Ex-Sanofi exec takes helm at Bob Langer startup

Mucosal delivery company Kala Pharmaceuticals has welcomed Guillaume Pfefer, ex-general manager of Sanofi Pasteur Mexico, as its new president and CEO. Pfefer brings more than 15 years of experience in the pharma industry.

"I am excited to take on this leadership role at Kala at this pivotal point in the company's evolution," said Dr. Pfefer. "Kala has developed an innovative approach to transform treatments for a range of serious diseases. A strong team is in place and together we will further advance a pipeline of innovative drugs that have potential to offer superior efficacy and address unmet clinical needs for debilitating respiratory, ophthalmic, female reproductive tract and gastrointestinal diseases."

According to FierceBiotech, Pfefer has plans to raise a new round of financing ahead of the company's plans to move its lead program into the clinic next year. "I was intrigued and already emotionally attached to the technology," he added.

Kala's co-founder, Justin Hanes, has published data on the company's mucosal-penetrating products (MPPs) in Science Translational Medicine, showing that acyclovir-MPP can prevent herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) infection in mice when delivered vaginally, by improving mucus penetration and drug retention. The combination had greater efficacy than acyclovir alone at one tenth of the dose, and had potential for once-daily dosing.

- read the press release about Pfefer's role
- see the abstract

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