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Local Tech Wire

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Kenneth Moch is moving up to the chief executive officer’s job as well as the board of directors at venture capital-backed

Moch had been the chief operating officer. He replaces George Painter, who is now the firm’s chief scientific officer. He also is the company’s board chairman.

Painter has led Chimerix since its founding in 2002. He formerly worked at Triangle Pharmaceuticals, Burroughs Wellcome and Glaxo Wellcome.

The changes were announced Tuesday.

Chimerix is developing antiviral therapeutics that can be delivered orally.

Moch joined Chimerix last July.

"Ken Moch and George Painter make an outstanding and highly complementary leadership team. Ken and George will each play to their strengths in pursuing the same goal: advancing important antiviral medicines that can save lives," said board member Tim Wollaeger of Sanderling Ventures.

Wollaeger and Seth Rudnick of Canaan Partners had served as co-chairmen of the company before the changes. They remain on the board.

Moch has served at CEO at two other life science firms. A graduate of Princeton University with a degree in biochemistry, he earned an MBA at Stanford.

Chimerix closed on $16 million in financing last year. The Series E round boosted fundraising for Chimerix to some $45 million.

The company raised $23 million in 2007.

Existing backers Canaan Partners, Alta Partners, Sanderling Ventures and Asset Management Company led the new round.

Chimerix was launched in 2002. It utilizes proprietary drug development technology developed at the University of California at San Diego and the Veterans Administration Hospital in San Diego, CA.

In February, Gwendolyn Powell Painter, a former executive at GlaxoSmithKline, was named chief medical officer at Chimerix.