Richard Katz, a former chief financial officer at Icagen, is joining Viamet Pharmaceuticals as its chief business and financial officer.

The position is a new one at Viamet.

Katz, who also is an MD, helped guide Icagen through its acquisition last year by Pfizer.

At Viamet, he will be responsible for commercial and financial operations.

“Rich is a seasoned pharmaceutical executive with a wealth of business, finance and transactional experience,” said Viamet Chief Executive Officer Robert Schotzinger in a statement.

“He joins Viamet at a pivotal point in our development as we move our lead therapeutic programs toward human proof-of-concept.”

Viamet is developing technology it calls Metallophile to make drugs safer through use of so-called metalloenzyme inhibitors. The inhibitors are actual metal components of drugs and bind to other metals in a patient’s body, enabling drugs to work.

The startup was co-founded by UNC-CH Chancellor Holden Thorp.

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