Abcentra Names Kevin B. Bacon, Ph.D. Chief Executive Officer
Monday June 15, 2020
Experienced Industry Leader Elevates Research and Development Capabilities, Joins Company At An Important Development Juncture
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 15, 2020 (Los Angeles, CA) — Abcentra LLC, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing first-in-class antibody therapeutics for inflammatory diseases, is pleased to announce Kevin B. Bacon, Ph.D., has joined the organization as Chief Executive Officer. Bacon, a pharmacologist by training, brings more than 30 years of pharmaceutical development experience to Abcentra, with senior and executive roles at biotechnology and pharmaceutical organizations including Bayer Healthcare, Neurocrine Biosciences, and Actimis Pharmaceuticals.
With an extensive background in drug development across a wide array of therapeutic areas, Bacon joins Abcentra as it prepares to initiate a phase 2 clinical trial with the company’s lead candidate, orticumab. The clinical trial will evaluate the drug’s effects in patients with psoriasis.
“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Bacon to our team,” said John Farina, Abcentra, Chairman of the Board of Directors. “Dr. Bacon’s experience in drug development, combined with his demonstrated scientific and organizational leadership, comes at an important juncture, as we look to advance our lead candidate into a key phase of early clinical development.”
“It’s an honor to join and to lead this outstanding team at such a pivotal moment for the company’s development trajectory,” said Kevin. “I see tremendous potential for Abcentra’s novel technologies to help many patients living with enhanced risk of cardiovascular disease mediated by underlying inflammation. I look forward to working with the team to advance our therapeutic pipeline.”
Bacon was most recently the President and Chief Executive Officer of SMA Therapeutics Inc. (formerly Axikin Pharmaceuticals), an early clinical-stage company developing small molecules for respiratory diseases, and acting CEO of Raft Pharmaceuticals, LLC, a preclinical biotech company developing biologics for chemotherapy-induced neuropathy and pain. Prior to SMA and Raft, Bacon was the Founder and CSO of Actimis Pharmaceuticals, a development company with asthma products successfully developed and licensed to a major pharma company. He was also former Vice President of Respiratory Disease Therapeutic Area at Bayer, where he was responsible for several development programs.
In addition to his extensive organizational leadership, Dr. Bacon has authored or co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts, reviews, and book chapters in the field of drug discovery and inflammation biology. He received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of London at the United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospitals.
Abcentra is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing a portfolio of novel antibody therapies for inflammatory diseases, with a special focus on cardiovascular disease. The company’s patented technology, originally developed by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Lund University, allows for the targeting of oxidized lipoproteins and associated inflammatory responses. The lead candidate, orticumab, is a monoclonal antibody against oxidized low-density lipoprotein. It is slated to be evaluated in a phase 2 trial in patients with psoriasis, an inflammatory skin disease that is associated with a marked increase of aggressive and premature cardiovascular disease. The company also is developing antibody therapies for patients with residual risk of acute cardiovascular diseases from lipoprotein(a).