citybiz+ Veralox Names PhaseBio’s Jonathan Mow as New CEO after Raising $24 Million

Frederick, Md.-based Veralox Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology firm targeting immune-mediated diseases such as Type-1 diabetes and psoriasis, has secured $24 million and named PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals CEO Jonathan Mow as its new chief executive.

Durham, N.C.-based Pappas Capital and Boston’s NYBC Ventures were new investors who joined the funding round. Also participating were existing investors — Durham, N.C.-based Hatteras Venture Partners, Cambridge, Mass.-based Sanofi Ventures, Boston’s JDRF T1D Fund and Canada’s Genesys Capital.

Together with the funding, Veralox named Peter Young of Pappas Capital as a director and Meg Wood of NYBC Ventures as an observer. Since its inception in 2017, Veralox has raised $47.5 million from investors.

The new funding would be used to advance Phase 2a proof-of-concept study of its lead candidate (VLX-1005) to treat heparin-induced thromobcytopenia. A life-threatening rare disease, HIT is caused by an abnormal immune response arising from exposure to heparin, which is used to prevent blood clots. Last July, Veralox said the FDA placed VLX-1005 on a fast track after a successful Phase 1 clinical program.

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On a Fast Track
Founded in 2017 by the trio of David J. Maloney, Jeffrey W. Strovel and Matthew B. Boxer, Veralox has focused on 12-lipoxygenase, or 12-LOX, an enzyme implicated in a myriad of diseases including HIT and Type 1 diabetes. Maloney serves as Veralox’s chief scientific officer, while Boxer is the chief operating officer. Strovel was the CEO until Mow’s appointment this month.

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“Our novel approach with 12-LOX inhibitors has great potential in this and other diseases,” said Mow, a 25-year industry veteran who led PhaseBio from early-stage research on to a successful initial public offering in 2018.

Earlier in his career, Mow served as vice president, business development for Amylin Pharmaceuticals, until its sale to Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2012. He is also a co-founder of Corus Pharma, which was acquired by Gilead Sciences in 2006. Mow holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business.