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Venatorx Pharmaceuticals Appoints Tomas J. Heyman as Non-Executive Chairman

Dr. Michael Diem Steps Down from Board of Directors

MALVERN, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Venatorx Pharmaceuticals, a private, clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on improving health outcomes for patients with difficult-to-treat drug resistant gram-negative bacterial infections and viral infections, today announced changes to its Board of Directors. Tomas J. Heyman has been appointed to the Board of Directors as the newly created role of Non-Executive Chairman. In addition, Dr. Michael Diem has stepped down from the Board of Directors from his role as Independent Director after serving for six years.

“We are pleased to welcome Tom Heyman to our Board of Directors, “ said Christopher J. Burns, President and Chief Executive Officer. “As a highly respected and seasoned executive and board member, Tom brings a diverse breadth of industry experience across multiple disciplines that will benefit Venatorx as we continue to progress our pipeline of novel anti-infective therapies.

“On behalf of the entire Company, I would like to personally thank Mike Diem for his unwavering commitment to Venatorx as an Independent Director on the Board for the past six years. We appreciate his contributions along with the endless support and guidance he has shared in helping the Company to achieve its mission.”

"I believe Venatorx is well positioned to address the growing global crisis of antibiotic multi-drug resistant infections," said Heyman. "I'm very happy to join the Venatorx Board as Chairman as the Company continues to grow, achieve its scientific and regulatory milestones, and ultimately deliver new anti-infective therapies to patients in need."

About Tomas J. Heyman

Tomas Heyman brings more than 37 years of biopharmaceutical experience in corporate strategy, business development, venture capital, as well as R&D, legal and operational management experience to Venatorx’s Board. He spent his entire career at Johnson & Johnson and its affiliates both in the USA and in Belgium and retired from the company in September 2019. As president of JJDC, Johnson & Johnson’s corporate venture capital group, from 2015 until his retirement, Heyman managed approximately $1.5 billion in capital and oversaw investments in more than 120 companies. Prior to leading JJDC, he led business development for J&J’s pharmaceutical group, Janssen, for over 20 years, completing hundreds of licensing and M&A transactions. He was also the managing director of Janssen Pharmaceutica, Belgium, J&J’s largest subsidiary outside the U.S., and vice president of licensing at Ortho Pharmaceutical, a J&J affiliate. Heyman currently serves as a member of the boards of directors of Xilio Therapeutics, Legend Biotech, Akero Therapeutics, OptiNose, and Invivyd (formerly Adagio Therapeutics Inc.). He earned a Master of Law degree from K.U. Leuven in Belgium and completed post-graduate studies in international law in Geneva, Switzerland, and post-graduate studies in business management at the University of Antwerp in Belgium.

About Venatorx Pharmaceuticals

Venatorx is a private, late-stage clinical pharmaceutical company focused on improving health outcomes for patients with multidrug-resistant bacterial infections and hard-to-treat viral infections. Venatorx’s lead program, cefepime-taniborbactam, is a clinical-stage antibiotic that completed a Phase 3 study (CERTAIN-1) in adults with complicated urinary tract infections (cUTI), including pyelonephritis. Based on positive results from the CERTAIN-1 clinical trial, the Company expects to submit a New Drug Application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for cefepime-taniborbactam in 2023. In October 2022, BARDA awarded a contract of up to $318M for development and procurement of cefepime-taniborbactam for the treatment of melioidosis and multi-drug resistant infections. Venatorx is also developing an oral antibacterial, ceftibuten-ledaborbactam, for the treatment of cUTI, including pyelonephritis, caused by certain bacteria in adult patients with limited treatment options; this product is nearing completion of Phase 1. For more information about Venatorx and its anti-infectives portfolio, please visit

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements contained in this press release that do not relate to matters of historical fact should be considered forward-looking statements, including without limitation statements regarding the potential, safety, efficacy, and regulatory and clinical development of Venatorx Pharmaceuticals’ product candidates.


Jennifer Guinan
Sage Strategic Marketing

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Last Updated: 07-Mar-2023