Rice heads Chesapeake Biological New president, CEO succeeds Weiss at Baltimore contractor

Biotechnology

December 23, 1998|By Mark Guidera | Mark Guidera,SUN STAFF

Chesapeake Biological Laboratories Inc., a Baltimore-based biotechnology manufacturing contractor, named former pharmaceutical industry executive Thomas P. Rice as its president and chief executive officer yesterday.

The company said Rice would replace John C. Weiss III, CBL's president since May 1996, who has resigned.

William P. Tew, CBL's chairman of the board, said Rice, a member of the company's board of directors since 1997, will be a strong addition to the company's management team.

"He brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience in the pharmaceutical industry, which will be a great asset to CBL as it continues its transition to a larger-scale commercial producer of sterile, injectable bio-pharmaceutical and pharmaceutical products," Tew said.

Between 1993 and 1995, Rice was executive vice president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Circa Pharmaceuticals Inc., in Copiague, N.Y. Before that, he was vice president of administration and finance, and chief financial officer of PharmaKinetics Laboratories Inc. of Baltimore, and he held posts at accounting firm Deloitte & Touche LLP.

Weiss, a former executive at Anthem Capital LP, a Baltimore venture capital firm, said Rice would be able to expand CBL's marketing and contracting efforts.

"Tom has wonderful industry contacts, and a lot of experience building business. He can take the company to another plateau," Weiss said.

Weiss, who will serve as a consultant to CBL, said he was proud of his accomplishments at CBL and believed it was a "very attractive company."

He was credited by CBL with overseeing completion of its 71,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and headquarters in lTC the Camden Industrial Park in southern Baltimore, and helping structure a secondary public offering in May 1997 that raised $4 million.

Weiss, who has also stepped down from CBL's board, joined the company to supply the financial and management skills Chesapeake needed to diversify and expand its business.

During his tenure, the company, which provides pharmaceutical manufacturing and testing services to the biotechnology industry, landed 14 new customers, including ImmuLogic Pharmaceutical Corp. and Pangaea Pharmaceuticals Inc., both of Massachusetts. Financial details of those deals were not disclosed.

While CBL's revenue climbed 31 percent in its most recent quarter, its losses widened.

The company blamed higher losses on expiration of a contract with Allergan Inc. and costs associated with building and opening the new plant. The Allergan contract supplied $2 million $3.5 million annually -- up to half of the company's annual revenue.

For its second quarter, which ended Sept. 30, the company reported a net loss of $274,000, or 5 cents per share, on revenue of $2.28 million, compared with a net loss of $33,000 or 1 cent per share, on revenue of $1.75 million in the same quarter of 1997.

CBL shares closed yesterday at $3.2969, down 12.5 cents. Its 52-week high was $8.50 in July.

Pub Date: 12/23/98

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