FARMINGTON, CT--(Marketwired - Oct 10, 2017) - Azitra, Inc. today announced the appointment of Richard Andrews (Rick) as President and CEO. Azitra is focused on treating skin disease by combining the potential of the microbiome with state of the art molecular genetics. Mr. Andrews will work closely with Azitra's founding scientist, Travis Whitfill, who will now serve as Chief Scientific Officer.
Rick Andrews brings more than 35 years of experience working with biotechnology companies from inception through successful clinical development, and most recently served as CEO of Thrasos Therapeutics. While at Thrasos, RenaMed and EcoScience, Mr. Andrews built strong operating teams and secured significant levels of research and development investment. Mr. Andrews was trained as a physical biochemist and chemical engineer at MIT, Purdue University and Hobart College. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of ProThera Biologics and Lucidicor Bio.
"It is a true delight to have the opportunity to work with the Azitra team and its investors, Bios Partners and Breakout Labs, as we transition the Company into a leading developer of advanced therapies for treating critical unmet needs in skin disease," said Mr. Andrews. "Azitra is at the forefront of microbiome research and is combining this expertise with leading edge genetic engineering. This approach will offer patients new therapies to address the underlying disease processes in skin disease, and correct the natural microbial balance necessary for long term health."
"We are thrilled that Rick will be leading Azitra through our next stage of growth. His operational and strategic expertise will be critical to our success as we move our core technology into the development stage for the treatment of inflammatory skin disease," said Travis Whitfill, Founder and CSO.
Lindy Fishburne, Managing Partner, Breakout Ventures; Executive Director, Breakout Labs, commented, "Azitra has achieved many milestones in recent months and is now poised to move into the next stage of development. We are excited to have Rick on board and are confident the company will thrive under his leadership."
Azitra, Inc. is a preclinical stage biotechnology company harnessing the power of the microbiome to treat skin disease. The Company was founded in 2014 by scientists from Yale University and works with world-leading scientists in dermatology, microbiology, and genetic engineering to advance its programs in atopic dermatitis and targeted orphan indications. For more information visit www.azitrainc.com.
About Breakout Labs
Breakout Labs is a seed-stage revolving fund operating out of Thiel Foundation. It supports early stage companies as they transition radical scientific discoveries out of the lab and into the market. The fund invests in cutting-edge scientific companies to achieve specific milestones during the two year program. It backs bold scientist entrepreneurs working at the intersections of technology, biology, materials, and energy. More than capital, Breakout Labs provides access to an elite ecosystem of follow-on funders, corporate partners and resources to drive commercialization.
About Bios Partners
Bios Partners is a venture capital firm focused on investing in early-stage biopharmaceutical and medical device companies. Founded in 2014 and based in Fort Worth, TX, the firm utilizes an experienced team of industry professionals to actively collaborate with its investment portfolio companies and enhance stakeholder value. The investment in Azitra, Inc. is one of seven new investments made through the firm's recently closed Bios Fund I.