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Press Release

Spyryx Biosciences Expands Executive Team, Appoints Pulmonary Industry Leader, Alistair Wheeler, MD, MFPM as Chief Medical Officer

Spyryx Biosciences,Inc.
Posted on: 23 Aug 16

PR Newswire

DURHAM, N.C., Aug. 23, 2016

DURHAM, N.C., Aug. 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- 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


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SOURCE Spyryx Biosciences, Inc.

PR Newswire

Last updated on: 23/08/2016

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