MENLO PARK, Calif., May 07, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CohBar, Inc. (CWBR), a clinical stage biotechnology company developing mitochondria based therapeutics (MBTs) to treat age-related diseases and extend healthy lifespan, announced today that it has appointed Steven B. Engle as its Chief Executive Officer, effective May 15, 2019. CohBar’s interim Chief Executive Officer Dr. Philippe Calais will continue to serve on the company’s Board, a position he has held since June 2018.
“Steven is a highly accomplished healthcare executive, and we are very happy to have him leading the CohBar team at this important time in the company’s evolution,” said Albion J. Fitzgerald, Chairman of the Board of Directors. “With our phase 1a/1b clinical trial of CB4211 in NASH and obesity, and our expanding pipeline of mitochondrial-derived peptides that hold great promise as a new class of novel therapeutics, we believe we are well positioned to become a leader in the development of therapeutics to treat a broad range of age-related diseases. We expect that Steven’s extensive experience in drug discovery, development and commercialization, together with his track record of executing value-creating strategic transactions, will be instrumental in leading the company toward achieving our corporate and clinical goals.”
“On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Philippe for his dedication, contributions and leadership during this transition. We look forward to his continued contributions as a valued member of our Board,” Mr. Fitzgerald concluded.
“I am very pleased to be working with the CohBar Board, executive management and the broader team to realize the company’s vision to develop mitochondria based therapeutics that treat chronic diseases with underlying metabolic dysfunction,” commented Mr. Engle. “This is an exciting time for CohBar, and I look forward to our advancing the company’s novel pipeline through value-creating milestones.”
Steven Engle has over 20 years of executive leadership experience with public biotech companies developing breakthrough products in metabolic, autoimmune, oncologic and infectious disease areas. Before joining CohBar, Mr. Engle served for seven years as CEO of Averigon Consulting, an advisory firm to the life science industry, supporting companies through product partnering, regulatory planning, investor relations and executive management. Previously, he served for four years as Chairman and CEO of XOMA Corporation, a leader in therapeutic antibodies and antibody technologies. Prior to XOMA, Mr. Engle served for fourteen years as Chairman and CEO of La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company, which discovered the biology of B cell tolerance, developed the first B cell toleragen for lupus patients, and received an approvable letter from the FDA. Earlier, he also served as Vice President of Marketing for Cygnus, Inc., a drug delivery systems company, where he helped to gain FDA approval and to launch Nicotrol for smoking cessation.
Mr. Engle is Chairman of the Board of Prescient Therapeutics Ltd., a clinical stage oncology company, and also serves on the Boards of Author-it Software Corporation, and AROA Biosurgery Ltd. He is a former director of BIO, BayBio and BIOCOM, and served on the board of the Lupus Foundation of America. Mr. Engle holds M.S.E.E. and B.S.E.E. degrees from the University of Texas with a focus in biomedical engineering.
CohBar’s lead program is based on CB4211, a first-in-class mitochondria based therapeutic (MBT) that has demonstrated significant therapeutic potential in preclinical models of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and obesity. CB4211 is a novel and improved analog of MOTS-c, a naturally occurring mitochondrial-derived peptide (MDP) which was discovered in 2012 by CohBar founder Dr. Pinchas Cohen and his academic collaborators and has been shown to play a significant role in the regulation of metabolism. In July 2018, CB4211 entered a Phase 1a/1b clinical trial which includes a potential activity readout relevant to NASH and obesity. In November 2018, the company announced the temporary suspension of the trial to address mild injection site reactions that were unexpectedly persistent, and announced the anticipated resumption of the clinical trial in May 2019. NASH has been estimated to affect as many as 12% of adults in the U.S., and there is currently no approved treatment for the disease.
CohBar (CWBR) is a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on the research and development of mitochondria based therapeutics (MBTs), an emerging class of drugs for the treatment of age-related diseases. MBTs originate from the discovery by CohBar’s founders of a novel group of peptides within the mitochondrial genome which regulate metabolism and cell death, and whose biological activity declines with age. CohBar’s efforts focus on the development of these mitochondrial-derived peptides (MDPs) into clinically relevant MBTs that offer the potential to address a broad range of age-related diseases with underlying metabolic dysfunction, including nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), obesity, Type 2 diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. To date, the company and its founders have discovered more than 100 MDPs. For additional company information, please visit www.cohbar.com.
This news release contains forward-looking statements (statements which are not historical facts) within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include CohBar’s plans and expectations for its lead candidate program, including anticipated timing and results of IND-enabling activities and clinical trials; statements regarding the therapeutic potential of these and other mitochondria based therapeutics, and the potential for additional discoveries, and our plans and expectations regarding intellectual property protection and potential financing activities. Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates and projections that involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by CohBar. These risks and uncertainties include CohBar’s ability to retain key personnel, expand its research operations, and successfully advance its drug discovery and development programs. Additional assumptions, risks and uncertainties are described in detail in our registration statements, reports and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and applicable Canadian securities regulators, which are available on our website, and at www.sec.gov or www.sedar.com.
You are cautioned that such statements are not guarantees of future performance and that our actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements and other information contained in this news release are made as of the date hereof and CohBar does not undertake any obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements or information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless so required by applicable securities laws.
Jon Stern, COO
LifeSci Advisors, LLC