Healthcare Industry News: Roche
News Release - May 5, 2010
FoldRx Pharmaceuticals Appoints Dr. Georges Gemayel as Executive ChairmanCAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--FoldRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (FoldRx) today announced that Georges Gemayel, Ph.D., has been appointed full time Executive Chairman of the company’s Board of Directors. Dr. Gemayel brings to the role more than 25 years of experience in successfully developing and commercializing drugs with several notable pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
FoldRx’s lead compound, tafamidis, is being investigated as a disease modifying therapy for TTR amyloid polyneuropathy (ATTR-PN), a progressive and life-threatening neurodegenerative disease that affects an estimated 10,000 patients worldwide. The company expects to submit marketing applications for tafamidis in the U.S. and Europe in the second half of 2010.
Dr. Gemayel commented, “Impressive progress has been achieved to this point in advancing tafamidis through the development process. I am truly looking forward to working with the management team to bring tafamidis to market to first treat ATTR-PN, to continue to develop tafamidis in TTR amyloid cardiomyopathy and to support FoldRx’s efforts on programs which will help to address other serious diseases.”
“Georges joins FoldRx at a critical and exciting point in the company’s evolution, as we prepare to file for market registration this year and transition from a R&D organization to one with a commercial product,” added Richard Labaudinière, Ph.D., President and CEO of FoldRx. “The extensive commercial experience Georges brings to his role as Executive Chairman will be invaluable as we continue to work diligently to bring this much-needed therapy to patients.”
Beyond his role as Executive Chairman on FoldRx’s Board, Dr. Gemayel also currently serves on the Boards of Adolor and Syndexa. He served as President, Chief Executive Officer and a Director of Altus Pharmaceuticals Inc. from June 2008 until November 2009. Prior to Altus, Dr. Gemayel served as Executive Vice President, Therapeutics and Biosurgery for Genzyme Corporation, where he was responsible for Genzyme's global therapeutics, transplant, renal and biosurgery businesses. Prior to joining Genzyme, Dr. Gemayel worked for Hoffmann-La Roche for 16 years. There he served as Vice President of the National Speciality Care business with responsibilities for oncology, transplantation, hepatitis, HIV and dermatology. He also was the General Manager of Hoffmann-La Roche Portugal.
Dr. Gemayel received his doctorate in pharmacy from St. Joseph University in Beirut, Lebanon and his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Paris-SUD University.
Along with its ATTR-PN program, the company has also advanced development of tafamidis to treat TTR amyloid cardiomyopathy (ATTR-CM), a disease which ultimately leads to heart failure. The predominant mutation, V122I, is present in approximately four percent of the U.S. African American population. Wild-type (normal) TTR can also form amyloid deposits, particularly in the elderly in whom approximately 15-25% of individuals over 80 have demonstrable cardiac deposition. In addition, FoldRx’s collaboration with Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics (CFFT) has enabled the company to move forward in identifying novel drug candidates potentially capable of repairing the protein misfolding associated with cystic fibrosis.
About FoldRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
FoldRx Pharmaceuticals is a development and discovery company focusing on first-in-class, disease-modifying, small molecule therapeutics to treat diseases of protein misfolding and aggregation (amyloidosis). Protein misfolding is increasingly being recognized as an underlying cause of many chronic degenerative diseases. By applying FoldRx’s proprietary expertise in protein folding and its platform for drug and target discovery, the company is building a pipeline, initially for neurodegenerative and cardiovascular conditions. FoldRx’s pipeline includes a program in advanced clinical development to treat genetic neurologic and cardiovascular disorders, Transthyretin (TTR) Amyloid Polyneuropathy (ATTR-PN) and TTR Amyloid Cardiomyopathy (ATTR-CM), and a discovery program in Parkinson’s disease and cystic fibrosis, based on its broad, proprietary, yeast-based drug discovery platform. For more information on FoldRx, please visit the company’s web site at www.foldrx.com.
Source: FoldRx Pharmaceuticals
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