Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Lycera, a biopharmaceutical company developing breakthrough medicines to treat cancer and autoimmune disease, has named Paul Sekhri president, CEO and a member of the board of directors, effective immediately. Sekhri brings more than 25 years of operational experience in the life sciences industry, including business development and strategy, general management, drug development, and commercial strategy. He succeeds Kathleen M. Metters, Ph.D., who currently serves as senior advisor to the company.
Lycera, a biopharmaceutical company focused on autoimmune diseases, has signed a collaboration agreement with Merck, to discover, develop and commercialize small-molecule therapies directed to selected novel targets being investigated for the treatment of a broad range of immune-mediated disorders.
Plymouth, Mich.-based Lycera will receive $12 million upfront and up to $295 million in milestone payments from Merck in a collaboration to discover new anti-inflammatory drugs, according to FierceBiotech. The deal is focused on new small molecules that target T-helper 17 (Th17) cells, key mediators of inflammation and a new approach to treating major autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis.