SAN FRANCISCO, April 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Akero Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on developing transformational treatments for people with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and other serious metabolic diseases, today announced the appointment of Jane Pritchett Henderson to its Board of Directors. Ms. Henderson brings over 30 years of biotech industry experience in capital raising, business development and operations.
"We are thrilled to welcome Jane to the Akero Board. She will bring a wealth of financial and operational experience as we advance our lead asset AKR-001 through the clinic and grow across all dimensions of our company," said Andrew Cheng, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Akero Therapeutics. "Jane is a highly respected leader in the biopharmaceutical industry, with a long history of advising companies as they grow."
Ms. Henderson currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer of Turnstone Biologics; prior to that position, she served as Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at Voyager Therapeutics. She also served as Chief Financial and Business Officer at Kolltan Pharmaceuticals until its sale to Celldex Therapeutics. Previously, Ms. Henderson also served in various financial and business development leadership roles at ISTA Pharmaceuticals, Axerion Pharmaceuticals and Panacos Pharmaceuticals. In addition to her industry experience, Ms. Henderson also has an extensive healthcare investment banking background, including execution of over 95 M&A, advisory and financing transactions over a nearly 20-year career at HSBC, CIBC, Lehman Brothers and Salomon Brothers, collectively. Ms. Henderson also currently serves on the Board of Directors of IVERIC Bio (formerly Ophthotech) and Sesen Bio (formerly Eleven Biotherapeutics).
"I'm delighted to join Akero's Board and look forward to working alongside its proven leadership team to grow the company," said Ms. Henderson. "AKR-001's compelling clinical profile – with its potential for both metabolic and anti-fibrotic benefits in treating NASH – provides an opportunity to potentially help millions of people around the world and is an attractive lead asset around which to build a robust pipeline."
The company plans to initiate a Phase 2a study of its potentially leading Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 (FGF21) analog, AKR-001, in patients with NASH in mid-2019.
AKR-001 is an Fc-FGF21 fusion protein that has been engineered to mimic the biological activity profile of native FGF21, an endogenous hormone that regulates lipid and energy metabolism, and is secreted throughout the body to alleviate cellular stress. Observations from clinical trials of AKR-001 and other FGF analogs point to AKR-001's potential to reduce liver fat, cellular stress, inflammation and fibrosis in people with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), as well as to improve risk factors of cardiovascular disease, the principal cause of death among NASH patients.
About Akero Therapeutics
Akero Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of transformative treatments for patients with serious metabolic disease with high unmet medical need by restoring metabolic balance. Akero's lead program AKR-001, an engineered Fc-FGF21 fusion protein, is being evaluated in clinical trials as a potential leading fibroblast growth factor analog for treatment of NASH, a disease without any approved therapies. For more information, please visit https://akerotx.com/.
SOURCE Akero Therapeutics, Inc.