Opsona Therapeutics appoints Chairman Dr. Bernd R. Seizinger as Executive Chairman

06 May, 2011 – DUBLIN, Ireland: Opsona Therapeutics, a drug development company focused on novel therapeutic approaches to target autoimmune and inflammatory diseases today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Chairman Bernd Seizinger M.D., Ph.D., as Executive Chairman, following the resignation of founding CEO Mark Heffernan, Ph.D. Dr. Heffernan who has stepped down for personal reasons to return to Australia is joining Opsona’s Board of Directors as a Non-Executive Director of the Board.

A CEO search committee has been formed. The committee is led by Dr. Seizinger who also has assumed additional oversight responsibilities of the Company’s operations during this period of transition.

Speaking about Dr. Heffernan’s departure, Dr Seizinger said, “As our founding CEO, Mark, in his seven years with the company has established Opsona as one of Europe’s leading early-stage biotech companies. He successfully managed the company through a number of fundraisings, built collaborations and partnerships with some of the best in the business and ultimately led the company to the door of clinical development. As we move into our next stage of corporate evolution we are happy that Mark will maintain his association with Opsona as a Non-Executive Director.”

“Opsona has gained considerable product and financial momentum and is evolving into a clinical development company capable of translating key scientific discoveries on the innate immune system into novel therapeutics. Our roadmap for the year includes moving into Phase I clinical trials with our first-in-class antibody OPN-305 targeting Toll-like-receptor 2 (TLR2). TLR2 has been associated with a variety of human diseases including complications in solid organ transplantation, cancer, cardiovascular disease, as well as autoimmune- and inflammatory diseases. This is a pivotal and exciting time for the Company,” continued Dr. Seizinger.  

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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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