CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--()--Visterra, Inc., developer of novel therapeutics to treat major diseases, announced today that it has appointed Donna M. Ambrosino, M.D., as chief medical officer. Dr. Ambrosino will oversee all drug development activities for the company, including the company’s lead drug candidate against influenza, VIS410, and she will serve as a member of the company’s executive management team.
“Visterra’s novel platform is a new and exciting approach that has already delivered a promising drug candidate for infectious disease, with VIS410 as a potential effective drug for prevention and treatment of influenza A”
Dr. Ambrosino brings extensive experience in the development and clinical management of infectious disease therapeutics and vaccines from more than 30 years in leadership at MassBiologics and Harvard Medical School. She has successfully led programs from target identification to clinical development and partnering, including the advancement of several antibody drug candidates into late-stage clinical trials for infectious diseases. She is the author of more than 60 scientific publications and reviews and an inventor on multiple patents.
“The breadth of Donna’s expertise in discovering, developing and advancing drug products and also with establishing and managing collaborations with both government and industry partners is an ideal fit for her role with Visterra,” said Steven Brugger, CEO of Visterra. “Her proven leadership will be key to our success as we work to advance our proprietary pipeline in infectious disease and explore other disease areas with partners.”
“Visterra’s novel platform is a new and exciting approach that has already delivered a promising drug candidate for infectious disease, with VIS410 as a potential effective drug for prevention and treatment of influenza A,” said Dr. Ambrosino. “I look forward to working with our accomplished team of scientists to advance VIS410 and a pipeline of other new drug development programs.”
Prior to joining Visterra, Dr. Ambrosino served as the first CEO of MassBiologics, the only non-profit FDA licensed vaccine and biologic manufacturer in the U.S., where she discovered and developed monoclonal antibodies and built the facilities, staff, partnerships and revenue to bring products from discovery to late-stage clinical trials. Under her leadership, MassBiologics grew to 300 people and developed three antibody products that are now in Phase 3 and Phase 2 trials, one partnered with Merck. Before MassBiologics, Dr. Ambrosino was associate professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, a National Institutes of Health-funded researcher and an internationally recognized expert in clinical trial design. She received an AB degree from Harvard University and an MD degree from Dartmouth Medical School.
Visterra discovers and develops novel drugs for the prevention and treatment of major diseases. The company’s proprietary platform generates unique structural information that identifies novel drug target sites and guides the design of drugs to effectively combat disease. The company’s lead product candidate, VIS410, is a broad spectrum monoclonal antibody for the prevention and treatment of both seasonal and pandemic influenza. The company is building a proprietary pipeline in infectious disease, and continuing to expand its disease area focus through strategic partnerships in infectious and other diseases. Visterra was founded by Dr. Ram Sasisekharan of MIT and is backed by Polaris Venture Partners, Flagship Ventures, and Lux Capital. For more information please visit www.visterrainc.com.