ContraFect Announces CEO Transition
Dr. Roger J. Pomerantz appointed Chairman and CEO Dr. Steven C. Gilman retires and remains on board as Vice Chairman
YONKERS, New York, April 02, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ContraFect Corporation (Nasdaq:CFRX), a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of novel, differentiated biologic therapies for life-threatening, drug-resistant infectious diseases, today announced that Roger J. Pomerantz, MD, FACP has been appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ContraFect and will succeed Steven C. Gilman, Ph.D., who is retiring from his position as Chairman and CEO.
Dr. Pomerantz commented, “Having served as Vice Chairman for the last five years, I know the company’s technology, management team and board very well and I am extremely pleased to assume an expanded leadership role at ContraFect as Chairman and CEO. Most importantly, I am very excited to work in this totally new modality of medical therapeutics, using lysins and other proteins as direct lytic agents against serious and resistant bacterial infections. I would also like to thank Steve for his superb leadership of the company over the past several years and look forward to continuing our partnership.”
“I am proud to have had the opportunity to contribute to ContraFects’s development during my tenure as CEO, but it is time for me to spend more time with my family. Roger has been an active and committed board member, and his breadth of scientific and medical expertise, particularly in the anti-infective space, as well as his significant experience as CEO across multiple biotech companies, makes him uniquely suited to lead ContraFect. I have the utmost confidence in Roger’s ability to continue to advance the company’s pipeline and I look forward to working with him now as the company’s Vice Chairman,” said Dr. Gilman.
Dr. Pomerantz was most recently Chairman and CEO of Seres Therapeutics, a company focused on therapeutics that regulate the microbiome, where he now continues as the company’s Chairman of the Board of Directors. Prior to Seres, Dr. Pomerantz was Senior Vice President and Worldwide Head of Licensing & Acquisitions at Merck & Co., Inc. where he oversaw all licensing and acquisitions at Merck Research Laboratories. Previously, he served as Senior Vice President and Global Franchise Head of Infectious Diseases at Merck. Prior to joining Merck, Dr. Pomerantz was Global Head of Infectious Diseases for Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals. He had joined Johnson & Johnson in 2005 as President of Tibotec Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Dr. Pomerantz received his B.A. in Biochemistry at the Johns Hopkins University and his M.D. at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He received post-graduate training at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and the Whitehead Institute at M.I.T. Dr. Pomerantz is Board Certified in both Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases. He was Professor of Medicine, Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Chief of Infectious Diseases, and the Founding Director and Chair of the Institute for Human Virology and Biodefense at the Thomas Jefferson University and Medical School. He has so far developed twelve small and large molecule drugs approved world-wide in critical human diseases, including HIV, HCV, CMV, C. difficile and multi-drug resistant tuberculosis.
“I am delighted to have Dr. Pomerantz expand his role at ContraFect to CEO and Chairman. With our positive clinical data in hand for the first lysin-based antimicrobial, Roger’s very successful background in leading the development of multiple anti-infectives to FDA approval will now be critical. He and our team will continue to be focused on driving our lead molecule and our deep pipeline to approval and launch for the desperately ill patients who are waiting for these new modality medicines. I want to thank Steve for his multiple contributions to the company and look forward to his continued guidance as Vice Chairman,” said Sol Barer, Lead Independent Director.
ContraFect is a biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing differentiated biologic therapeutics for life-threatening, drug-resistant infectious diseases, particularly those treated in hospital settings. An estimated 700,000 deaths worldwide each year are attributed to antimicrobial-resistant infections. We intend to address life threatening infections using our therapeutic product candidates from our lysin platform and through the use of other novel agents. Lysins are a new therapeutic class of bacteriophage-derived, recombinantly produced, antimicrobial proteins with a novel mechanism of action associated with the rapid killing of target bacteria, eradication of biofilms and synergy with conventional antibiotics. We believe that the properties of our lysins will make them suitable for targeting antibiotic-resistant organisms, such as Staphylococcus aureus (“Staph aureus”) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (“P. aeruginosa”), which can cause serious infections such as bacteremia, pneumonia and osteomyelitis. Our lead lysin candidate, exebacase (CF-301) is completing a Phase 2 clinical trial for the treatment of Staph aureus bacteremia, including endocarditis and is the first lysin to enter clinical studies in the U.S.
This press release contains, and our officers and representatives may make from time to time, “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the U.S. federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as “projects,” “may,” “will,” “could,” “would,” “should,” “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “estimates,” “intends,” “plans,” “potential,” “promise” or similar references to future periods. Examples of forward-looking statements in this release include, without limitation, statements regarding the company’s ability to discover and develop novel, differentiated biological therapies for life-threatening, drug-resistant infectious diseases, statements made regarding Dr. Gilman’s continued partnership and guidance as Vice Chairman, statements made regarding Dr. Pomerantz’s ability to continue to advance the company’s pipeline and whether he is uniquely suited to lead ContraFect, whether the clinical data is positive, whether Dr. Pomerantz and the team will continue to be focused on driving the company’s lead molecule and its deep pipeline to approval and launch, , the company’s ability to address life threatening infections using its therapeutic product candidates from its lysin platform and through the use of other novel agents, whether lysins are a new therapeutic class of bacteriophage-derived, recombinantly produced, antimicrobial proteins with a novel mechanism of action associated with the rapid killing of target bacteria, eradication of biofilms and synergy with conventional antibiotics, and whether the properties of lysins make them suitable for targeting antibiotic-resistant organisms, such as Staph aureus and P. aeruginosa.. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts, nor assurances of future performance. Instead, they are based on ContraFect’s current beliefs, expectations and assumptions regarding the future of its business, future plans, strategies, projections, anticipated events and trends, the economy and other future conditions. Because forward-looking statements relate to the future, they are subject to inherent risks, uncertainties and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond ContraFect’s control, including those detailed in ContraFect's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results may differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ include, among others, our ability to develop treatments for drug-resistant infectious diseases. Any forward-looking statement made by ContraFect in this press release is based only on information currently available and speaks only as of the date on which it is made. Except as required by applicable law, ContraFect expressly disclaims any obligations to publicly update any forward-looking statements, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.
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Released April 2, 2019