Ness Ziona, Israel – December 11, 2018, – BiomX Ltd., a microbiome company developing customized phage therapies, today announced that it has appointed Dr. Sailaja Puttagunta, M.D., as its Chief Medical Officer (CMO). With her extensive experience in conducting Phase I to IV clinical trials, contributing to NDA submissions in anti-microbial disease areas and product launch preparations, Dr. Puttagunta will oversee BiomX’s clinical development and strategy as the company prepares to enter the clinic with its Acne and Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) programs. The company’s Acne program is expected to enter the clinic in mid 2019, and the IBD program is expected to commence clinical trials in 2020. Dr. Puttagunta will be based in United States’ East Coast and will work closely with BiomX’s Israeli management.
“Sailaja’s broad experience and knowledge of the U.S. and global drug development field will accelerate our phage therapeutics advancement toward the clinic,” stated Jonathan Solomon, CEO of BiomX. “BiomX is also establishing a presence in the U.S. with Sailaja’s appointment. Her clinical expertise and extensive contacts in the medical community will help build a strong foundation for our global footprint.”
“BiomX’s novel approach to targeting harmful bacteria in our microbiome, harnessing bacteria’s natural enemies, bacteriophages, bodes great promise not only due to the phages’ lethality, but also due to their high specificity, which enables not harming the beneficial bacteria,” added Dr. Puttagunta. “I am looking forward to bringing this technology to the clinic where it has the potential to help patients with chronic and sometimes life-threatening diseases.”
Dr. Sailaja Puttagunta, M.D., was most recently Vice President, Development at Iterum Therapeutics, a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company developing antibiotics against multi-drug resistant pathogens. Prior to Iterum, Dr. Puttagunta served as VP, Medical Affairs for Anti-infectives at Allergan from early 2015 and was the VP of Development and Medical Affairs at Durata Therapeutics, Inc. prior to its acquisition by Actavis plc. From 2006 to 2012, Dr. Puttagunta led teams within clinical development and medical affairs on various antibiotic compounds at Pfizer Inc. Dr. Puttagunta has 20 years of clinical, academic and research experience in medicine and in the sub-specialty of infectious diseases. She graduated from Gandhi Medical College in Hyderabad, India and completed her residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Yale University School of Medicine. She also holds an M.S. in Biochemistry from the New York University School of Medicine.
BiomX is a microbiome drug discovery company developing customized phage therapies that target and destroy harmful bacteria in chronic diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and cancer. We discover and validate proprietary bacterial targets and customize our natural and engineered phage compositions against these targets.
The Company’s platforms use computational and synthetic biology and cutting-edge research from Profs. Rotem Sorek, Ph.D., Eran Elinav, M.D., Ph.D., and Eran Segal, Ph.D., of The Weizmann Institute of Science; and Professor Timothy K. Lu, M.D., Ph.D., of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Investors in the Company include OrbiMed Israel Incubator LP, Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation Inc., Takeda Ventures, Inc., Seventure Partners, Mirae Asset Global Investments, andSBI.
Chief Business Officer
Shai Biran, Ph.D.
MacDougall Biomedical Communications