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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Charles Sanders, a former chief executive officer at Glaxo, is the newest member of the board at flu drug maker (Nasdaq: BCRX).

"BioCryst has gone through a significant transformation to become a late-stage development company with its first product sales," Sanders said in a statement. "I look forward to sharing my experiences with the leadership of the Company as they prepare peramivir and forodesine for commercial launch and continue their work to build an enduring successful pharmaceutical company."

BioCryst is based in Birmingham, Ala.

"We are pleased to welcome Dr. Sanders to BioCryst’s Board of Directors," said Zola Horovitz, chair of the BioCryst board, in a statement. "Charlie’s strong track record of building and transforming leading pharmaceutical companies and his diverse knowledge of our industry and medical practice will be invaluable to the management of BioCryst as the Company’s leading clinical programs move toward completion."

Sanders served as Glaxo CEO from 1989 to 1994. He also chaired the Glaxo board from 1992 to 1995. Through mergers, Glaxo later became GlaxoSmithKline.

Sanders also worked eight years at Squibb and was at one time general director of Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

The U.S. government has approved BioCryst’s intravenous flu drug peramivir as an emergency treatment for swine flu. The company expects to continue testing peramivir until 2011 to win full approval. Japanese regulators are reviewing an application to approve peramivir as an outpatient flu treatment. Peramivir is intended for patients who are too sick to take an oral drug.

BioCryst is also testing a drug called forodesine as a treatment for three cancers: cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and acute lymphoblastic leukemia.