BioCryst_Group_Picture-1Jon Stonehouse, CEO of BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc., visited on September 27, 2011 with students in the combined MBA and undergraduate capstone class, “Strategic Management: Conversations with CEOs.”

Stonehouse described the company’s current strategic focus on developing drugs for the treatment of gout and influenza as well as other diseases. He noted that over 8 million Americans suffer from gout, a painful inflammatory disease that attacks the joints.

Mr. Stonehouse also described the company’s strategy to develop an intravenous drug, peramavir, for the treatment of patients hospitalized with influenza, and noted that the United States government has provided an advanced development grant of $235 million for this drug as part of its strategy to protect the American public in the case of an influenza pandemic.

BioCryst was founded over 25 years ago to commercialize biomedical technology developed at UAB, and the company still has a licensing arrangement in place with UAB with respect to certain drugs for the treatment of influenza. BioCryst is publicly traded and has a market capitalization of approximately $130 million.

Former UAB President and Department of Microbiology Chair Claude Bennett also attended the class. Bennett was President of BioCryst after he retired from UAB.

“Strategic Management: Conversations with CEOs” is taught by Professors Eddie Friend and Stephen Yoder, and features visits from CEOs of public or other large complex organizations who discuss their organizations’ strategies and how they are developed and implemented.

[Pictured left to right: Ayesha Jeddy, Kim-Quye Huynh, Brittany Cornelius, Mr. Stonehouse, Dr. Bennett, Rhiannon Johns, William Filhiol]