CalciMedica, a privately-held, clinical stage La Jolla-based biopharmaceutical company, has named two independent members to its board of directors.
The new board members, Lakhmir Chawla, who is currently the chief medical officer of La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company (NASDAQ: LJPC), and Christopher Krueger, who is a co-founder and chief business officer of Escalier Biosciences, a life science company with offices in Encinitas and the Netherlands, bring clinical development and financing/transaction experience to CalciMedica.
Chawla joined La Jolla Pharmaceuticals in 2015, and designed and led the ATHOS 3 Phase 3 trial for the company’s FDA-approved drug for shock, Giapreza. He was previously a professor of medicine at George Washington University, where he had dual appointments in the department of anesthesiology and critical care medicine and in the department of medicine, division of renal diseases and hypertension, as stated in the news release.
Krueger has completed numerous equity and debt financings, including initial public offerings (IPO), private investment in public equities (PIPE), preferred stock financings and convertible debt offerings. Prior to his positions at Escalier Biosciences, Krueger was chief business officer of Akarna Therapeutics, and negotiated its acquisition by Allergan in 2016 for up to $1.2 billion, as stated in an announcement.
CalciMedica focuses on calcium release-activated calcium (CRAC) channel drug discovery and development for the treatment of acute and chronic inflammatory diseases. CalciMedica said it’s currently advancing its novel acute pancreatitis agent, CM4620, through clinical development. CM4620 is a potent and selective small molecule inhibitor of CRAC channels which are found on many cell types, including immune cells and pancreatic acinar cells, according to the company.