Human Genome Sciences' CFO resigns

Human Genome Sciences Inc., which is developing an inhalational anthrax treatment, has announced this week that Chief Financial Officer Timothy Barabe is resigning.

Barabe, Human Genome Sciences said, is resigning to pursue another opportunity. Barabe continued working as CFO until this Wednesday and is expected to continue being employed by the Rockville, Maryland-based company until March 31.

The company's interim CFO will be Barry Labinger, currently Human Genome Science's executive vice president and chief commercial officer.

Human Genome Science's anthrax treatment, raxibacumab, targets anthrax toxins that are released by the bacteria into the blood and tissues. Normal antibiotics are only effective in killing the anthrax bacteria but at against the deadly toxins created by the anthrax bacteria.

Raxibacumab is the first procurement under Project BioShield of a product discovered and developed after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and is being developed under a 2006 contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.

Raxibacumab, which is also known as ABThrax, showed in animal testing in 2007 to improve survival rates in rabbits and monkeys by as much as 64 percent. More than 400 human volunteers were also administered the drug to determine its safety.

The FDA has questioned the efficacy of raxibacumab and whether or not it differentiates itself from the readily available Levaquin and Cipro antibiotics that are currently on the market.