SAN DIEGO, Jan. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Viking Therapeutics, Inc. ("Viking") (NASDAQ: VKTX), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel therapies for metabolic and endocrine disorders, today announced several senior level appointments designed to strengthen the company's leadership as it continues to advance its pipeline of clinical and preclinical development programs. The company has appointed Amy Broidrick as Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, Greg Zante as Vice President of Finance and Operations, and Catherine (Cass) Lee Kelleher, M.D., as Vice President of Clinical Development. Collectively, these individuals bring Viking significant industry experience in areas directly related to the company's ongoing programs in the fields of metabolic and endocrine disorders.
"We are fortunate to add three individuals with the industry skills and experience of Amy, Greg and Cass. With two key Phase 2 clinical trials scheduled to read-out in 2017, strengthening our team will best position us to successfully navigate this important time in the company's evolution," said Brian Lian, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Viking Therapeutics. "Amy, Greg and Cass each bring unique and valuable skill sets to Viking and will serve to further enhance our management team. We are excited to welcome them and look forward to the important contributions they will make to the company's ongoing success."
Ms. Broidrick brings 22 years of pharmaceutical industry experience to her new role, where she will lead business development and partnering efforts at Viking. Before joining Viking, she served as Vice President and Head of Global Marketing Excellence and Business Innovation at EMD Serono, Inc, part of Merck KGaA (Germany). Prior to her position at EMD Serono, Ms. Broidrick was Vice President and Head of Marketing and Commercialization at Arena Pharmaceuticals. She has also held roles of increasing responsibility at Merck & Co. and Pfizer (formerly GD Searle). Ms. Broidrick is a seasoned industry executive credited with launching and exceeding profit targets for blockbuster brands including Celebrex® in the United States and Zetia® and VYTORIN® across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Mr. Zante joins Viking with more than 20 years of accounting and financial experience at public and private companies in the biotechnology and accounting industries. In his new role, he will be responsible for forecasting, scenario analyses, financing strategies, business development support and operational activities. Prior to Viking, Mr. Zante was Chief Financial Officer at Dance Biopharm, a diabetes-focused biopharmaceutical company, where he managed the company's private financing strategy and positioned it for initial public offering activities. Mr. Zante has also previously held senior positions at several biopharmaceutical companies including Sangamo BioSciences, Calyx Therapeutics and Matrix Pharmaceuticals. He is a certified public accountant in the state of California and has previously served as a senior staff accountant at Ernst & Young.
Dr. Kelleher is a skilled biopharmaceutical physician whose experience spans both industry and academia. Her expertise in the areas of metabolic disorders and gerontology aligns with Viking's clinical development programs which she will be charged with managing in her new role as Vice President of Clinical Development. Most recently, Dr. Kelleher served as Vice President of Clinical Development at Coherus BioSciences. Previously, she served as Head of Clinical for the United States at Proteus Digital Health, Inc. Prior to this she worked as a global safety officer for inflammation and oncology and also a clinical research medical director in nephrology at Amgen. Before joining industry, Dr. Kelleher served as Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Her medical training included an internship/residency in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital, a joint clinical fellowship in nephrology and gerontology at the Harvard teaching hospitals and a post-clinical research fellowship in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School.
About Viking Therapeutics, Inc.
Viking Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel, first-in-class or best-in-class therapies for metabolic and endocrine disorders. The company's research and development activities leverage its expertise in metabolism to develop innovative therapeutics designed to improve patients' lives. Viking has exclusive worldwide rights to a portfolio of five therapeutic programs in clinical trials or preclinical studies, which are based on small molecules licensed from Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated. The company's clinical programs include VK5211, an orally available, non-steroidal selective androgen receptor modulator, or SARM, in Phase 2 development for the treatment and prevention of lean body mass loss in patients who have undergone hip fracture surgery, VK2809, a small molecule thyroid beta agonist in Phase 2 development for hypercholesterolemia and fatty liver disease, and VK0612, a first-in-class, orally available drug candidate in Phase 2 development for type 2 diabetes. Viking is also developing novel and selective agonists of the thyroid beta receptor for adrenoleukodystrophy, as well as two earlier-stage programs targeting metabolic diseases and anemia.
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SOURCE Viking Therapeutics, Inc.