SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
Report of Foreign Private Issuer
Pursuant to Rule 13a-16 or 15d-16
under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
Commission file number: 001-36288
Akari Therapeutics, Plc
(Translation of registrant's name into English)
24 West 40th Street, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10018
(Address of principal executive offices)
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant files or will file annual reports under cover of Form 20-F or Form 40-F.
Form 20-F x Form 40-F ¨
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is submitting the Form 6-K in paper as permitted by Regulations S-T Rule 101(b)(1):_____
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is submitting the Form 6-K in paper as permitted by Regulations S-T Rule 101(b)(7):_____
On January 23, 2018, the Board of Directors (the “Board”) of Akari Therapeutics, Plc (the “Company”) appointed Michael Grissinger and Peter Feldschreiber to the Board, effective immediately, as Class A directors until the 2018 annual meeting of the Company’s shareholders.
Michael Grissinger has spent over 20 years at Johnson & Johnson, where he is currently serving as Vice President – M&A Operations, Divestitures and Immunology Business Development. Over the course of his career at Johnson & Johnson Mr. Grissinger has served in a variety of senior-level management roles including Vice President – Corporate Development, Vice Preseident - Worldwide Pharmaceutical Business Development & Licensing as well as Vice President - M&A. He has led transactions and teams across a broad span of deal-types, geographies, and therapeutic disease areas. In addition, Mr. Grissinger served on the management board of Ortho-McNeil, Johnson & Johnson’s largest operating company. Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, Mr. Grissinger spent over 10 years in the healthcare industry with Ciba-Geigy, now part of Novartis, and SmithKline Beecham. Mr. Grissinger holds a B.Sc. in Chemistry from Juniata College and an MBA from Temple University-Fox School of Business.
Dr. Peter Feldschreiber is dual qualified as a physician and barrister with extensive experience both in the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare law. Since 2004, Dr. Feldschreiber has been a member of 4 New Square chambers in Lincoln’s Inn. He has over 20 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry including 10 years’ as European Medical Director at Proctor and Gamble Limited and he has held appointments as Senior Medical Assessor and Special Litigation Coordinator to the Commission on Human Medicines, a U.K. government advisory body, as well as the Committee on Safety of Devices, Medicines, and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, part of the U.K. government’s Department of Health. Dr. Feldschreiber is General Editor of the Law and Regulation of Medicines (Oxford University Press) and Consultant Editor for the section on Medicinal Products and Drugs in the Fifth Edition of Halsbury’s Laws of England. Dr. Feldschreiber holds a B.Sc. MB.BS from Kings College Hospital Medical School, University of London, is a Fellow of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine Royal College of Physicians and holds an LLB Hons. from Thames Valley University.
In connection with their appointment, Mr. Grissinger and Dr. Feldschreiber shall each be entitled to receive (i) cash fees of $38,192 per year for their service on the Board, and (ii) an initial grant of a ten-year stock option to purchase 1,300,000 ordinary shares of the Company (equivalent to 13,000 American Depositary Shares (“ADSs”)) at an exercise price of $0.0347 per share (or $3.47 per ADS), which option shall vest ratably over four years in four equal installments beginning on the one year anniversary of the date of grant, subject to continued service on the Board and subject to acceleration in the case of change of control. In addition, the Company intends to separately retain Mr. Grissinger as a consultant pursuant to which Mr. Grissinger shall be entitled to consulting fees of up to $75,000 per annum.
On January 23, 2018, the Company issued a press release announcing the appointment of Mr. Grissinger and Dr. Feldschreiber. A copy of the press release is attached hereto as Exhibit 99.1, and is incorporated herein by reference.
The information contained in this report and the statement in the first paragraph of Exhibit 99.1 is hereby incorporated by reference into all effective registration statements filed by the Company under the Securities Act of 1933.
|99.1||Press Release dated January 23, 2018.|
Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized.
|Akari Therapeutics, Plc|
|By:||/s/ David Horn Solomon|
|Name:||David Horn Solomon|
|Chief Executive Officer|
Date: January 26, 2018
Akari Therapeutics Strengthens Board with Two Senior Industry Appointments
January 23, 2018 NEW YORK and LONDON, Jan. 23, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Akari Therapeutics, Plc (NASDAQ:AKTX) (“Akari” or “the Company”), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative therapeutics to treat orphan autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, is pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Grissinger and Dr. Peter Feldschreiber to the Company’s Board of Directors with immediate effect. Mr. Grissinger spent 22 years at Johnson & Johnson, holding positions of Vice President and Head, Worldwide Pharmaceutical Licensing as well as Vice President and Head of Worldwide Pharmaceutical Corporate Development and M&A. He has led transactions and teams across a broad span of deal-types, geographies, and therapeutic disease areas. Mr. Grissinger brings to Akari Therapeutics extensive experience in business and corporate development, finance, marketing and strategic planning in the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, Mr. Grissinger spent 20 years in the healthcare industry with Ciba-Geigy and SmithKline Beckman. Mr. Grissinger holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Juniata College and an M.B.A. from Temple University-Fox School of Business.
