NEW YORK and ANN ARBOR, Mich., Oct. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Lycera Corp., a privately held biopharmaceutical company developing breakthrough immune modulatory medicines, announced today the appointment of Alex G. Howarth as Chief Financial Officer. With over 25 years of experience in healthcare and financial advisory roles, Mr. Howarth brings to Lycera a distinguished track record in the industry. He will be responsible for all finance-related activities for the Company, including accounting, financial planning, and strategic analysis. Mr. Howarth will report directly to Paul Sekhri, Lycera’s President and CEO, and his appointment is effective immediately.
“Alex has proven himself a key driver of companies’ success, with diverse experience in leading finance organizations and corporate strategy complemented with strong expertise in corporate development transactions,” said Paul Sekhri, President and CEO of Lycera Corp. “His broad skill set will be an invaluable addition as we continue to advance our lead novel oral immune modulatory compounds via our strategic collaboration with Celgene.”
Prior to joining Lycera Corp., Mr. Howarth most recently served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of moksha8, a specialty pharmaceutical company. During his tenure in the executive team Mr. Howarth played a leading role in building the company and establishing key strategic partnerships with Forest Labs and Watson Pharmaceuticals. Previously, Mr. Howarth was Chief Business Officer at Vitae Pharmaceuticals, where he led the company’s strategic alliances with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH to advance the development of its hypertension and diabetes programs, respectively. Prior to this, Mr. Howarth held a variety of senior positions in finance and corporate development at GSK and latterly served as Head, Venture Partnerships. Before this, Mr. Howarth worked at KPMG, where he qualified as a chartered accountant. Mr. Howarth received his BSc degree in biochemistry from the University of Bath, United Kingdom, and conducted molecular biology and neuroscience research at Celltech and Merck.
Mr. Howarth commented, “I am excited to work with the successful and accomplished team at Lycera. The Company has made significant and rapid progress translating its world-class R&D platform into products that are in or nearing clinical development. Lycera also has a key partnership with Celgene, providing strong validation and further momentum for its programs and business direction.”
Lycera is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel oral immune modulators for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and cancer. Based on successful progress of its world-class R&D platform, including expertise in immune metabolism, cell signaling, and immune cell differentiation, Lycera is commencing multiple clinical programs in 2015 and 2016. The company is advancing a wholly owned, oral, gut-directed ATPase modulator, designated LYC-30937, for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, which is currently in Phase 1 clinical testing, and oral RORgamma agonists for diverse applications in immune-oncology. Lycera has an exclusive strategic collaboration with Celgene Corporation to advance Lycera’s proprietary pipeline for cancer and immune-mediated diseases. In addition, Lycera has established collaborations with Merck to discover, develop and commercialize small molecule therapies for autoimmune disorders.
Lycera’s leadership possesses deep experience in drug discovery, development, and commercialization and has established close relationships with renowned thought leaders and clinical researchers worldwide. Lycera was founded in 2006 based on an initial scientific platform in-licensed from the University of Michigan. Lead investors in Lycera include InterWest Partners, ARCH Venture Partners, Clarus Ventures, and EDF Ventures.