Avalyn Pharma Appoints Business Operations Leader, Melissa Rhodes, to the Role of Chief Operating Officer
September 11, 2023 – SEATTLE — Avalyn Pharma Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on development of targeted therapies for life-threatening pulmonary diseases, today announced the appointment of Melissa Rhodes, Ph.D., D.A.B.T to the newly created position of chief operating officer (COO). Dr. Rhodes has amassed operational and clinical development expertise through her career working with life sciences companies to develop technologies to improve drug delivery for a variety of indications, including respiratory medicines.
“Melissa’s passion and knowledge of inhalation drug delivery, her experience building pipelines and advancing drug candidates, and her appreciation for the patient experience make her an excellent fit for our growing team,” explained Lyn Baranowski, Avalyn’s CEO. “As we look ahead to the design and execution of late-stage clinical programs for AP01 and AP02, our inhaled pulmonary fibrosis candidates, I am confident that we have the expertise necessary to complete our goals.”
Dr. Rhodes most recently led metabolic and neurology product development efforts at Kriya Therapeutics. Earlier in her career, she held the position of chief development officer at Aerami Therapeutics and Altavant Sciences, both of which were focused on the delivery of inhaled medicines. Previously Dr. Rhodes managed nonclinical development programs during tenures at Roivant, GlaxoSmithKline and Erimos Pharmaceuticals, where she became adept at evaluating early stage compounds being considered for clinical development. She holds a Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology from Duke University Medical Center and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology.
“I share Avalyn’s desire to provide an effective inhaled delivery option to patients with interstitial lung diseases.” Dr. Rhodes added. “I look forward to working with Lyn and the team to advance AP01 and AP02 to the next stage of clinical development and to support Avalyn’s long-term business objectives of building out a pipeline of inhaled respiratory medicines for people with serious, life-threatening lung diseases.”
About Avalyn Pharma
Avalyn is a biopharmaceutical company developing targeted therapeutics for the treatment of rare respiratory diseases including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and other interstitial lung diseases (ILD). ILDs are characterized by scarring, decline in lung function, reduced exercise capacity and quality of life, and are associated with increased mortality. Currently approved therapeutic options slow ILD progression but are associated with significant toxicities, which restrict their use and dosing. Avalyn is developing a pipeline of inhaled therapeutics designed to reduce systemic exposure and deliver medication to the site of disease. AP01, Avalyn’s lead candidate, is an inhaled formulation of pirfenidone optimized for delivery via inhalation. In a recent clinical study of two doses assessed in 91 individuals with IPF, AP01 demonstrated the potential to improve both efficacy and safety over existing therapy. More information can be found at www.avalynpharma.com.