Polyneuron Appoints Seasoned Pharmaceutical Executive Debra Barker as Chief Medical Officer

BASEL, Switzerland–()–Polyneuron Pharmaceuticals AG, a developer of a new class of biodegradable glycopolymers for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, today announced the appointment of Debra Barker, M.D. as Chief Medical Officer (CMO). Dr. Barker brings to Polyneuron over 25 years’ experience from leading positions in pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

“Debra is the perfect addition to the Polyneuron management team. With her training in immunology combined with a successful track record in drug development spanning over 25 years, involving many successful drug approvals, her contributions to our pipeline development will be invaluable,” said Ruben Herrendorff, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Polyneuron. “Debra joins us as at a significant time in Polyneuron’s corporate development as we have submitted our first clinical trial application (CTA) to begin a phase I/IIa study with our lead compound PN-1007 for the treatment of anti-MAG neuropathy. We expect starting the study in this disabling, chronic disorder of the peripheral nervous system later in 2020.”

Most recently Dr. Barker was Chief Medical and Development Officer of Polyphor during the period the company listed on the Swiss stock exchange. Prior to Polyphor, Dr. Barker held several senior roles at Novartis, including positions in oncology and infectious disease & immunology. She has also held several positions at Roche, including designing clinical studies for immunology drug development. She is currently on the board of the anti-infectives company Destiny Pharma and BerGenBio, an immuno-oncology company based in Norway. Dr. Barker received her medical training from Cambridge University, UK.

“Polyneuron is developing a completely novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of antibody-mediated autoimmune diseases. I was extremely impressed with their scientific discoveries and am very excited to join the company at such a pivotal stage,” said Dr. Barker.

About Polyneuron Pharmaceuticals

Polyneuron Pharmaceuticals is pioneering a novel therapeutic approach for the effective and safe treatment of antibody-mediated autoimmune diseases of the nervous system where a pathological role of anti-carbohydrate autoantibodies is well established. The company’s Antibody-Catch™ technology platform enables the chemical design of injectable glycopolymers that are able to selectively eliminate the pathological autoantibodies, while leaving the rest of the immune system intact. Polyneuron was founded as a University of Basel, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, spin-off in 2014 by Dr. Ruben Herrendorff (CEO), Dr. Pascal Hänggi (CSO), Prof. Beat Ernst, an expert in carbohydrate-based drug discovery, and neurologist Prof. Dr. med. Andreas J. Steck, an expert in autoimmune disorders of the nervous system. The company is headquartered at the Stücki Park in Basel, Switzerland. More information can be found at www.polyneuron.com.


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