Achaogen adds Gary Loeb to its company as general counsel

By Cheyenne Dickerson | Dec 7, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO- The California-based biopharmaceutical company Achaogen Inc. has named Gary Loeb as its new general counsel.

In Loeb's new role, he will advise the company on legal issues, research new products and ways to promote the company's pharmaceuticals, and will answer directly to the CEO and company president Kenneth Hillian. 

Achaogen, a developer of pharmaceutical-grade drugs designed to relieve bacterial infections in the body, recently appointed Loeb in order to have an "experienced leader," as noted in the press release. Additionally, "we will benefit from the breadth of Gary’s experience and insights including many aspects of intellectual property and drug development through to commercialization," the release stated.

Loeb has been practicing law since he graduated from Columbia Law School in New York. His career path has included practicing law in North Texas, 11 years with Genentech and as an executive team member at three life sciences companies, Amyris Inc., Counsyl, and most recently, Sano Intelligence. He received his bachelor's degree from Stanford University in California. 

Hans Vitzthum, managing director for LifeSci Advisors LLC, works closely with Achaogen and said he looked forward to Loeb's contributions.

"Gary brings IP and general corporate expertise as we anticipate our shift to a fully integrated commercial biotech," Vitzthum told the Northern California Record.

With more than 15 years of experience as an attorney and businessman, Loeb is skilled in "intellectual property, corporate governance, compliance and business development in the biotechnology industry," the release stated. Loeb's promotion is effective immediately at Achaogen.

"He is excited to join the team and help bring new medicines to market in a space, anti-infectives, that does not always get as much attention as it deserves," Vitzthum said.

In addition to serving as general counsel, Loeb currently serves as a professor at the University of San Francisco Law School. Since 2006, he has taught courses there about intellectual property and cyberlaw, as currently is teaching biotechnology law. He is an active member and a director of the nonprofit organization Project Open Hand, which provides meals to critically ill neighbors and seniors.

Achaogen company leaders expressed pride in the company's growth within the pharmaceutical field. According to its website, the company notes that "Our executive team has over 30 years of drug research and development experience at companies such as Genentech, Roche, and Cubist Pharmaceuticals, and a proven track record of leadership, global registration and lifecycle management for 16 approved products." 

The company also is continuing the fight against "multi-drug resistant (MDR) gram-negative infections" and is extremely "delighted to have Loeb join the Achaogen team," according to the release. Vitzthum said he does not anticipate any other big changes in the near future for the company.

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