Allecra Therapeutics Strengthens Leadership Team with Appointment of New Chairman and Chief Medical Officer
Lörrach, Germany and Saint Louis, France – Allecra Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of novel antibiotics to combat drug-resistant bacterial infections, announced today two key appointments to significantly strengthen Allecra’s leadership team as the Company enters its next phase of development. Dr. Engelbert (Bert) Tjeenk Willink is appointed to the position of Chairman of the Board and Dr. Leon Hooftman is appointed to the position of Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Holger Reithinger of Forbion Partners steps down as Chairman and remains on Allecra’s Advisory Board.
Dr. Tjeenk Willink brings more than 25 years’ experience within the pharmaceutical industry, most recently at Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH as a member of the Board of Managing Directors. He holds a number of non-executive board positions at smaller pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Dr. Tjeenk Willink commented: “Allecra is a dynamic company with the potential to make a significant impact on the growing and widespread epidemic of drug-resistant bacterial infections. I am delighted to have the opportunity to contribute towards its success.”
Dr. Leon Hooftman, Allecra’s new CMO, brings over 20 years’ successful experience in biopharmaceutical drug development. Previous positions include Head of Clinical Development at Celltech Group plc and Chief Medical Officer of Chroma Therapeutics. Dr. Hooftman joins Allecra from his role as CMO of Polyphor Ltd, a Swiss biopharmaceutical company. Dr. Hooftman said: “Allecra is working directly on Gram-negative resistant infections in the hospital, an area of urgent medical need recently highlighted by both the World Health Organization and by the US Center for Disease Control. Allecra’s technology provides the opportunity to make a real difference to patients and potentially provides an important new treatment for hospital clinicians who are grappling with these types of infection.”
Nicholas Benedict, Allecra’s CEO, said: “I would like to thank Dr. Holger Reithinger for his hard work over the last four years. Holger has had a pivotal leadership influence during our formative years and we are delighted that he will remain on Allecra’s Advisory Board and his contribution will continue to be a positive force. The appointments of Bert and Leon mark a watershed in the development of Allecra. Regulatory authorities have recognised the potential that Allecra’s novel antibiotic may contribute towards solving the crisis of resistant bacterial infections, and our lead development programme has been significantly expedited. With these new appointments, Allecra is strengthening its expertise as the Company advances its development activities for a potentially important new antibiotic treatment for patients.”