KANSAS CITY, Kan. and NEW YORK, Sept. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Aratana Therapeutics, an animal health company developing innovative medicines for companion animals, today announced that Company co-founder Steven St. Peter, M.D., was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Aratana Therapeutics. Linda Rhodes, V.M.D., Ph.D., Aratana's founding Chief Executive Officer, will remain on Aratana's Board of Directors and will continue to lead the Company's drug development efforts in the newly created role of Chief Scientific Officer.
These key enhancements to Aratana's senior management structure serve to position the Company for accelerated growth. The Company recently advanced its clinical development programs into client-owned companion animals and is aggressively looking to in-license additional products.
"Aratana is at an important inflection point, and I am pleased to take on additional responsibilities at this exciting stage in the Company's evolution," said Steven St. Peter, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Aratana Therapeutics. "Our goal is to address significant therapeutic needs for pets, while at the same time presenting the global animal health industry with an attractive opportunity to bridge the 'innovation gap' and build a robust pipeline of high value animal therapeutics. We are confident in the strength of our team and the support from our two lead investors, MPM Capital and Avalon Ventures."
Linda Rhodes, V.M.D., Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Aratana Therapeutics, stated, "This transition allows me the opportunity to focus my efforts intensely on advancing our current pipeline and on securing additional high-quality compounds for development as first-in-class therapies for companion animals."
"We believe the significant expertise of our senior executives is leveraged most effectively by this new structure," commented Jay Lichter, Ph.D., Director of Aratana and Managing Director of Avalon Ventures. "We thank Linda for bringing Aratana successfully to this point and we will continue to benefit from her scientific expertise and career experience in animal health. Steven is a perfect complement to Linda, and he is well suited to lead the company as it accelerates its growth. We have established a track record of successful execution on our development initiatives, and we are accelerating our plans toward becoming the leading companion animal therapeutics company."
Steven St. Peter, M.D. - President and Chief Executive Officer of Aratana Therapeutics
Dr. St. Peter was previously a Managing Director at MPM Capital where he led the investment in and served as Chairman of Aratana Therapeutics. While at MPM, his investment scope included both venture and buyout transactions across the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries. His investment experience includes positions at Apax Partners and The Carlyle Group. Previously, Dr. St. Peter was Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at Columbia University. He received a Doctor of Medicine degree from Washington University and completed his residency and fellowship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Kansas. He is on the Board of the New England Venture Capital Association, and has served on the Board of Directors of numerous biotech and pharma companies.
Linda Rhodes V.M.D., Ph.D. - Chief Scientific Officer of Aratana Therapeutics
Prior to joining Aratana Therapeutics, Dr. Rhodes co-founded AlcheraBio LLC, a consulting and contract research organization focused on the animal health industry, helping clients evaluate and develop new animal drugs. Following acquisition of AlcheraBio by Argenta in 2008, Dr. Rhodes continued to oversee multi-site clinical trials and was responsible for regulatory affairs for new animal drugs. Previously, Dr. Rhodes was a Director for Production Animal Development Projects at Merial Limited and conducted research on human health drug targets at Merck Research Laboratories. She also taught and practiced veterinary medicine. She received a Ph.D. in physiology from Cornell University, a Veterinary Medicine Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine; and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College. She is currently a member of the adjunct graduate faculty in the Animal Sciences Department at the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and serves on the Board of Directors for ImmuCell Corporation.
About Aratana Therapeutics
Aratana Therapeutics is an animal health drug development company uniquely positioned to deliver high quality new medicines that address significant therapeutic needs for companion animals. Aratana licenses and develops proprietary, patent-protected compounds acquired from human pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and then develops strategies to maximize the value of the programs for the animal health market. For more information, please visit www.aratanatherapeutics.com.
SOURCE Aratana Therapeutics