Recognition honors a CEO who has demonstrated visionary leadership and active participation to advance the life sciences and biotech industry

Malvern, PA, March 14, 2019 – Venatorx Pharmaceuticals’ President and CEO, Christopher J. Burns, Ph.D., was named the 2018 “Frank Baldino CEO of the Year” award by Life Sciences Pennsylvania. The award recognizes a CEO who has demonstrated visionary leadership and active participation to advance the industry.

“I am honored to receive this award and to be connected with Frank Baldino’s revered legacy,” said Dr. Burns. “I am equally grateful to my fellow founders, Dr. Daniel Pevear and Dr. Luigi Xerri, and our esteemed team of entrepreneurial scientists and visionaries who have worked tirelessly to advance our company to where it is today. Additionally, we would not be where we are without funding awards from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Wellcome Trust, CARB-X, and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) as well as private equity investments from Versant Ventures, Abingworth, and Foresite Capital. We have built a robust research and development organization that has the potential to save lives by treating multi-drug resistant bacterial infections and hard-to-treat viral infections. We are excited by the incredible possibilities that lie ahead.”

Venatorx Pharmaceuticals team celebrating Dr. Burns being named ‘CEO of the Year’ at the Life Sciences Pennsylvania Annual Dinner in Philadelphia.

Dr. Burns has more than 25 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry including various corporate and R&D leadership positions at Protez Pharmaceuticals, ViroPharma, and Rhone-Poulenc Rorer (now Sanofi). He has appeared as co-author or co-inventor on more than 60 patents and publications and has served as Principal Investigator on more than ten awarded U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH) grants. He received a B.S. in Chemistry from St. Joseph’s University, and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) under Nobel-laureate Professor K. Barry Sharpless. Dr. Burns currently serves on the Board of Directors at Life Sciences Pennsylvania (LSPA) and the Antimicrobials Working Group (AWG) and was named an EY Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist in 2018.

“Frank Baldino, Jr. was a pillar of the life sciences community in the Greater Philadelphia region and of the biotechnology industry as a whole,” said Christopher Molineaux, President and CEO of Life Sciences Pennsylvania. “Like Frank Baldino, Chris is widely recognized as a visionary leader while he has grown Venatorx Pharmaceuticals from three founders to more than 60 employees since its inception in 2010. On behalf of the life sciences community in Pennsylvania, I thank Chris for his outstanding leadership, innovative spirit and active participation to advance our industry and congratulate him again on this distinction.”

“I have had the honor of knowing Chris for more than fifteen years throughout various iterations in my career,” said Vincent Milano, Chief Executive Officer at Idera Pharmaceuticals and Board Member at Venatorx. “Chris is a charismatic leader who exemplifies an innovative spirit. In addition, he is one of the biggest supporters of Pennsylvania’s life sciences industry. On behalf of the VenatoRx board of directors, I want to share my heartfelt congratulations on this well-deserved recognition.”

About Life Sciences Pennsylvania

Life Sciences Pennsylvania (LSPA) is the statewide trade association for the Commonwealth’s life sciences community. Founded in 1989, LSPA works to ensure Pennsylvania has a business and public policy climate that unites and incentivizes all facets of the state’s diverse life sciences economy. LSPA represents biotechnology, medical device, diagnostic, pharmaceutical, research, and investment entities, along with myriad service providers that support the industry. Together, LSPA unifies Pennsylvania’s innovators to make the Commonwealth a global life sciences leader. For more information, please visit

About Venatorx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Venatorx is a private pharmaceutical company that is focused on the discovery and development of novel anti-infectives to treat multi-drug-resistant (MDR) bacterial infections and hard-to-treat viral infections. Venatorx’s lead product, VNRX-5133, is an injectable broad-spectrum beta-lactamase inhibitor (BLI) that directly inhibits all four Ambler classes of beta-lactamases, including the emerging carbapenemases KPC and NDM-1. In addition, Venatorx has a broad pipeline of preclinical programs, including a broad-spectrum orally bioavailable BLI, a novel class of Penicillin-Binding Protein (PBP) inhibitors that are impervious to beta-lactamase-driven resistance, and novel antiviral agents. For more information, please visit