NEW YORK, Oct. 27, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Kallyope Inc. ("Kallyope"), a biotechnology company focused on harnessing the potential of the gut-brain axis, today announced that it has appointed Ann E. Weber, Ph.D. to the position of Senior Vice President, Drug Discovery, and William J. Rieflin as an independent member of its Board of Directors.
"The expansion of Kallyope's leadership team reflects the rapid advancement of our platform and confidence in our ability to generate valuable assets," said Nancy Thornberry, CEO of Kallyope. "The addition of such high-caliber individuals as Ann and Bill demonstrates our commitment to getting the right team together to realize the full potential of the gut-brain axis."
Ann E. Weber, Ph.D.
Dr. Weber will be responsible for taking opportunities arising from the company's state-of-the-art technology platform and translating them into drug discovery and development programs. During her 28-year tenure at Merck & Co., where she was most recently Vice President, Lead Optimization Chemistry, her work led to over 40 development candidates, including the approved diabetes therapies JANUVIA® (sitagliptin), JANUMET® (sitagliptin and metformin), and MARIZEV® (omarigliptin).
"I am excited to lead the translation of Kallyope's integrated platform for the interrogation of gut-brain circuits into new therapeutic opportunities," Dr. Weber said. "I also look forward to working closely again with Nancy."
Dr. Weber and Nancy Thornberry previously led the program at Merck that resulted in the discovery of JANUVIA® (sitagliptin), for Type 2 Diabetes.
Dr. Weber is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Robert M. Scarborough Award for Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry and the Heroes of Chemistry Award, both given by American Chemistry Society (ACS). She has also received PhRMA's Discoverer's Award, recognizing scientists whose work has been of special benefit to humankind, and Merck's Director's Award, the highest honor that the company confers on its employees. She is a 2013 Liberty Science Center Women in STEM Honoree, and in 2016 was named to the ACS's Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame.
Dr. Weber obtained a B.S. in chemistry summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame and a Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry from Harvard University. Since leaving Merck in November 2015, Dr. Weber has been an independent consultant to biotech and pharmaceutical companies, including Kallyope.
William J. Rieflin
Mr. Rieflin is Chief Executive Officer of NGM Bio and has over 20 years of experience in the biotechnology industry. Prior to NGM, he was President of XenoPort, Inc. Prior to that, he was Executive Vice President, Administration, Chief Financial Officer, General Counsel and Secretary for Tularik Inc., which was acquired by Amgen Inc. in 2004. Previously, he was Vice President, Human Resources, General Counsel and Secretary for AMSCO International, Inc. and an associate at Sidley & Austin LLP in the corporate and securities department.
"Kallyope is pioneering ways to improve human health and nutrition via the gut-brain axis with a sophisticated and unique technology platform," Mr. Rieflin said. "I look forward to working with the team and Board to realize the full potential of this platform."
In addition to Kallyope and NGM, Mr. Rieflin serves on the Board of Directors of FLX Bio, Inc.. Mr. Rieflin earned a B.S. from Cornell University, his M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and his J.D. from Stanford Law School.
About Kallyope Inc.
Kallyope is a platform biotechnology company dedicated to unlocking the therapeutic potential of the gut-brain axis. The company integrates cutting-edge technologies in sequencing, bioinformatics, neural imaging, cellular and molecular biology, and human genetics to provide an understanding of gut-brain biology that can be translated into transformational therapeutics and products that improve human health and nutrition. The company's founders are Charles Zuker, Ph.D., Lasker Award winner Tom Maniatis, Ph.D., and Nobel laureate Richard Axel, M.D. Headquartered at the Alexandria Center® for Life Science in New York City, the company's founding investors include Lux Capital, Polaris Partners, and The Column Group. For more information visit www.kallyope.com.
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SOURCE Kallyope Inc.