Chitrananda Abeygunawardana, Ph.D. will lead the development and execution of Venatorx’s global regulatory strategy for its clinical and pre-clinical anti-infectives programs

Malvern, PA, January 28, 2021 – Venatorx Pharmaceuticals today announced that Chitrananda Abeygunawardana, Ph.D. has been named Vice President, Regulatory Affairs. With nearly 25 years’ experience in pharmaceutical research, regulatory affairs and compliance, Dr. Abey will be responsible for developing and executing all regulatory strategies and tactics for Venatorx’s antibacterial and antiviral programs including interacting with health authorities and managing clinical trial applications worldwide.

“We are proud to continue to attract the best and brightest minds to Venatorx to support our mission to bring lifesaving antibiotics and antiviral medicines to patients around the globe,” said Christopher J. Burns, Ph.D., President and CEO of Venatorx. “Dr. Abey will play a critical role in advancing our antibiotic and antiviral programs from benchtop to bedside. I look forward to working with him as we progress our programs to market.”

“We have witnessed first-hand the colossal impact a global pandemic can have on our way of life,” said Dr. Abey. “I am excited by the opportunity to be part of a company that is addressing critical unmet medical needs for patients, and working hard every day to thwart what could be the next global pandemic—antimicrobial resistance.”

Prior to joining Venatorx, Dr. Abey was Executive Director of Merck Global Regulatory Affairs and Clinical Safety (GRACS) where he led the development of Merck’s pneumococcal vaccine strategy, and developed the regulatory strategies to support new drug development and licensures. During his tenure at Merck, Dr. Abey was a key contributor in the development of strategies for multiple anti-infectives including vaccines, antivirals and antifungals, as well as immune-oncology, representing every stage of drug development from pre-clinical concept to life cycle management of approved products. Dr. Abey has extensive experience in formulating late stage clinical and regulatory strategy to maximize value through optimal labeling indications and content, and in leading discussions with the FDA (CBER, CDER, & CDRH) and representing Merck in discussions with other key ex-US Agencies (EMA, Health Canada, PMDA, PEI, CFDA, etc.). In addition, Dr. Abey has extensive expertise in analytical and manufacturing aspects of vaccines and biologics, cGMPs, devices, content labeling, and manufacturing investigations.

Dr. Abey received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from UMBC in Baltimore, Maryland and his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka. In addition, he was a member of the Research Faculty at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

About Venatorx Pharmaceuticals

Venatorx Pharmaceuticals is a private pharmaceutical company focused on improving health outcomes for patients with multi-drug-resistant bacterial infections and hard-to-treat viral infections. For more information, please visit