ActivX’s new CEO shores up company’s business side

New CEO James Schoeneck sees his appointment this week as “the next stage of evolution for ActivX (Biosciences Inc.), in going from research to projects that will produce actual drugs.”

Schoeneck comes to ActivX from Prometheus Laboratories , where he was president and CEO for more than three years. Before joining Prometheus, he was a vice president at Johnson & Johnson’s Centocor division where he led the development and launch of Remicade. Prior to that, he was with Rhône-Poulenc Rorer for 13 years.

Schoeneck replaces John W Kozarich, who will remain the company’s president and chief scientific officer. “This brings my business experience together with John’s scientific knowledge,” Schoeneck says.

It was the “uniqueness of the platform technology and its immediate applicability to drug discovery and development,” that drew Schoeneck to ActivX, he says.

The company uses proprietary chemical probes to explore activity in key protein families. ActivX reports that it can measure changes in protein activities in any cell type and tissue over a wide range of conditions.“We’ve recently finished a large kinase platform,” says Schoeneck. “We can measure on- or off-target interactions across the entire family of kinases.”

Over the last few months, the company selected its own internal lead compound, in immunology, as well as one for Japanese partner Kyorin. ActivX and Kyorin have a Type II diabetes drug collaboration worth several million dollars. According to Schoeneck, this signals the company’s transition to “drug developer.” It’s not decided whether ActivX will develop its lead compound alone or partner it, but either way the company is pursuing more pharmaceutical partnerships.

The company will also be seeking venture funding over the new months, but it won’t be going public in the near future, “We’d like to see how both the companyand the markets shape up,” Schoeneck says.

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