GAITHERSBURG, Md., Sept. 09, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Altimmune, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALT), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, today announced it has appointed M. Scott Harris, M.D. as Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Harris is succeeding Dr. Sybil Tasker, who resigned June 30, 2019 to continue her professional focus on infectious diseases.
“Dr. Harris is a seasoned medical professional with extensive experience in hepatology and gastroenterology and broad expertise in managing clinical trials from early stage development through successful Phase 3 trials. He has led multidisciplinary forums on drug development and clinical trial design at national and international scientific meetings, and fostered collaborations between professional medical societies and the FDA. We are thrilled that a candidate of Dr. Harris’ caliber is joining the Altimmune team,” said Vipin K. Garg, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer. “We expect his clinical leadership to be pivotal to our success, and his appointment is timely as we are currently designing our ALT-801, HepTcell, and NasoShield clinical trials.”
Dr. Harris added, “I am delighted to be joining Altimmune, and was attracted to the opportunity based on the Company’s pipeline and strong balance sheet. My background in liver and GI drug development especially complements Altimmune’s liver disease portfolio and I look forward to guiding these programs through the clinic. This is an exciting time to join Altimmune.”
Dr. Harris is an accomplished drug development scientist who has led numerous global clinical studies and programs in GI and liver diseases. Previously, he was co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of Lyric Pharmaceuticals, helping raise a $21 million Series A round in 2014. He has also served as Chief Medical Officer of Avaxia Biologics, interim Chief Medical Officer of Tranzyme Pharma, and Chief Medical Officer of Ocera Therapeutics. Dr. Harris was also Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Clinical Affairs at Napo Pharmaceuticals where he authored the pivotal clinical study that led to the approval of crofelemer (Mytesi®), the first Phase 2/3 adaptive trial design resulting in a drug approval. Earlier in his career he held senior roles in global clinical development and medical affairs at Otsuka Pharmaceuticals and Abbott. He sits on the faculty of Georgetown University School of Medicine as an Adjunct Professor, where he directs a course on drug development under a grant from the NIH. Dr. Harris has been a consultant on third-world drug development for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and a speaker at national and international forums on drug development. Dr. Harris has an M.D. from Harvard Medical School and an MS in Administrative Medicine and Population Health from the University of Wisconsin Medical School. His post-graduate training includes residencies at John Hopkins Hospital and the University of Pennsylvania, and a Gastroenterology and Hepatology Fellowship at the Yale University School of Medicine.
Altimmune is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing treatments for liver diseases and immune modulating therapies. The Company’s diverse pipeline includes next generation peptide therapeutics for NASH (ALT-801) and chronic Hepatitis B (HepTcellTM), conjugated immunostimulants for the treatment of cancer (ALT-702) and intranasal vaccines (NasoShieldTM and NasoVAXTM). For more information on Altimmune, please visit www.altimmune.com.
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