Spyryx Names Alistair Wheeler Its CMO, Will Lead Testing of CF Therapy

Patrícia Silva, PhD avatar

by Patrícia Silva, PhD |

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CMO appointment

Spyryx Biosciences recently announced that Dr. Alistair Wheeler is joining the company as its new chief medical officer. Spyryx, a clinical-stage biopharma specializing in therapeutics for respiratory diseases, is currently evaluating a potential treatment for cystic fibrosis (CF) in early clinical testing.

Wheeler will be responsible for all aspects of clinical and medical processes and associated regulatory strategies for Spyryx, including the ongoing Phase 1 clinical trial evaluating the safety of SPX-101, a drug designed to improve CF patients’ lung function and quality of life.

SPX-101 is a first-in-class SPLUNC1-derived peptide, and was seen to restore mucociliary clearance in preclinical animal models of the disease.

“Spyryx has made extraordinary progress in getting SPX-101 into the clinic so rapidly; a great testament to the existing leadership team at Spyryx. … I look forward to building on that momentum and moving forward with the product into advanced clinical studies,” Wheeler said in a press release. “I share the company’s commitment and passion for making a difference in the lives of CF patients and their families.”

Wheeler received his MD from the Royal London Hospital Medical College, and his MFPM from the Royal College of Physicians. Previously, he served as global head of clinical development, respiratory medicine and biotherapeutics at Sunovion Pharmaceuticals. He also worked as senior director of clinical research at Cubist Pharmaceuticals, vice president of medical affairs at Avant Immunotherapeutics, and was a clinical research physician for Glaxo Group Research. He is a member of the American Thoracic Society and a former vice president of the American Academy of Pharmaceutical Physicians.

Wheeler brings decades of drug development know-how to the position, including leadership roles in nine successful filings of marketing applications with regulatory agencies worldwide. He also has considerable experience in medical and regulatory affairs, with a particular focus on respiratory products and associated indications.

“Alistair’s extensive background in successfully translating, developing and shepherding respiratory products to approval makes him the ideal clinician to lead the clinical development efforts for our novel peptide therapeutics, both in cystic fibrosis and the other respiratory diseases we are attempting to treat,” said John Taylor, Spyryx’s president and chief executive officer.