LA JOLLA, CA, May 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — CalciMedica announced that it named two independent members to its Board of Directors, Lakhmir Chawla, MD, currently Chief Medical Officer of La Jolla Pharmaceuticals Company (NASDAQ: LJPC), and Christopher Krueger, JD, MBA, a co-founder and Chief Business Officer of Escalier Biosciences. The two new Board members bring extensive clinical development and financing/transaction experience, respectively, to CalciMedica as it advances its novel acute pancreatitis agent, CM4620, through clinical development.
Dr. Chawla joined La Jolla Pharmaceuticals in 2015, and previously was a Professor of Medicine at the George Washington University, where he had dual appointments in the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine and in the Department of Medicine, Division of Renal Diseases and Hypertension. He was also the Chief of the Division of Intensive Care Medicine at the Washington D.C. Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Dr. Chawla designed and led the ATHOS 3 Phase 3 trial for La Jolla Pharmaceutical’s FDA-approved drug for shock, GiaprezaTM. He is an internationally renowned expert in the field of acute care and especially acute kidney injury, and is the author of over 100 peer-reviewed publications.
Mr. Krueger is seasoned biotech executive, having negotiated and closed a broad range of strategic partnerships, R&D collaborations, technology licenses and M&A deals. He has also completed numerous equity and debt financings, including IPOs, PIPEs, preferred stock financings and convertible debt offerings. He is currently a co-founder and Chief Business Officer of Escalier Biosciences. Prior to this, he was Chief Business Officer of Akarna Therapeutics, and negotiated its acquisition by Allergan in 2016 for up to $1.2B. Previously, he served as a senior executive at Ardea Biosciences (acquired by AstraZeneca), Xencor, X-Ceptor Therapeutics (acquired by Exelixis) and Aurora Biosciences (acquired by Vertex Pharmaceuticals). Earlier in his career, Mr. Krueger was a corporate lawyer at Cooley LLP.
Michael Dunn, CalciMedica’s president and chief operating officer, said, “We are very pleased that leaders of Dr. Chawla’s and Mr. Krueger’s caliber and experience recognize the opportunity that CalciMedica’s clinical compound, CM4620, and other CRAC channel inhibitors represent. With their help, as well as that of the other dedicated Board members at CalciMedica, we will advance the development of these compounds, and ensure they become available to patients. We very much look forward to their contributions”.
CM4620 is a potent and selective small molecule inhibitor of calcium release-activated calcium (CRAC) channels. CRAC channels are found on many cell types, including immune cells and pancreatic acinar cells, where aberrant activation of these channels is thought to play a key role in the pathobiology of acute pancreatitis. CM4620 arose from CalciMedica’s internal R&D, is patent protected, and in Phase 1 safety studies has been shown to be safe and well tolerated.
About CalciMedica, Inc.
CalciMedica is a privately-held, clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on CRAC channel drug discovery and development for the treatment of acute and chronic inflammatory diseases. CRAC channels control the entry of calcium into immune and other cell types, and calcium is an important intracellular signaling molecule that modulates cytokine production and the immune response. For example, CRAC channels in T cells have been clinically validated as important drug targets through human mutations and the use of calcineurin inhibitors that act downstream from CRAC channels. CalciMedica is headquartered in San Diego, CA. For more information, please visit the company website at www.calcimedica.com.
Michael Dunn, President and Chief Operating Officer