Biopharma firm Provention Bio names CFO, chief scientific officer

Lebanon-based Provention Bio Inc. has announced two new appointments.

The clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to sourcing, developing and commercializing novel therapeutics aimed at intercepting and preventing immune-mediated disease, Thursday announced the appointment of Andrew Drechsler as chief financial officer for the clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. In addition, Provention co-founder Dr. Francisco Leon will be the company’s chief scientific officer.

These appointments complete the establishment of Provention’s executive team, which includes the recent addition of Chief Operating Officer and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Eleanor “Leni” Ramos.

The Provention Bio executive team will work together as the company continues to execute its strategy of sourcing de-risked immunology assets via its core competences in translational medicine and rapid “go/no-go” clinical trial design and execution.

Drechsler, who has more than 20 years of financial and life science industry experience, will be responsible for leading Provention’s financial and capital markets activities. He served as chief financial officer for several public and private biopharmaceutical companies prior to joining Provention.

“Provention has moved rapidly to put in place its operational infrastructure following its inception and founding financing earlier this year,” said Provention co-founder and CEO Ashleigh Palmer. “The appointment of Andy as our chief financial officer signifies an important step as we aggressively pursue our mission and look to finance our existing and future pipeline of novel therapeutics and cutting-edge solutions to intercept chronic autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.”

Francisco, the new chief scientific officer, brings a “unique combination of scientific acumen and entrepreneurial vision.”

“Having partnered with Francisco previously at Celimmune LLC, I look forward to working with him again to advance Provention’s groundbreaking concept and further expand our already-robust development pipeline, currently highlighted by assets targeting type 1 diabetes, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis,” Palmer added.

“In just a few months, Provention has moved rapidly to in-license several promising assets, put in place its operational infrastructure and complete a successful founding financing,” Drechsler said.

“Provention has the ability to become a potentially disruptive force in the biotechnology industry by leveraging a unique transformative drug development strategy that seeks to source already de-risked immunology assets towards opportunities focused on intercepting and preventing immune-mediated disease. I am very excited to work with Ashleigh and the executive team to leverage what I believe is a unique, value creating opportunity.”

Drechsler previously was chief financial officer of Insmed Inc., a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the lives of patients with orphan pulmonary diseases. While there, he is credited with helping the company raise more than $400 million through equity offerings.