Cambridge niche biotech Alchemab Therapeutics has unveiled a new CEO as it bids to drive quickfire transatlantic growth. Alchemab is harnessing the power of the immune system to cure disease by using nature’s most effective search engine – adaptive immunity.

In a globally transformative move, the company has appointed Douglas Treco as CEO; he will be based in Boston. He succeeds Alex Leech, who has done a phenomenal job in launching the brand and the technology and helping to raise massive finance.

Most recently, Dr Treco was co-founder, president, and CEO of Ra Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on peptide and small molecule inhibitors of the complement pathway. The company was acquired in April 2020 by UCB S.A. for $2.5 billion.

Houman Ashrafian, managing partner at SV Health Investors and chairman of Alchemab’s board, said: “We’re excited that Doug will bring his extensive experience to our leadership team as we seek to grow our highly differentiated platform.

“Our goal is to develop a world-class management team with footprints on both sides of the Atlantic and broaden the company’s exposure to US investigators, investors, and potential employees.”

Dr Treco believes Alchemab has a fabulous future. He said: “Alchemab’s approach of identifying protective antibodies truly changes the game in terms of creating the next major antibody therapeutics company.
“We believe this platform gives us a unique ability to develop a robust pipeline of truly innovative neurodegenerative and oncology medicines.”

Previously, Dr. Treco co-founded Transkaryotic Therapies, Inc. (TKT), which was acquired in 2005 by Shire plc. In his position as senior VP of Research and Development, he established and directed TKT’s gene activation and protein production efforts, which led to the approval of Dynepo™, Replagal®, Elaprase®, and Vpriv®. 

Dr Treco is chairman of the board of Inozyme Pharma and a member of the board of CRISPR Therapeutics AG. He is also a scientific adviser to Lightstone Ventures. 

From January 2008 to May 2014, Dr Treco served as an entrepreneur-in-residence with Morgenthaler Ventures and was a visiting scientist in the Department of Molecular Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital and a lecturer in genetics at Harvard Medical School from 2004 to 2007.

Alchemab is one of the most exciting life science businesses to emerge on the planet in memory. As reported by Business Weekly ahead of the pack, Alchemab raised $82 million in a Series A financing in April  led by RA Capital and joined by Lightstone Ventures, DHVC, and Data Collective VC Bio. 

In 2019, Alchemab raised a seed round led by SV Health Investors and the Dementia Discovery Fund. The company collaborates closely with Illumina, having been part of the first cohort of companies joining the Illumina Accelerator in Cambridge Significantly, it recently announced a partnership with AstraZeneca where Alchemab will use its platform to aid development of new treatments for prostate cancer.

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