Bioniz Names Veteran Biotech Leader Kleanthis G. Xanthopoulos, Ph.D. as Chairman of its Board of Directors

Jan 07, 2016, 08:30 ET from Bioniz Therapeutics, Inc.

IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Bioniz Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company developing first-in-class multi-cytokine inhibitory therapeutics to address immuno-inflammatory diseases and cancer, announced today that is has named Kleanthis G. Xanthopoulos, Ph.D. as Chairman of its Board of Directors.  Dr. Xanthopoulos, who joined the Bioniz Board of Directors in 2015, is a serial entrepreneur and world-renowned luminary in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries with significant operational and corporate development expertise.  In addition to Dr. Xanthopoulos, Bioniz's board consists of industry legends David Pyott, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Allergan, Inc., Joe Kiani, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Masimo Corporation, and renowned biotechnology venture capital leader Ilan Zipkin, Ph.D, Senior Investment Director of Takeda Ventures, Inc.

"Kleanthis has been instrumental in successfully starting and growing multiple biotechnology companies and his transition to Chairman of the Board is ideal for Bioniz at this stage in its growth," said David Pyott, strategic investor and member of the Board of Directors of Bioniz. "With Kleanthis' leadership, we seek to maximize the potential of the first-in-class multi-cytokine inhibitory therapeutics platform and sharpen the company's strategic focus and operational execution."

"Bioniz has a unique opportunity to transform the field of drug discovery by creating drugs that target more than one disease-driving cytokine at a time to treat immuno-inflammatory diseases and cancer," said Dr. Xanthopoulos.  "I am excited to support and guide the dedicated management team and very accomplished Board to grow Bioniz into a leading biotechnology organization."

Dr. Nazli Azimi, Founder and CEO of Bioniz commented, "We are extremely pleased to name Kleanthis as Chairman.  Kleanthis' wealth of executive leadership experience, scientific creativity and trusted business acumen will enhance the company's opportunity to pioneer a new and major class of drugs."

Dr. Xanthopoulos is currently the Executive Chairman of IRRAS AB, an emerging medical device and drug delivery company, and a Partner at the Vandel-Group focused on investing and building innovative companies.  Previously, Dr. Xanthopoulos served as President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Regulus Therapeutics Inc. from the time of its formation in 2007 until June 2015. Prior to that, he was a Managing Director of Enterprise Partners Venture Capital. Dr. Xanthopoulos co-founded and served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Anadys Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from its inception in 2000 to 2006, and remained a Director until its acquisition by Roche in 2011. Before forming Anadys, Dr. Xanthopoulos was Vice President at Aurora Biosciences (acquired by Vertex Pharmaceuticals) from 1997 to 2000, and Section Head of the National Human Genome Research Institute from 1995 to 1997. He was an Associate Professor at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, after completing a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at The Rockefeller University, New York.  An Onassis Foundation Scholar, Dr. Xanthopoulos received his B.Sc. in Biology with honors from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, and his M.Sc. degree in Microbiology and Ph.D. degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Stockholm, Sweden. Dr. Xanthopoulos is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Apricus Biosciences, a member of the Board of Directors of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) and Zosano Pharma Inc., and is a co-founder and a member of the Board of Directors of Sente, Inc., a privately held specialty aesthetics company. Additionally, Dr. Xanthopoulos received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Health Sciences in 2006 and was named Most Admired CEO by the San Diego Business Journal in 2013.

About Bioniz

Bioniz Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company leading the discovery and development of first-in-class multi-cytokine inhibitory therapeutics to address immuno-inflammatory diseases and cancer, with an initial focus on orphan diseases that have an immune component. Bioniz leverages a world class expertise in cytokine biology, originating in research conducted at the National Institute of Health, to create a therapeutic platform based on a new generation of multiple-cytokine inhibitors with selective specificity. Selective targeting of multiple cytokines that have redundant functions improves on the traditional approach of single anti-cytokine therapy and therefore increases the therapeutic potential of Bioniz compounds.  Bioniz's technology is protected by US and international patents and are solely owned by Bioniz. For more information, please visit

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