Dr. Leon Hooftman appointed Chief Medical Officer as Opsona Therapeutics transitions into the Clinic

06 May, 2011 – DUBLIN, Ireland: Opsona Therapeutics, a drug development company focused on novel therapeutic and preventative approaches to autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, today announced that Leon Hooftman, M.D., has joined the company as Chief Medical Officer, with responsibility for leading the company’s clinical development initiatives. Dr. Hooftman who will be based at Opsona Therapeutics’ headquarters in Dublin will be a member of the company’s Executive Management Team.

Commenting on Dr. Hooftman’s 18 years of experience in the industry, Bernd R. Seizinger, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Chairman said, “During his successful career Dr. Hooftman has provided extensive clinical development leadership in a variety of therapeutic areas including transplantation and oncology, designing and overseeing numerous multi-centre clinical trials. His credibility and experience as a leading clinical scientist will be invaluable as we move OPN-305, our first-in-class monoclonal antibody against Toll-like-Receptor-2 into clinical development this year.”

Leon Hooftman, M.D., joins Opsona Therapeutics following a high-profile career in clinical development where he was most recently Chief Medical Officer at Chroma Therapeutics (UK). Previously, Leon was Head of Clinical Development at Celltech (U.K.); Director of Clinical Science for Oncology and Immunology and prior to that International Medical Manager in Immunology at Hoffmann La-Roche. Dr. Hooftman also served as the Senior Clinical Research Physician at Syntex, U.K. Dr. Hooftman obtained his medical degree at University of Utrecht (Netherlands) and underwent specialist training in transplantation surgery at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, U.K.

To further strengthen the Executive Management team, one of the Company’s founding scientists and Directors, Professor Luke O’Neill, a world-renowned leader in innate immunity and Professor at Trinity College in Dublin will assume the additional role of Chief Scientific Officer at Opsona.

Opsona’s VP of Pharmaceutical Development, Ms Mary Reilly, will assume a broader role within the company as Vice President of Pharmaceutical Development and Operations. Together with the Company’s CFO David Hurley, Dr. Hooftman, Prof. O’Neill and Ms. Reilly will constitute the Company’s Executive Management Team, reporting to Dr. Bernd Seizinger.

Opsona Therapeutics Executive Chairman, Dr. Bernd Seizinger, went on to say, “as Opsona looks forward to an exciting new chapter in its corporate evolution, we have aligned a highly experienced team of senior professionals who will help us to further solidify our position as an international leader in the development of a new generation of therapeutics targeting the innate immune system.”

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About Opsona Therapeutics

Opsona is a drug development company, focused on novel therapeutic approaches to key targets of the innate immune system associated with a wide range of major human diseases, including autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, transplant rejection, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and atherosclerosis. The company was founded in 2004 by three world-renowned immunologists at Trinity College in Dublin. Opsona has two lead programs that modulate the innate immune system, including biologics and small molecules. Opsona’s lead product, a fully humanized monoclonal antibody (OPN-305) against Toll-like-receptor-2 (TLR-2) has demonstrated activity in a number of animal models and will start clinical trials in 2011 Opsona has also signed significant partnering and collaborative deals, with Pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer (USA). Headquartered in Dublin, Opsona most recently completed a €21.3m financing round with an international investor consortium including: Inventages Venture Capital, Novartis Venture Fund, Roche Venture Fund, Seroba-Kernel Life Sciences, Fountain Healthcare Partners and Enterprise Ireland.www.opsona.com

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