Auspex Pharmaceuticals Names Industry Veteran, Lawrence C. Fritz, Ph.D., as President and CEO

LA JOLLA, CA (September 12, 2011): Auspex Pharmaceuticals today appointed Lawrence C. Fritz, Ph.D. as president and chief executive officer of the company. Prior to joining Auspex, Dr. Fritz was founder, president and CEO of Covella Pharmaceuticals which was acquired by Santarus, Inc. in 2010.
“Larry Fritz is a successful biotechnology entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience in building and growing biotechnology and emerging pharmaceutical companies,” said Pratik Shah, Ph.D., chairman of the Auspex board of directors and partner in the venture capital firm of Thomas, McNerney & Partners. “His experience and leadership will be invaluable to Auspex as we advance development of SD-809 and other compounds in our growing pipeline of deuterium-substituted analogues of clinically validated drugs.”
Prior to founding Covella, Dr. Fritz founded Conforma Therapeutics and served as its President and CEO from inception through its acquisition by Biogen Idec in 2006. Dr. Fritz was also a founder and Director of Cabrellis Pharmaceuticals, a specialty pharma cancer company spun-out from Conforma; Cabrellis was subsequently acquired by Pharmion Corporation. Prior to Conforma, Dr. Fritz co-founded both Athena Neurosciences, now wholly-owned by Elan Corporation, and Idun Pharmaceuticals, subsequently acquired by Pfizer. In addition to his work in private biotechnology companies, Dr. Fritz served as President and CEO of Anadys Pharmaceuticals, a NASDAQ-listed public company developing drugs for viral diseases and oncology. Dr. Fritz is also an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with the venture capital firm Thomas, McNerney & Partners. He holds an A.B. in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard, an M.Sc. in Physiology from University College London, and a Ph.D. in Biophysics from The Rockefeller University.
About Auspex Pharmaceuticals
Auspex Pharmaceuticals is developing a pipeline of compounds consisting of deuterium-substituted analogues of known, validated drugs, which offer important advantages over their respective parent molecules. This approach generates patentable new chemical entities that retain the pharmacological activities of their original, hydrogen-containing counterparts, but are designed to provide important benefits such as improved safety, efficacy, and convenience, and reduced patient-to-patient variability and drug-drug interactions.
Auspex’s lead compound, SD-809, is a deuterium-substituted analogue of tetrabenazine for the treatment of a set of hyperkinetic movement disorders including Huntington’s disease, Tourette syndrome and tardive dyskinesia. The intent with SD-809 is to provide a once- or twice-daily drug that offers significant safety, convenience, and compliance advantages over existing therapy. Other compounds in the company’s pipeline address such indications as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, inflammatory disease, and neuropathic pain.