MENLO PARK, Calif., Nov. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Virobay, Inc., a privately held biotechnology firm with a broad portfolio of cathepsin protease inhibitors for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, neuropathic pain, liver diseases and cancer, today announced the appointment of David B. Karpf, M.D. as chief medical officer. Dr. Karpf has more than 20 years of experience in guiding the clinical development of novel therapeutics, both at growing biotechnology firms and within large pharmaceutical companies, including all phases of development and spanning multiple therapeutic areas. Dr. Karpf will be responsible for all clinical, regulatory and medical affairs functions related to advancing Virobay's growing pipeline of novel product candidates.
"David joins Virobay at an exciting time," said Robert Booth, Ph.D., Virobay president and chief executive officer. "With our lead programs in neuropathic pain, autoimmune disease and liver fibrosis and earlier-stage programs in cancer advancing, we are well-positioned to capitalize on the broad therapeutic potential of this important new class of drugs. David's broad industry experience will be invaluable to our progress, and we are pleased to welcome him to the Virobay team."
"Virobay possesses excellent science and high quality research and development assets, combined with a culture of innovation and commitment to advancing differentiated therapies that represent major steps forward in treating serious chronic diseases," said Dr. Karpf. "Cathepsins and calpain are exciting and important new target classes that could yield novel therapies for a number of different important disease indications. I believe that Virobay has the potential to lead this industry effort, and am pleased to join this promising company."
Dr. Karpf brings to Virobay extensive experience in clinical product development, including successful interactions with the FDA and international regulatory agencies. Dr. Karpf joins Virobay from Metabolex, where he served as chief medical officer and vice president, clinical affairs. While at Metabolex, Dr. Karpf oversaw the development of four clinical programs spanning type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, and gout, including 2 INDs, 7 Phase 1 trials and 6 Phase 2 trials. Prior to Metabolex, Dr. Karpf was executive director of clinical research and regulatory affairs at Geron where he provided oversight for Geron's early clinical programs in cancer and regenerative medicine. Prior to Geron, Dr. Karpf was vice president, clinical and regulatory affairs at Calydon, Inc. Prior to his tenure at Calydon, Dr. Karpf was executive director of clinical research at Roche Global Development in Palo Alto and was responsible for clinical development activities in metabolic bone disease and endocrinology, including managing the Phase 3 pivotal program for Boniva™. Dr. Karpf was previously director of clinical research at Merck Research Laboratories in Rahway, New Jersey. During his time at Merck he designed, monitored, and completed Phase 2, 3 and 4 clinical trials on Fosamax™ and played a pivotal role in the successful NDA and launch of this product. In addition to his industry experience, Dr. Karpf has held several academic positions and is currently an adjunct clinical professor of endocrinology with the Stanford University School of Medicine, where he directs one of the endocrine subspecialty clinics. He received his M.D. degree from University of California, San Diego, served on the fulltime endocrine faculty at UCSF School of Medicine, and has published numerous scientific papers and abstracts in the fields of endocrinology, bone disease, dyslipidemia and cancer.
Virobay is a leader in the design, synthesis and development of small molecule inhibitors of cysteine proteases, a diverse class of enzyme proteases that are key mediators in a variety of diseases, including autoimmunity, neuropathic pain, liver disease, cancer, and cardiovascular disorders. Virobay was founded upon a rich industry legacy of intensive research and development focused on the cathepsin family of cysteine proteases. Today, Virobay possesses a trove of maturing assets, including an advancing clinical pipeline and well-characterized libraries of highly potent and selective inhibitors with drug-like pharmacokinetics consistent with the potential for oral once-daily dosing in humans.
Virobay's unique expertise in the structure-based design of this class of inhibitors includes extensive understanding of the properties of the cysteine protease active site, detailed knowledge of the cell biology of this enzyme family and a collection of pharmacodynamic biomarkers, as well as a deep understanding of the medicinal chemistry required to achieve superior levels of potency, pharmacokinetics, safety and specificity. Virobay's clinical pipeline currently includes product candidates in autoimmune disease, neuropathic pain and liver fibrosis. For more information please visit our website: www.virobayinc.com.
SOURCE Virobay, Inc.