John Johnson, an executive with Eli Lilly, is the new chairman of the board at Tranzyme Pharma..

The company filed plans with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a $75 million initial public offering of stock last month.

If successful, Tranzyme shares would trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol TZYM. No target price for shares was included in the filing.

Tranzyme announced Johnson’s section early Wednesday, but he actually assumed the board post in November before Trazyme disclosed its IPO plans.

Johnson is president of Lilly Oncology and senior vice president at Eli Lilly.

“[Johnson’s] extensive executive and operational management experience in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries make him ideally suited for the Chairman position and a valued addition to our Board,” said Vipin Garg, chief executive officer at Tranzyme.

Johnson is former CEO at ImClone Systems, which became part of Lilly in 2008. He also led the Worldwide Biotherapeutics unit at Johnson & Johnson. Johnson is a graduate of East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania.

The past year has been one of growth for Tranzyme,

In July, Tranzyme landed its second major partnership deal in seven months for its small molecule technology and potential drug pipeline.

The company signed a deal worth as much as $158 million with European pharmaceutical firm Norgine B.V. for development of a treatment targeting diseases of the muscles of the gastrointestinal track – called gastrointestinal dysmotility – in acute care conditions.

Tranzyme received an $8 million upfront payment as part of the deal plus as much as $150 million based on achievement of development, regulatory and commercial milestones. Tranzyme also will receive double-digit royalties on future sales.

The compound under development, called ghrelin agonist ulimorelin (TZP-101), is entering Phase III clinical trials. It is Tranzyme’s lead product.

Last December, Tranzyme struck a deal with Bristol-Myers Squibb potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Tranzyme has won several patents for its technology that targets internal disorders, such as gastroparesis (weak stomach) and post-operative ileus (POI), or blockage of the intestine with its own drug candidates.

Tranzyme investors include H.I.G. Ventures, Quaker BioVentures and Thomas, McNerney & Partners and others.

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