SAN DIEGO, March 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading BioSciences Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company advancing programs that address medical conditions resulting from a breakdown of the mucosal barrier, has expanded its leadership team with the appointment of Dr. Howard Dittrich, M.D., as chief medical advisor and Stephen Keane as senior vice president of corporate development. Dr. Dittrich brings more than 20 years of cardiac therapeutic research and clinical development to support Leading BioSciences' clinical pipeline, while Mr. Keane provides broad expertise in capital markets and business development to establish a robust foundation for corporate alliances and partnerships.
"Leading BioSciences welcomes the addition of two key players, Dr. Dittrich and Mr. Keane, at a significant time in our company's history. Their proven experience in the activities needed to guide clinical development of new and innovative therapies is invaluable as our lead drug candidate LB1148 advances in human trials," said Clark Straw, CEO of Leading BioSciences. "Howard's ability to bring transformative science from the bench to the patient, combined with Stephen's proficiency in business development and capital strategy, are of immense benefit to our team and the success of our programs."
Prior to joining Leading BioSciences, Dr. Dittrich served as chief medical officer of Laguna Pharmaceuticals, which was developing a drug to treat atrial fibrillation. Previously, he held executive leadership positions at Sorbent Therapeutics, NovaCardia (acquired by Merck & Co.) and Sequel Pharmaceuticals, which he co-founded and spun out from NovaCardia following the Merck acquisition. Earlier in his career, Dr. Dittrich oversaw clinical development and regulatory affairs at Molecular Biosystems Inc. and Alliance Pharmaceutical Corp., and was instrumental in gaining U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of two cardiovascular imaging agents. He also served on the full-time faculty of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Department of Medicine as a clinical professor of medicine. Dr. Dittrich is currently an Entrepreneur-in-Residence on the Life Sciences Team for Frazier Healthcare Partners and chief medical officer of Hawkeye Therapeutics, a Frazier portfolio company. He also is a director for Mast Therapeutics Inc. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Iowa and an M.D. from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, where he serves as adjunct professor of medicine and chair of the board of directors of the François M. Abboud Cardiovascular Research Center. He completed his residency in internal medicine and cardiology fellowship at UCSD.
Mr. Keane is a seasoned life sciences executive with an extensive track record of success in corporate development, business development and financial transactions for emerging biopharmaceutical companies. He has been an officer of four publicly traded companies, raised over $400 million in equity capital in the last two decades and has helped generate more than $400 million in non-dilutive partner revenues to fund drug discovery programs. Mr. Keane is co-founder of Staurus Pharma, served as president and CEO of Femta Pharmaceuticals and has held senior corporate development positions with Ambit Biosciences, Dendreon Corp., Corvas International, Epimmune Inc., SIBIA Neurosciences and Molecular Biosystems. He was responsible for negotiating significant alliances including licenses, distributions agreements, technology acquisitions and research agreements with large pharmaceutical companies and government agencies. He also served as the principal negotiator for Dendreon's acquisition of Corvas International and Merck's acquisition of SIBIA Neurosciences. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from San Diego State University.
About Leading BioSciences Inc.
Leading BioSciences is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company advancing a novel therapeutic that addresses the breakdown of the intestinal mucosal barrier—a process believed to drive a range of serious health conditions in need of effective treatment options. With a deep and pioneering scientific understanding of this emerging area of biology, Leading BioSciences has developed a patented approach that can be applied to widespread conditions, including acute shock, multiple organ failure, postoperative ileus and surgical adhesions. Phase 2 clinical trials are underway for Leading BioSciences' investigational drug LB1148, which is supported by a robust base of positive preclinical outcomes and more than $22 million in foundational research backed by the National Institutes of Health. Visit www.leadingbiosciences.com for additional information.
Chief Operating Officer, Leading BioSciences Inc.
Vice President, Canale Communications
SOURCE Leading Biosciences Inc.