Debra Barker Appointed New CMDO of Polyphor
Dr. Barker joins from Novartis, where she currently is Global Head of Medical Affairs for the Ophthalmology business. Previously, she covered several important positions in Novartis including Development Head for Infectious Diseases, Transplants and Immunology, Global Head of Clinical Operations and Services, and several senior roles in Respiratory, Oncology Biosimilars and Dermatology. Dr. Barker previously worked for Roche, Smithkline Beecham and Knoll in Clinical and Commercial roles. She worked on anti-infectives for several years and brings extensive experience in the design and implementation of clinical studies including pivotal trials, in the interaction with regulatory bodies and in establishing relationships with key opinion leaders. She has been working in Europe, Asia and the Americas. Dr. Barker succeeds Leon Hooftman, MD, who leaves Polyphor to take a new position.
"I am very happy Debra joins Polyphor. I had the opportunity of working with her at Novartis and really appreciated her leadership, drive and capabilities. Her expertise is immediately applicable to her new role as CMDO of Polyphor and to our clinical programs, and her appointment marks an important step towards further developing and effectively executing a well-articulated clinical strategy. I would also like to thank Leon for his contributions over the past years and wish him all the best in his new endeavors" said Giacomo Di Nepi, CEO of Polyphor.
"The field of antibiotics is now at a crossroad as we try to identify the next-generation weapons poised to fight more effectively Pseudomonas infections and Pulmonary diseases" said Dr. Barker. "It is an exciting time to join Polyphor and I am very eager to share my experience in drug development in its mission to help patients."
Dr. Barker has a Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine and received a MSc in Immunology from the King's College in London. She received her MD from the Queens College, Cambridge, U.K., where she was awarded the Entrance Scholarship and the Pathology prizes. She is a UK-Swiss citizen and, besides English, she speaks also French, German and Spanish.
Polyphor is a privately held Swiss Specialty Pharma company focused on the development of macrocycle drugs that address antibiotic resistance and rare pulmonary diseases. The company's lead drug candidates include:
- Murepavadin (POL7080, in Phase II), a highly specific OMPTA (Outer Membrane Protein Targeting Antibiotic) to treat Pseudomonas infections, based on a new mechanism of action
- POL6014 (in Phase Ib), an inhaled inhibitor of neutrophil elastase for the treatment of cystic fibrosis and other lung diseases
- Balixafortide (POL6326, in Phase Ib), a CXCR4 antagonist for combination treatments in oncology
Polyphor has discovered and is further developing a new class of Antibiotics, the Outer Membrane Protein Targeting Antibiotics (OMPTA), to address infections caused by difficult to treat, resistant Gram-negative pathogens - one of the most pressing emerging medical needs.
Polyphor leverages its proprietary macrocycle technology platform to efficiently develop its own product portfolio and to pursue licensing and collaboration opportunities with industry partners. It has collaborative partnerships with Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, Taisho, Novartis and Gilead Science. For more information go to www.polyphor.com.