ANN ARBOR, Mich., July 29, 2009 —Lycera Corp. today announced that Robert Kamen, Ph.D., biotech consultant and past president of Abbott Bioresearch Center will join the company’s Board of Directors. Lycera, which recently announced a $36 million Series A financing, is developing novel small-molecule pharmaceuticals to treat autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.
“Bob brings both a deep understanding of the science at the core of Lycera’s work and a long track record of success in drug discovery and development,” said Dr. Jeffrey Leiden, a Lycera Board Member. “His experience in building Abbott Bioresearch Center — and his leadership in developing Humira into a breakthrough blockbuster treatment for several autoimmune diseases — will be uniquely valuable in helping us execute our drug development strategy.”
In addition to being a past president of Abbott Bioresearch Center, Dr. Kamen was a member of the Abbott Pharmaceuticals Executive Management Committee. He joined Abbott subsequent to its acquisition of the BASF/Knoll pharmaceutical business after serving as BASF Bioresearch Corporation’s president.
During Dr. Kamen’s leadership at BASF/Abbott, the company established the technology platform for Humira™ (adalimumab), the first fully human antibody to achieve marketing approval in the US (and Europe). Currently marketed for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, Crohn’s disease and psoriasis, it was in 2007 and 2008 the most rapidly growing US biological drug.
In 2005 Dr. Kamen co-founded BioAssets Development Corporation, a biotherapeutics company focusing on spinal diseases, where he serves as chairman. He is also a member of several other biopharmaceutical company boards. Dr. Kamen has an undergraduate degree in biophysics from Amherst College (summa cum laude) and a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from Harvard University.
Dr. Kamen will be joining Lycera’s board as Dr. David Canter departs to pursue other opportunities.
“We are very excited to welcome Bob to Lycera’s board of directors,” said Dr. Gary Glick, founder and chief scientific officer of Lycera. “I also want to thank David for his many contributions to Lycera. His role as an advisor over the last several years has been enormously helpful in positioning us for future success.”
Lycera Corp. is focused on the discovery and development of small-molecule immunomodulators for the treatment of patients with autoimmune diseases including psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosis, inflammatory bowel disease and transplant rejection. Lycera is developing drug candidates that target two novel therapeutic pathways and have the potential for first-in-class oral efficacy without the adverse effects of current standard-of-care antiproliferative and immunosuppressive agents. Visit www.lycera.com for more information.