Dr. Feldschreiber is dually qualified as a physician and barrister with extensive experience both in the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare law. He has over 20 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry including 10 years as European Medical Director at Proctor and Gamble Limited, and he has held appointments as Senior Medical Assessor and Special Litigation Coordinator to the Commission on Human Medicines, a U.K. government advisory body, as well as the Committee on Safety of Devices, Medicines, and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, part of the U.K.government’s Department of Health. Dr. Feldschreiber is General Editor of the Law and Regulation of Medicines (Oxford University Press). Dr. Feldschreiber holds a B.Sc. MB.BS from Kings College Hospital Medical School, University of London, is a Fellow of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine Royal College of Physicians and holds an LLB Hons. from Thames Valley University.
Ray Prudo, M.D., Executive Chairman of Akari Therapeutics, commented, “We are pleased to strengthen our board with two individuals that bring such a range and depth of healthcare industry experience. As Akari continues its mission to develop and commercialize treatments for orphan autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, we look forward to benefitting from Michael’s expertise as a successful business and corporate development leader and Peter’s insight as a medical doctor with experience both in the pharmaceutical industry and the legal and regulatory aspects of healthcare.
About Akari Therapeutics
Akari is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing inhibitors of acute and chronic inflammation, specifically the complement system, the eicosanoid system and the bioamine system for the treatment of rare and orphan diseases, in particular those where the complement system or leukotrienes or both complement and leukotrienes together play a primary role in disease progression. Akari's lead drug candidate Coversin is a C5 complement inhibitor currently being evaluated in paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS). In addition to its C5 inhibitory activity, Coversin independently and specifically inhibits leukotriene B4 (LTB4) activity. Akari intends to evaluate Coversin in two conditions, the skin and eye diseases bullous pemphigoid and atopic keratoconjunctivitis, where the dual action of Coversin on both C5 and LTB4 may be beneficial. Akari is also developing other tick derived proteins, including long acting versions.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements in this press release constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements reflect our current views about our plans, intentions, expectations, strategies and prospects, which are based on the information currently available to us and on assumptions we have made. Although we believe that our plans, intentions, expectations, strategies and prospects as reflected in or suggested by those forward-looking statements are reasonable, we can give no assurance that the plans, intentions, expectations or strategies will be attained or achieved. Furthermore, actual results may differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements and will be affected by a variety of risks and factors that are beyond our control. Such risks and uncertainties for our company include, but are not limited to: needs for additional capital to fund our operations, an inability or delay in obtaining required regulatory approvals for Coversin and any other product candidates, which may result in unexpected cost expenditures; risks inherent in drug development in general; uncertainties in obtaining successful clinical results for Coversin and any other product candidates and unexpected costs that may result therefrom; failure to realize any value of Coversin and any other product candidates developed and being developed in light of inherent risks and difficulties involved in successfully bringing product candidates to market; inability to develop new product candidates and support existing product candidates; the approval by the FDA and EMA and any other similar foreign regulatory authorities of other competing or superior products brought to market; risks resulting from unforeseen side effects; risk that the market for Coversin may not be as large as expected; risks associated with the putative shareholder class action and SEC requests for information; inability to obtain, maintain and enforce patents and other intellectual property rights or the unexpected costs associated with such enforcement or litigation; inability to obtain and maintain commercial manufacturing arrangements with third party manufacturers or establish commercial scale manufacturing capabilities; the inability to timely source adequate supply of our active pharmaceutical ingredients from third party manufacturers on whom the company depends; our inability to obtain additional capital on acceptable terms, or at all; unexpected cost increases and pricing pressures; uncertainties of cash flows and inability to meet working capital needs; and risks and other risk factors detailed in our public filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Annual Report on Form 20-F filed on March 31, 2017 and in our Report on Form 6-K filed with the SEC on October 17, 2017. Except as otherwise noted, these forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any of these statements to reflect events or circumstances occurring after this press release. We caution investors not to place considerable reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this press release.
For more information
Elliott / Sukaina Virji / Nicholas Brown
Consilium Strategic Communications
+44 (0)20 3709 5700