VIC Portfolio Firm, Akeso, Names Simon Williams CEO

by Mark Carter  on Tuesday, Apr. 29, 2014 1:50 pm  

Simon Williams

Akeso Biomedical, a portfolio company of Fayetteville's VIC Technology Venture Development, has named Simon Williams its CEO.

Akeso, founded this year and based in Waltham, Mass., is a medical device company focused on the treatment of hard-to-heal skin ulcers using a new, silk biomaterial technology exclusively licensed from Tufts University.

Williams is a former president of medical device company Tepha and co-founder of bioscience firm Metabolix. Under Williams' leadership, Tepha developed a new absorbable biomaterials technology that resulted in FDA regulatory clearance of 17 products over five years.

Williams has a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Cambridge University in England, a NATO postdoctoral fellowship at MIT and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine.

"We are very pleased that Simon will lead Akeso's team, and that he will spearhead the development of the company’s proprietary biomaterial technology to produce products for the treatment of chronic wounds," said Bernie Prusaczyk, Akeso chairman and managing director of VIC's office in suburban Boston, Mass., in a news release.

"Simon brings us proven leadership and success and an in-depth understanding of how to translate biomaterial technologies into innovative products. He is a terrific fit for Akeso."

VIC's portfolio includes 15 tech-based startups. It is headquartered on the campus of the Arkansas Research & Technology Park in Fayetteville with offices in Massachusetts and Annapolis, Md. 

Akeso's silk implants are designed to help grow new tissue, encourage vascularization and control factors such as destructive enzymes and moisture levels, Prusaczyk said.

"The new silk technology provides improvements in processing, allows the rate of degradation of the silk implant to be fine-tuned to the specific clinical need, as well as delivery of active agents from the implant to the wound," he said.

Williams said the Akeso technology will address an unmet need for patients with chronic wounds such as leg ulcers and diabetic ulcers.



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