AmpliPhiAmpliPhi BioSciences Corporation, a global leader in developing bacteriophage-based antibacterial therapies to treat drug resistant infections, has announced that Scott Salka has been appointed as the new CEO. Mr. Salka will replace Interim CEO and Chairman of AmpliPhi, Jeremy Curnock Cook, effective 18 May. Mr Curnock Cook will remain in his role as Chairman.

“Mr Salka’s leadership will enable AmpliPhi to execute on its mission to develop innovative therapeutic solutions aimed at the growing problem of combating antibiotic resistant bacterial infections,” said Mr Curnock Cook. “His extensive experience in building biotech companies with a focus on technology development and discovery will accelerate the progress of our bacteriophage candidates towards the clinic, and his skill set, combined with more than 25 years of experience, will further strengthen AmpliPhi’s position in this exciting field.”

Since 2010, Mr Salka has served as CEO of Aspyrian Therapeutics Inc., a company focused on developing near-infrared photoimmunotherapy (PIT) therapies. Prior to this role, he was the CEO of Ambit Biosciences (acquired by Daiichi Sankyo in 2014). During Mr Salka’s tenure at Ambit, a company developing treatments for oncology, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, he was responsible for transforming the company from a service contract business to a fully capable drug discovery and development enterprise.

Prior to joining Ambit in 2001, he served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of two privately held genomics companies, Arcaris, Inc. and 454 Corporation (sold to Roche in 2007). He also previously co-founded one of the first commercial genomics companies, Sequana Therapeutics, Inc., a pioneer in the effort to commercialize the international Human Genome Project.

Mr Salka will be based in San Diego in his role as CEO. He is currently a board member and professor of entrepreneurship at San Diego State University College of Business Administration, and will continue to serve as a board member of Aspyrian Therapeutics Inc. He also previously served as a director and chairman of the audit committee for Sorrento Therapeutics. Mr. Salka received his MBA from Carnegie Mellon University and his BS in finance from San Diego State University.

“I am excited to have been selected as CEO of AmpliPhi at this important time in the company’s history,” noted Mr Salka. “With a strong proprietary technology platform, first-in-class cGMP manufacturing capabilities and excellent lead pipeline candidates for addressing a major global health problem, AmpliPhi is strongly positioned to bring new therapies for treating deadly bacterial infections to market. I am eager to join the executive leadership team during what will surely be a critical growth period for not only the company but also the industry.”

AmpliPhi is advancing three preclinical programmes in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections in Cystic Fibrosis and Clostridium difficile.