Opsona Appoints Dr Martin Welschof as CEO
February 9th, 2012, Dublin, Ireland - Opsona Therapeutics, the innate immune drug development company, today announced that it has appointed two experienced biopharm executives to complement its management team. Dr Martin Welschof, previously Managing Director of Affitech A/S., has assumed overall responsibility for Opsona as its new Chief Executive Officer.
Conor Dalton, previously VP Finance and Chief Accounting Officer for Amarin Corporation, has also joined Opsona as Director of Finance. Mary Reilly, VP Pharmaceutical Development & Operations, continues in this role.
Martin is an experienced biotech business executive. Before joining Opsona he was the Managing Director and Co-founder of Affitech A/S, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of human antibodies, listed on the Nasdaq OMX Copenhagen stock exchange.
Prior to joining Affitech AS, Martin was the Director of Technology at Axaron Bioscience AG, Heidelberg, Germany where he was responsible for the R&D process related to a large portfolio of cutting-edge technologies in the field of transcription analysis and functional genomics.
During that period Martin worked at the parent company of Axaron Bioscience, LYNX Therapeutics Inc., Hayward, California, where he contributed to the process development of LYNX massive parallel cloning and sequencing technologies. Martin did his post-doctoral training at the German Cancer Research Center, Department for Recombinant Antibody Technology and at the University of Heidelberg, Department of Transplantation Immunology both in Heidelberg, Germany. Martin earned his Ph.D. (Dr.rer.nat.) in the field of recombinant antibody technology from the University of Bielefeld, in Germany.
Conor Dalton was appointed Director of Finance in November 2011. Prior to joining Opsona, Conor held the position of Vice-President, Finance and Principal Accounting Officer of Amarin Corporation plc from May 2005 to January 2010.
Since January 2010, Conor continued to provide consultancy services to Amarin and Dignity Sciences Limited, a start-up Pharma company. He also acted as Company Secretary for Dignity. Prior to Amarin, Conor spent approximately nine years with Elan Corporation plc. holding various roles in Ireland and North America most recently as Director of Finance. Conor is a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.
Commenting on these management additions, Dr Bernd Seizinger, Opsona's Chairman, said: "I am delighted to welcome Martin and Conor to Opsona. They bring exceptional experience and expertise. I am confident that Mary, Conor and Martin will form an excellent management team which together with Luke O'Neill (Cofounder, Director and CSO) is fully capable of leading Opsona through its next development phase."
Dr Martin Welschof, Opsona's new CEO, commented: "I am very excited to join the Opsona team at this stage. The Company is leading in the field of innate immunology specifically focussing on the development of therapies targeting Toll-like-receptor-2 (TLR-2). I believe Opsona has a strong competitive advantage within the field of innate immunology and I look forward to building the business into an internationally successful biopharmaceutical company."
About Opsona Therapeutics
Opsona is a leading immunology drug development company, focused on novel therapeutic approaches to key targets of the innate immune system associated with a wide range of major human diseases, including autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, transplant rejection, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and atherosclerosis.
The company was founded in 2004 by three world-renowned immunologists at Trinity College in Dublin. Opsona has two programs that modulate the innate immune system, including biologics and small molecules. Opsona's lead product, a fully human monoclonal IgG4 antibody (OPN-305) targeting Toll-like-receptor-2 (TLR-2) has demonstrated activity in a number of animal models and recently was tested in a phase 1 clinical trial in healthy volunteers.
Following successful completion of the phase 1 trial, the Company plans to conduct a two-part multi-centered, double blinded and placebo controlled clinical study to evaluate the safety, tolerability and efficacy of OPN 305 in renal transplant patients at high risk of Delayed Graft Function (DGF) as the first clinical target indication for the development of OPN-305 to be initiated in 2012.
In May 2009 the Company announced the completion of a € 21.3 million equity funding with an international investor consortium including: Inventages Venture Capital, Novartis Venture Fund, Roche Venture Fund, Seroba-Kernel Life Sciences, Fountain Healthcare Partners and Enterprise Ireland.
Further information is available at http://www.opsona.com/.
Martin Welschof (CEO)
Telephone: + 35316770223