DARA BioSciences, a drug development firm, has named Richard Franco as its board chairman.

Franco, the company’s chief executive officer, already was a member of the board. He takes over as chair from co-chairmen Steve Gorlin and Thomas D’Alonzo. They remain members of the board. Gorlin is a co-founder of the company.

DARA recently signed an agreement with Bayer Pharmaceuticals to license patents and compounds from Bayer that could lead to treatments for Type 2 diabetes and a blood disorder known as dyslipidemia. DARA also is exploring treatments for chronic neuropathic pain and has a product in Phase II clinical trial.

The company recently announced plans to go public through the acquisition of Point Therapeutics, a troubled Massachusetts life science firm that already is traded publicly.

Franco has worked with DARA since 2005. He is a former CEO of Trimeris and was a co-founder of LipoScience.