TOPIGEN Pharmaceuticals Inc., a developer of anti-inflammatory respiratory products that inhibit multiple pathways, today announced that its board of directors has appointed two experienced executives, effective immediately. Joining the board are Gary Lessing and Michael Atkin, both as directors. “With the appointments of Gary and Mike, our board is now complete,” said Dr Paul K. Wotton, Ph.D, TOPIGEN’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our two new board members bring a wealth of experience in financing and licensing. We look forward to their guidance as we pursue our corporate strategy” Gary Lessing.
Mr. Lessing is Chief Financial Officer at Avalon Pharmaceuticals, a privately-held, Maryland-based corporation. Avalon is engaged in discovering and developing innovative small-molecule therapeutics using its comprehensive genomics approach. At Avalon, Mr. Lessing is responsible for a wide range of strategic and financial management activities.
Prior to joining Avalon, he was Managing Director of the healthcare investment banking group at Deutsche Banc Alex Brown (DBAB). While at DBAB, Mr. Lessing focused on providing investment banking services, including mergers and acquisitions, strategic advisory assignments and public financings for healthcare and life sciences clients. He also served as head of the firm’s European healthcare investment banking group.
“TOPIGEN’s recent $20 million venture financing provides a solid foundation for future capital support and advancement of the Company’s pipeline,” said Mr. Lessing. “I am pleased to be able to work with TOPIGEN’s management and its investors in driving the company forward.”
Mr. Atkin is President and Chief Executive Officer of Aegera Therapeutics, a privately-held, Quebec-based company focused on extending and enhancing the lives of cancer patients. He has extensive business development experience in both the US and Canada, including managing numerous licensing, collaborative and financing initiatives. Among his many accomplishments, Mr. Atkin successfully led the merger of Exogen Neurosciences with Apoptogen, founding Aegera.
“TOPIGEN is uniquely positioned to impact the respiratory-disease market as it moves new drug candidates, with first in class mechanisms, from discovery to clinical development,” said Mr. Atkin. “I am excited to be a part of its future.”
Prior to Aegera, Mr. Atkin was President and Chief executive Officer of Exogen Neurosciences. Prior to moving to Canada, he was Director, New Products at Bristol-Myers Squibb in Princeton, NJ where he created and implemented global branding and product development strategies. Previously he was Vice President of Business Development at Lederle International where he led licensing and acquisition initiatives.