Former Head of U.S. Commercial at Biogen Idec Will Lead Emerging Small Molecule Immunology Company in Next Phase of Growth
Ann Arbor, Mich., and Cambridge, Mass. – January 7, 2010 — Lycera Corporation, a pharmaceutical company focused on developing novel small-molecule medicines to treat autoimmune diseases, today announced that William J. Sibold has been named the company’s president and chief executive officer. Mr. Sibold was formerly senior vice president, U.S. Commercial at Biogen Idec in Cambridge where he led the over $2.5 billion U.S. business which consisted of the oncology, rheumatology and neurology therapeutic areas. Mr. Sibold brings to Lycera a proven track record of biopharmaceutical leadership, as well as business development and commercial expertise in several therapeutic areas, including inflammation.
Lycera is an emerging leader in the immunology/inflammation field focused on developing new classes of selective small molecule immune-modulators for the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and inflammatory bowel disease. The company’s novel technology platforms include proprietary small molecules that modulate a target which is central to cellular bioenergetics, along with molecules that target the Th17 pathway. Drugs that emerge from the Lycera pipeline will have the potential for first-in-class oral efficacy without the safety and tolerability issues of current standard-of-care antiproliferative and immunosuppressive agents.
Lycera, which is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts and has a state of the art R&D facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has assembled a world class scientific team, generated a robust patent estate and is very well-capitalized having closed a $36 million Series A round and completed a major licensing agreement. Lycera is backed by top tier investors ARCH Venture Partners, Clarus Ventures, InterWest Partners and EDF Ventures.
“With two of the most promising oral small molecule approaches for treating autoimmune disease, Lycera is on the leading edge of the immunology therapeutics space and has the potential to transform how autoimmune diseases are treated. The company has made tremendous progress advancing its programs having identified two novel autoimmune pathways that have been validated in preclinical studies — ATPase and Th17,” said Mr. Sibold. “Lycera has all the ingredients in place to be successful, including novel technology platforms, compelling science, a first-class scientific team and experienced investors. I look forward to working with this incredibly talented group and board to execute Lycera’s growth strategy and ultimately bring innovative therapies to patients with autoimmune diseases.”
“Bill’s vision and leadership will be a tremendous asset to Lycera as we seek to realize significant growth opportunities and advance our drug technology platforms,” said Gary D. Glick, Ph.D., founder and chief scientific officer. “Bill’s entrepreneurial spirit combined with his successful track record and extensive business experience will help propel Lycera into the forefront of one of the most exciting areas of immunology.”
Mr. Sibold brings more than 20 years of pharmaceutical and biotechnology experience with a focus on strategic planning, commercial operations, business development, and general management. During his eight-year tenure at Biogen Idec, Mr. Sibold held multiple senior leadership roles at the company which included growing the U.S. commercial business (Rituxan, Avonex, Tysabri), leading the company’s new products group, and managing the Australia and Asia Pacific regions. From 1997-2001, Mr. Sibold served in senior management positions at Innovative Clinical Solutions where he was instrumental in driving sales and business development initiatives. Mr. Sibold earned his Master in Business Administration from Harvard Business School and received a Bachelor of Arts in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University.
“Lycera has made great strides advancing its small molecule discovery and development strategy and building the highest caliber team,” said Jeffrey Leiden, M.D., Ph.D., managing director at Clarus Ventures and member of Lycera’s board of directors. “We are delighted that Bill has joined Lycera in this executive leadership role. Bill’s deep experience and significant accomplishments in the industry are ideally suited to lead Lycera into its next phase of growth and beyond.”
Lycera Corp. is focused on the discovery and development of small-molecule immunomodulators for the treatment of patients with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and inflammatory bowel disease. 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. The company’s leadership team and advisors represent the core thought leaders in immunology, inflammation, organ transplantation and kinase biology and are responsible for key advances and discoveries in these fields. Founded in 2006, Lycera is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts and has a state-of-the-art research center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Visit www.lycera.com for more information.