Christopher Prior, a veteran executive in the life-science industry, is the new chief executive officer at Phase Bioscience.

Prior fills a vacancy created in March when M. Nixon Ellis left to become CEO at Argolyn Bioscience. Prior also joins the Phase Bio board. Tom Laundon, a former executive at Synthematix, had served as interim CEO. He remains president and chief operating officer.

Phase Bio also is adding several colleagues of Prior from one of his previous ventures, BioRexis, to its management team. Already onboard are Homa Sadeghi, who is vice president of research, and Andrew Turner, the director of technology. The three men co-founded BioRexis Pharmaceuticals, which Pfizer acquired last fall.

More staff could be added soon, Prior told Local Tech Wire.

“We’re talking to several others who are coming down this week,” Prior said.

PhaseBio currently has 14 employees. It recently moved into new office and lab space in Morrisville.

“We are particularly excited that several key members of Chris’ team at BioRexis will be assuming scientific leadership roles at PhaseBio,” said Clay Thorp, PhaseBio’s board chairman and a general partner at Hatteras Ventures. Hatteras is a PhaseBio investor.

PhaseBio recently licensed drug-discovery technology from Duke University. The company also has its own drug-purification and delivery-process technology. The company closed on $5.4 million in venture funding last fall.

In a statement, Prior said PhaseBio’s technology could boost drug discovery and production.

“Based on my industry experience, this unique protein-engineering technology will create novel therapeutics as well as improve existing products’ safety, efficacy and convenience of use. These elastin-like biopolymers are applicable to proteins, peptides and small-molecule therapeutics,” Prior explained. “The technology combines improved production efficiency and better pharmacology in one step which are major hurdles in biopharmaceutical drug development.”

Prior was chief scientific officer at BioRexis and also founded Principia Pharmaceuticals and was an executive at Human Genome Sciences, which acquired Principia.

Over a 20-year career, Prior has been involved in 20 filings for investigational new drugs, four new drug applications and three product approvals.

Investors in PhaseBio include Hatteras, Fletcher Spaght Venture Partners and Johnson and Johnson Development.

PhaseBio recently secured a $1 million loan from Silicon Valley Bank to fund movement to the new offices.