Former Targanta CEO Leuchtenberger Lands New Gig at Rib-X, Another Antibiotic Company

3/23/10Follow @xconomy

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from his home in the Boston area to New Haven? He says he’s already got an apartment in Connecticut so he can be at the office during the week without having to move his home. His first official day on the job is today.

The top item on Leuchtenberger’s to-do list will be to raise capital, whether that’s through a partnership, or maybe even an IPO. How much money he’s able to raise will go a long way toward dictating how aggressively Rib-X proceeds with pivotal trials of its two lead drug candidates.

When I asked what lessons he hopes to take from the hard knocks at Targanta, he didn’t duck the question. He says he learned about the antibiotic market, in terms of what physicians really consider to be the greatest needs, and he got to know what both partners and investors in this niche really want the most. The mega-mergers in Big Pharma over the past year have whittled down the number of potential dance partners who are willing to acquire a company like Rib-X, and Leuchtenberger certainly knows a lot of them.

That said, he also knows that when a business guy takes over for a scientific founder, it can be touchy. This is the third time he’s done it in his career. “It’s important not to lose the critical understanding and relationships that you develop along the way,” Leuchtenberger says.

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