Pulmatrix Names Clarke CEO, Releases Promising Data on Lung Drug

9/4/12Follow @arleneweintraub

Lexington, MA-based Pulmatrix, which is developing inhalable therapies for a variety of lung disorders, said today it is promoting chief scientific officer Robert Clarke to CEO. He will be replacing former CEO Robert Connelly, who is leaving Pulmatrix to become CEO of Cambridge, MA-based startup WikiCell, which he co-founded. Connelly will remain on the board of Pulmatrix.

Pulmatrix also released data from an early human trial of its lead compound, PUR118, in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The data, which was presented at the European Respiratory Society Annual Congress in Vienna, showed that patients taking the drug experienced an improvement in airway inflammation and mucus clearance, the company said.

Pulmatrix, which was born in the labs of MIT’s Robert Langer (one of our Xconomists) and Harvard University’s David Edwards, has developed aerosol drugs designed to stimulate immune defenses and mobilize proteins to create barriers against pathogens. Pulmatrix is deploying the technology, called iCALM, to develop new therapies not only for COPD, but also other lung diseases such as asthma and influenza.

In the COPD trial Pulmatrix measured “biomarkers”—key signaling molecules in the body—of inflammation and found that PUR118 produced a measurable reduction in those markers. The company also observed an improvement in … Next Page »

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