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AltheRx raises $15M, names Jim Bennethum CEO, appoints new board of directors

Monday, May 6, 2013

AltheRx Pharmaceuticals, a privately-held clinical development company, announced a restructuring that includes a $15 million financing, the appointment of Jim Bennethum as CEO, and the appointment of a new board of directors.

Bennethum joins AltheRx as CEO from Becker Ventures, where he served as an executive vice president. Previously, he spent more than 20 years in senior leadership roles at Johnson Controls, and brings proven global operational and business development experience to AltheRx. He also currently serves as a board member for the Karmanos Cancer Institute in South East Michigan.

With new leadership and new funding, AltheRx will continue to focus on advancing its lead candidate solabegron into phase III trials. Solabegron is a novel beta3-adrenoceptor agonist with high affinity and selectivity that is in development for the treatment of overactive bladder (OAB). Data on solabegron is being presented this weekend at the American Urological Association Annual Meeting.

In addition, the newly formed board of directors for AltheRx has vast experience establishing, funding and leading successful companies. Charles E. Becker, chairman of Becker Ventures, will serve as chairman of the board. Becker was the CEO and co-owner of Becker Group, a global automotive interior components supplier sold to Johnson Controls.

Jeffrey O’Donnell, managing director of BioStar Ventures, will serve as vice chair of the board. Bringing operational, transaction and leadership experience, O’Donnell is also currently the executive chairman of the board of Trice Orthopedics, and previously led six healthcare companies.

Anthony Zook joins the board with extensive global pharmaceutical industry experience. Zook previously served as an executive vice president of commercial operations of AstraZeneca, CEO of AstraZeneca North America, executive vice president of global marketing of AstraZeneca and president of MedImmune.

AltheRx management also serving as directors include Bennethum; Eliot H. Ohlstein, Ph.D., co-founder, CSO and head of R&D; and Raymond E. Stevens, co-founder and vice president of operations.

“Today, AltheRx is very well-positioned to achieve its business and clinical development goals,” concluded Bennethum. “We have assembled an experienced management team and prestigious board advisors, and are advancing a late stage, medical breakthrough for the treatment of overactive bladder.”

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