility in both the brand and generic divisions. He also served as a director of Clinical Data Inc., a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company which was acquired by Forest Laboratories Inc. in 2011. Tarriff received an MBA from Rider College and an undergraduate degree from Pennsylvania State University.
Stacks is the CEO and director of WaveGuide Corp., a first in kind point of care handheld nuclear magnetic resonance diagnostic technology spin out from Harvard University for infectious disease, circulating cancer and industrial applications. Prior to WaveGuide, Stacks served as the president, CEO and director of Vascular Pathways Inc. and as a venture partner with QBF/QIC, an Australian life science venture and superannuation fund. Over his career, Stacks has been a venture capitalist, most recently as the general partner at 3i Ventures and earlier at Oak Investment Partners. Stacks is a member of the fourth class of Kauffman Fellows and has invested in all areas of healthcare and information technology. He also previously served as the chairman of Xbio Systems and as CEO and executive director of Xenome Limited. Stacks received an MBA from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College and a BA from The University of Rochester.
“Scott’s extensive management and operational experience in the pharmaceutical sector, and Nelson’s management and equity experience in the life science industry bring essential knowledge and expertise to Adeona,” Riley said. “I look forward to working with the entire team to build our portfolio of synthetic biologics product candidates and to advancing our clinical programs for serious illnesses.”
Adeona is a biotechnology company focused on the development of synthetic DNA-based therapeutics and innovative disease-modifying medicines for serious illnesses. Adeona is developing, or has partnered the development of, product candidates to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension, relapses in multiple sclerosis, cognitive dysfunction in multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
For more information, please visit Adeona’s website at www.adeonapharma.com.
In December 2011, Adeona announced that its board had taken several actions to prioritize the company’s focus on its recent entry into the emerging field of synthetic biologics. As a result of its new primary focus, the board approved a proposed name change of the company to Synthetic Biologics Inc., to better reflect its new mission and primary business. The name change is subject to stockholder approval.
Synthetic Biologics is a trademark of Adeona Pharmaceuticals Inc.
More at www.adeonapharma.com