ANNAPOLIS, Md., July 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- PharmAthene, Inc. (NYSE Amex: PIP), a biodefense company developing medical countermeasures against biological and chemical threats, today announced that the Company's Board of Directors has elected Mitchel Sayare, Ph.D. to succeed John Pappajohn as Chairman of the Board. Mr. Pappajohn stepped down from the PharmAthene Board effective immediately.
Dr. Sayare has been a member of PharmAthene's Board of Directors since April 2010, and most recently served from 1985 until 2010 as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ImmunoGen, a publicly traded biotechnology company engaged in the research and development of antibody-based cancer therapeutics. During his long and successful tenure with ImmunoGen, Dr. Sayare was responsible for leading an IPO and raising over $400 million in venture capital and public equity financing for the company. During this time, Dr. Sayare also served as President of the 95%-owned ImmunoGen subsidiary, Apoptosis Technology, where he was responsible for managing operations for the organization.
Prior to joining ImmunoGen, Dr. Sayare served as Vice President, Development at Xenogen, Inc., a biotechnology company specializing in monoclonal antibody-based diagnostic systems for cancer. In this role he oversaw all research and development, corporate development, and investor relations responsibilities for the company. Dr. Sayare earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the Temple University School of Medicine and his undergraduate degree from Ursinus College.
"Mitch has been an invaluable asset to our Company and we are delighted he has agreed to assume the Chairmanship of the Board of Directors," remarked Eric I. Richman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "As a former Director and Treasurer of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), his extensive experience and long tenure in the biotechnology industry provides a broad network of contacts and vast institutional knowledge to assist us as we continue to focus on making PharmAthene the leading provider of urgently needed medical countermeasures for the nation.""We are extremely grateful for the wisdom, guidance and support our former Chairman, John Pappajohn, has contributed to our organization over the last several years." continued Mr. Richman. "On behalf of our management team and fellow Board members, we extend our sincere gratitude to John for his tireless service and dedication to PharmAthene." About PharmAthene, Inc. PharmAthene was formed to meet the critical needs of the United States and its allies by developing and commercializing medical countermeasures against biological and chemical weapons. PharmAthene's lead product development programs include:
- SparVax™ – second generation recombinant protective antigen (rPA) anthrax vaccine
- Valortim® – fully human monoclonal antibody for the prevention and treatment of anthrax infection
- rBChE (recombinant butyrylcholinesterase) – a medical countermeasure for nerve agent poisoning by organophosphorous compounds, including nerve agents and pesticides