Monthly Archives: May 2015

Synereca Pharmaceuticals Appoints Dr. Mark Corrigan to Its Board of Directors

Synereca Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (SPI), a research-stage biopharmaceutical company developing compounds that restore or increase the effectiveness of existing antibiotics against serious Gram-Negative infections, announced today the appointment of Mark H. N. Corrigan, M.D., to the Company’s Board of Directors.  Dr. Corrigan is a seasoned life sciences executive with broad operational and clinical development experience at leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

“Mark is an important addition to our Board, possessing a distinguished track record in guiding the growth of biopharma companies and advancing the successful development of novel therapeutic agents through clinical testing and FDA filing,” said Clayton Duncan, Chief Executive Officer of Synereca. We believe his background will be invaluable as we further advance our lead agents designed to restore or increase the effectiveness of existing antibiotics.” Prior to its $9.5 billion acquisition by Merck, Dr. Corrigan served on the Board of Directors of Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Chairing the Scientific and Clinical Oversight Committee.

Dr. Corrigan commented, “I’m excited to work with the leadership team at Synereca and to contribute to the development of a novel pipeline addressing the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.  The Company’s approach – potentiating the activity of existing classes of antibiotics – has demonstrated compelling, early preclinical results. I look forward to the progress of their programs toward rearming antibiotics against these difficult-to-treat pathogens.” 

Synereca’s novel potentiators have shown the ability to significantly enhance the potency of Colistin, a last-line therapy against serious Gram-Negative bacterial infections, up to 500-fold against both susceptible and multi-drug resistant strains of Acinetobacter baumannii,Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobactericeae species including Klebsiella pneumonia and E. coli. The CDC estimates there are over 2 million infections and 23,000 deaths caused by resistant bacteria each year in the U.S. Synereca’s lead program will combine a potentiator with Colistin (polymyxin E, colistimethate sodium) for the treatment of serious hospital-associated infections caused by resistant Gram-Negative bacteria, a $2.5 billion market in the U.S. alone.

Dr. Corrigan is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Zalicus, Inc., which in 2014 merged with EPIRUS Biopharmaceuticals, a developer of biosimilar agents for global markets.  He currently serves as Chairman of EPIRUS’ Board.  Previously, Dr. Corrigan was Executive Vice President of Research and Development at the specialty pharmaceutical company Sepracor Inc., and prior to this, he spent 10 years with Pharmacia & Upjohn, most recently as Group Vice President of Global Clinical Research and Experimental Medicine.  Before entering the healthcare industry, Dr. Corrigan was in academic research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, where he maintains a faculty appointment as Adjunct Professor in the Psychiatry Department.  Dr. Corrigan served on the Board of Directors for Cubist Pharmaceuticals and of Avanir Pharmaceuticals prior to their acquisitions by Merck and Otsuka Holdings, respectively. Dr. Corrigan holds an M.D. from the University of Virginia and received specialty training in psychiatry at Maine Medical Center and Cornell University.

About Synereca Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Synereca Pharmaceuticals was founded to address the growing problem of bacterial resistance to current antibiotics by developing orally active drugs that restore or increase the effectiveness of existing antibiotics. Synereca’s lead program involves compounds that potentiate the effectiveness of Colistin without enhancing toxicity. The Colistin potentiation program’s lead compound shifts the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of Colistin (CMS) in multidrug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii, Klebsiella pneumonia, Psuedomonas aeruginosa, and Escherichia coli up to 500-fold in vitro and has been shown to reduce the effective dose (PD50) of Colistin in an in vivopreclinical model of infection caused by a multi-drug resistant strain of A. baumannii four-fold. Synereca’s second program stems from two decades of NIH-funded work by Dr. Scott Singleton at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, focused on the inhibition of RecA, a key enzyme in bacterial DNA repair and the development and transmission of antibiotic resistance. Synereca screened over 115,000 compounds and discovered protype RecA inhibitors and compounds that potentiate the killing of a wide variety of pathogenic bacteria by a broad range of bactericidal antibiotics. Synereca has received $1.9 million in funding from Accele Venture Partners, the Oklahoma Seed Capital Fund at i2E, Inc., and various angel investors, and is a portfolio company of biotechnology accelerator Accele Biopharma. The company is headquartered in Oklahoma City, and has laboratories in OKC and North Carolina.

For additional information on Synereca, please visit www.synereca.com.