Spyryx Biosciences Expands Executive Team, Appoints Pulmonary Industry
Leader, Alistair Wheeler, MD, MFPM as Chief Medical Officer
- Recognized Expert in Respiratory Product Development
- SPX-101 Advancing in Phase 1 as Novel Therapy for Cystic Fibrosis
Durham, NC; August 18, 2016 – Spyryx Biosciences, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical
company developing novel therapeutics for respiratory diseases, including cystic fibrosis (CF),
announced today that Dr. Alistair Wheeler has joined the company in the newly created position
of chief medical officer. He is responsible for all aspects of clinical and medical operations and
associated regulatory strategies for the company, including the on-going Phase 1 safety study for
SPX-101, a first in class SPLUNC1-derived peptide that has been shown to restore mucociliary
clearance in preclinical animal models. SPX-101 has the potential to provide improvement in lung
function and quality of life for the entire CF patient population.
“Spyryx has made extraordinary progress in getting SPX-101 into the clinic so rapidly; a great
testament to the existing leadership team at Spyryx. It is the caliber of this team and the quality
of the science that led to me becoming so excited to be joining the team at this key inflection point.
I look forward to building on that momentum and moving forward with the product into advanced
clinical studies,” said Dr. Wheeler. “I share the company’s commitment and passion for making a
difference in the lives of CF patients and their families.”
John Taylor, Spyryx’s President and CEO, commented on the appointment, “Alistair’s extensive
background in successfully translating, developing and shepherding respiratory products to
approval makes him the ideal clinician to lead the clinical development efforts for our novel peptide
therapeutics, both in cystic fibrosis and the other respiratory diseases we are attempting to treat.”
To his new role, Dr. Wheeler brings decades of drug development experience, including key roles
in the filing of nine successful marketing applications with regulatory agencies worldwide. He also
has substantial medical and regulatory affairs expertise and has participated in numerous
business development initiatives, all with a particular focus on respiratory products and associated
indications. He joins Spyryx from Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, where he was global head of clinical
development, respiratory medicine and biotherapeutics, responsible for all clinical development
activities and supporting a portfolio of approved products across multiple therapeutic areas. Prior
to Sunovion, Dr. Wheeler was senior director, clinical research at Cubist Pharmaceuticals, leading
the clinical research function for development programs in infectious disease and cardiovascular
surgery, in addition to ongoing clinical expansion of a marketed product and business
development activities. Dr. Wheeler’s earlier clinical development experience included positions
in both the US and Europe as vice president, medical affairs at Avant Immunotherapeutics; senior
director roles in clinical development and clinical operations for Astra USA; world-wide director,
respiratory medicine at Hoffmann-La Roche, and clinical research physician (respiratory) for
Glaxo Group Research Ltd.
Dr. Wheeler earned his MD from the Royal London Hospital Medical College and his MFPM from
the Royal College of Physicians. He is a member of the American Thoracic Society and former
vice president of the American Academy of Pharmaceutical Physicians.
“Alistair’s passion for leading the development of innovative respiratory therapies is well-established.
His leadership and clinical experience will be critical to both the successful
development of Spyryx’s lead program, SPX-101, as a therapy applicable to all CF patients and
to the application of the Spyryx technology in other respiratory indications,” commented Tim
Shannon, MD, general partner at Canaan Partners and Chairman of Spyryx.
About Spyryx Biosciences
Spyryx Biosciences is a privately held, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing
innovative therapeutics to address severe lung diseases. Spyryx’s lead clinical candidate, SPX-
101, is a novel treatment for cystic fibrosis and is completing a Phase 1 safety study. The product
has demonstrated a robust ability to restore mucociliary clearance in animal models of the disease
and has the potential to improve lung function in cystic fibrosis patients independent of their
genotype. The Spyryx leadership team and scientific staff have extensive experience in the
development of respiratory medicines and work closely with a broad group of clinical and scientific
experts in the pulmonary field. Spyryx is funded by a first tier syndicate of life science investors,
including Canaan Partners, 5AM Ventures and Hatteras Venture Partners. Further information
regarding Spyryx Biosciences is available at www.spyryxbio.com.
President and CEO, Spyryx Biosciences