Patara Pharma, Advancing an IPF Treatment in Clinical Tests, Names Finance Officer to Its Board


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Patara Pharma has announced the appointment of John Schmid to its Board of Directors. The company’s lead product, PA101B, is a potential  treatment for pulmonary fibrosis and moving through clinical trials.

“John joins Patara’s board at a pivotal time as we advance our flagship program, PA101B, through multiple Phase 2 studies to improve treatment options for patients suffering from orphan diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF),” Bill Gerhart, Patara Pharma’s chairman and CEO, said in a press release. “John’s expertise in financing life science companies is a welcome addition to our team, and we look forward to his contributions as we execute on our vision.”

IPF is a progressive lung disorder that is characterized by the scarring and thickening of lung tissue, causing an irreversible loss of the lungs’ ability to transport oxygen. There is currently no cure for IPF, and treatments are limited.

Chronic cough is a major contributor to poor quality of life in IPF patients, and can be an independent predictor of disease progression. Chronic cough is a dry, non-productive cough that persists for more than eight weeks, with coughs coming up to 100 times per hour. While chronic cough is successfully treatable in many people, those with IPF can have a debilitating cough that persists despite treatment.

Patara’s lead candidate, PA101B, is a late-stage immune modulator with mast cell stabilizing properties that is delivered via its proprietary investigational PARI eFlow nebulizer system. The company has concluded four Phase 1 clinical studies, and launched three Phase 2 trials in several indications, including refractory chronic cough in IPF patients.

“PA101B has the potential to treat multiple orphan disease conditions, including refractory chronic cough in patients diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis,” Schmid said. “I look forward to working with Patara’s accomplished board and experienced management team to grow the company and advance critical new therapeutic options for these serious health conditions, which have limited or no effective treatments today.”

Schmid brings over two decades of fiscal, strategic, and operational experience in the life science industry to the board. Currently a director of AnaptysBio and Neos Therapeutics, he previously served as chief financial officer (CFO) of Auspex. He was also the co-founder and CFO of Trius Therapeutics, and CFO of GeneFormatics and Endonetics.

He holds a B.A. in economics from Wesleyan University, and an M.B.A. from the University of San Diego. He is also a former president and board member of the San Diego Venture Group.

Schmid will join a board that includes Steve Asleage, chief executive officer (CEO) of Retrophin; Gerry Proehl, CEO of Dermata and former CEO of Santarus; and Wendell Wierenga, former executive vice president of R&D at Santarus, Ambit Biosciences and Neurocrine Biosciences.

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