Avalyn Pharma Expands Executive Team with Appointment of Howard M. Lazarus, MD, FCCP to the Role of Chief Medical Officer
August 7, 2023 – SEATTLE — Avalyn Pharma Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on development of targeted therapies for life-threatening pulmonary diseases, today announced that it has appointed Howard M. Lazarus, M.D., FCCP, to the newly created position of chief medical officer. Dr. Lazarus brings valuable clinical and drug-development experience to the Avalyn executive team.
“Howard’s appointment comes at a critical time in our clinical development,” explained Lyn Baranowski, Avalyn’s CEO. “With AP-01 and AP-02 early clinical studies in pulmonary fibrosis now complete, we are working with our advisors and regulators to construct plans for the next clinical trials of these candidates. Howard’s experience in both drug development and clinical practice as a pulmonologist gives him valuable insights into the patient experience that will inform our clinical programs.”
Dr. Lazarus was most recently chief medical officer of Altavant Sciences (acquired by Enzyvant), where he was responsible for developing and implementing the clinical development plans for candidates addressing pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), and bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome. Earlier, he was a key member of the clinical development and medical affairs team at Boehringer Ingelheim where he worked on the nintedanib idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) program and at Gilead Sciences where he worked on their IPF and PAH portfolios. Prior to his work at Gilead, Dr. Lazarus practiced as a pulmonary and critical care physician at several health facilities, including Oregon Pulmonary Associates in Portland, OR. In that role, he diagnosed and treated patients with complex pulmonary vascular and interstitial diseases such as IPF and PAH.
Dr. Lazarus earned both a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and a Doctor of Medicine from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. His residency in internal medicine was at Boston University Medical Center, and he completed a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of California, San Diego. He is a fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians and a member of the American Thoracic and European Respiratory Societies.
“Joining the Avalyn team was a compelling proposition,” added Dr. Lazarus. “The Avalyn mission of creating inhaled therapeutics for IPF and other interstitial lung diseases is an elegant approach to treating these serious, life-threatening diseases with the opportunity to enhance the lives of these underserved patients. I’m looking forward to working with the team to advance these product candidates into additional clinical trials and along their path towards approval by the regulatory agencies.”
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.