SAN DIEGO, Aug. 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Aristea Therapeutics (Aristea), a clinical-stage immunology focused drug development company advancing novel therapies to treat serious inflammatory diseases, today announced the appointment of Mark Gergen and Daniel O'Connell, M.D., Ph.D., to the Board of Directors. Mr. Gergen will take an independent board seat, and Dr. O'Connell will take a seat on behalf of Novo Holdings. The company also announced that Michael S. Vincent, M.D., Ph.D., will join the Aristea Therapeutics Board as a Board Observer on behalf of Pfizer Inc.
James M. Mackay, Ph.D., President and CEO of Aristea, commented, "I am delighted to welcome Daniel and Mark to our Board, and Mike as a Board Observer. Each brings extensive leadership experience in life science across a wide range of therapeutic areas, and their perspectives will be invaluable to our team as we look to drive forward late stage development of our lead molecule RIST4721 and expand our clinical pipeline."
Mr. Gergen is an experienced biopharma leader with a proven track record of creating and executing strategies that have the power to build and transform businesses and create value. His therapeutic experience includes oncology, rare diseases, endocrine/metabolic, and CNS. He is currently the CEO of Poseida Therapeutics, a genetic engineering company developing novel cell and gene therapies with the capacity to cure. His experience includes multiple public offerings, and he has been involved in raising several billion dollars in capital in both private and public financings. His experience also includes driving multiple significant strategic transactions including a $3.6 billion strategic gene therapy collaboration between Poseida and Takeda and a $6 billion strategic allogenic CAR-T collaboration with Roche. Prior to Poseida, he held senior leadership positions at Halozyme Therapeutics, an oncology and drug-delivery company; Mirati Therapeutics, a targeted oncology company; Amylin Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company focused on chronic diseases; and Cardionet, a medical technology diagnostic company. Mr. Gergen holds a J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School and a B.A. from Minot State University.
"The opportunity we have at Aristea to help patients suffering from challenging inflammatory diseases with few treatment options is immense," said Mr. Gergen. "I am excited to join the Board of Directors and help the management team as we pursue those efforts and grow the company."
Dr. O'Connell, a Partner at Novo Ventures, has a proven track record in venture capital investments and corporate development. He was previously Executive Director of Equity and Venture Capital at Bristol Myers Squibb, where he was responsible for managing and operationalizing the $4.5B equity portfolio, comprising both direct equity investments and LP positions in venture funds. While at BMS, he was also a transaction lead in the 2020 acquisition of MyoKardia for $13.1 billion. Dr. O'Connell started in venture investing at OrbiMed Advisors and Arix Bioscience, where he led and supported investments in oncology, orphan diseases, and novel science developing technologies to address unmet medical needs. Dr. O'Connell received his M.D. and Ph.D. at the Tufts University School of Medicine and holds a B.S. from MIT.
"Aristea has positioned itself as a real leader in the inflammatory space, " said Dr. O'Connell. "I couldn't be more excited to join this dynamic team as we shepherd RIST4721 through the clinical development process and explore additional molecules and indications."
Dr. Vincent is Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of the Inflammation and Immunology Research Unit at Pfizer, leading the scientific pipeline for Rheumatology, Gastroenterology, and Dermatology specialties through the end of Phase 2. Since joining Pfizer in 2011, he has held several scientific leadership roles, most recently as Clinical Head for Pharmatherapeutics in Cambridge, MA. Over this period, he has had responsibility for clinical and translational science in the Inflammation and Immunology, Rare Disease and the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease Research Units, and the Centers for Therapeutic Innovation. Before joining Pfizer, Dr. Vincent held positions of increasing responsibility within Medical Sciences at Amgen, ultimately leading early clinical development for the Immunology and Neuroscience therapeutic areas. Dr. Vincent earned his BA, Ph.D., and MD degrees from Indiana University, and completed his residency and began his post-doctoral and rheumatology training at the University of Vermont, completing his fellowship at Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Aristea Therapeutics (Air-iss-tay-uh) is a clinical-stage immunology focused drug development company developing novel therapies to treat serious inflammatory diseases. The Aristea team is leveraging its broad industry expertise and proven success in drug development to form synergistic partnerships and build a pipeline of novel drugs. Aristea's lead program, RIST4721, is currently in Phase 2b clinical development. Aristea is headquartered in San Diego, CA.
In July 2021, Aristea announced a strategic collaboration with Arena Pharmaceuticals, to advance the clinical development of RIST4721. The agreement included an option to acquire Aristea upon the completion of the Phase 2b trial of RIST4721 in palmoplantar pustulosis (PPP) and provided a framework during the option period for the companies to jointly explore the development of treatments for additional neutrophil-mediated diseases, including hidradenitis suppurativa (HS). In March 2022, Arena Pharmaceuticals was acquired by Pfizer Inc. As such, the partnership and the option to acquire Aristea now sit with Pfizer.
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SOURCE Aristea Therapeutics