ProThera Biologics Appoints Denice M. Spero, Ph.D.
President and Chief Business Officer
Pharmaceutical Industry Veteran Joins Biomedical Company to Accelerate Development of Its Anti-Inflammatory Drug
Providence, R.I., May 28, 2015 – ProThera Biologics, a biomedical company developing novel therapies to treat life-threatening diseases, today announced that it has appointed Denice M. Spero, Ph.D, as president and chief business officer. In this new role, Dr. Spero will strengthen the company’s efforts in advancing its inter-alpha inhibitor proteins (IaIp) into clinical development and will assume a leadership role in business development and fund-raising for the company.
Dr. Spero has 25 years of experience in executive management and building scientific organizations within large biopharmaceutical, small biotechnology companies, and academic institutions. As a vice president at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where she was employed from 1989 to 2007, she established a new organization at the interface of discovery and development to assess the development potential of drugs prior to entering late-stage pre-clinical and clinical development.
In 2007, Dr. Spero co-founded and served as president of Developing World Cures Inc., where she built a team to develop new drugs for tropical diseases. In 2009, she was appointed research professor and co-director of the Institute for Immunology and Informatics (iCubed) at the University of Rhode Island, where she remained through 2013. Most recently, Dr. Spero was vice president of strategic alliances at NsGene, Inc., a biotechnology company working on the development of an implantable technology containing human cells producing therapeutic proteins for the treatment of severe neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Dr. Spero co-founded and leads the Rhode Island BioScience Leaders, a consortium of 30 biotechnology- company CEOs. She has won multiple awards from both the business and academic community in Rhode Island. She holds a B.A. from Wheaton College, an M.S. from MIT, a Ph.D from Brown University and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University.
ProThera Biologics was co-founded in 2001 by Yow-Pin Lim, M.D., Ph.D., and Douglas Hixson, Ph.D., both biomedical researchers at Lifespan/Rhode Island Hospital. With seed funding from Slater Technology Fund aggregating $600,000, the company has gone on to raise nearly $8 million from multiple scientific and financial sources to advance the development of its technology. Having served as president and chief scientific officer since inception, Dr. Lim recently assumed the role of chief executive officer of ProThera, intending to continue his leadership role in pursuit of the company’s mission, vision and strategic direction.
“Denice brings tremendous scientific background and business expertise to our management team,” said Dr. Lim. “Her extensive experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries will be invaluable as we prepare to bring IaIp-based therapies into clinical development.”
“We are delighted to welcome Denice to the team at ProThera,” said Richard G. Horan, senior managing director at the Slater Technology Fund and chairman of the board at ProThera. “Her background and expertise serves as a wonderful complement to Dr. Lim and the collaborators he has recruited to the effort at ProThera. She joins at a most exciting time as we position the company to move into clinical development.”
About ProThera Biologics
ProThera Biologics is a biomedical company co-founded in 2001 by researchers at Lifespan/Rhode Island Hospital. The company has pioneered the development of inter-alpha inhibitor proteins both for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. For more information, visit http://www.protherabiologics.com.