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Finch Therapeutics Announces Additions to Senior Leadership Team

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·7 min read
In this article:
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  • Bryan Gillis, MBA, appointed Chief Technology Officer

  • Alka Batycky, PhD, appointed Chief Development Officer

  • Howard Franklin, MD, MBA, appointed Senior Vice President, Late-Stage Development and GI Therapeutic Area Lead

SOMERVILLE, Mass., Feb. 10, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Finch Therapeutics Group, Inc. (“Finch” or “Finch Therapeutics”) (Nasdaq: FNCH), a clinical-stage microbiome therapeutics company leveraging its Human-First Discovery® platform to develop a novel class of orally administered biological drugs, today announced the appointment of Bryan Gillis, MBA, to Chief Technology Officer, Alka Batycky, PhD, to Chief Development Officer, and Howard Franklin, MD, MBA, to Senior Vice President, Late-Stage Development and Gastrointestinal (GI) Therapeutic Area Lead.

“We are delighted to welcome Bryan, Alka and Howard to the team, three accomplished leaders who each bring deep industry expertise to Finch. With Bryan’s manufacturing and operations experience, Alka’s broad drug development expertise, and Howard’s experience leading late-stage development and commercialization of novel GI therapeutics, each of these new executives will further strengthen Finch’s capabilities in areas that will be key to the next phase of our growth,” said Mark Smith, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Finch Therapeutics. “We look forward to leveraging their expertise and insights as we advance our Phase 3 program in recurrent C. difficile, prepare to launch our next programs into the clinic, and continue to make progress across multiple discovery-stage programs that offer exciting new opportunities to leverage our microbiome therapeutics platform.”

Bryan Gillis, MBA, Chief Technology Officer

Mr. Gillis has more than 20 years of experience across operations management, supply chain, global program leadership, strategic product and portfolio life cycle management, and global product quality management in the biotechnology industry. He most recently served as Vice President of Manufacturing and Supply at Rubius Therapeutics, where he led the development and execution of the company’s supply chain strategy with a focus on commercial launch. Previously, Mr. Gillis held manufacturing and company leadership roles of increasing responsibility at Alexion, Sanofi (Genzyme), Lonza, and Amgen. Prior accomplishments include supporting development programs and regulatory submissions for Replagal® & VPRIV®. He earned a BS in Biology from Eastern Nazarene College and an MBA from Boston University.

Alka Batycky, PhD, Chief Development Officer

Dr. Batycky has more than 20 years of international biopharmaceutical industry experience, spanning from early discovery to product approval. She has led development teams across a broad range of therapeutic areas including oncology, CNS disorders, inflammatory diseases and reproductive health, utilizing multiple modalities including small molecules, biologics, devices and combination products. Dr. Batycky most recently served as Chief Development Officer at Ohana Biosciences, where she oversaw regulatory, manufacturing, quality and clinical operations. Previously, she held leadership roles at Akashi Therapeutics, Warp Drive Bio, and AMAG Pharmaceuticals. Prior to this, she held increasing responsibilities at CombinatoRx, Synta Pharmaceuticals, Alkermes and GSK. Her accomplishments include supporting the successful development of Feraheme®, Inbrija®, and Vivitrol®. Dr. Batycky earned a bachelor’s degree in Toxicology and Pharmacology and a PhD in Toxicology from the School of Pharmacy, University of London, UK.

Howard Franklin, MD, MBA, Senior Vice President, Late-Stage Development and GI Therapeutic Area Lead

Dr. Franklin has more than 20 years of experience as a general surgeon and biopharmaceutical executive, with deep expertise spanning clinical development, regulatory strategy, medical affairs, and product commercialization. He most recently served as Chief Medical Officer at Salix Pharmaceuticals, where he provided leadership and expertise to program teams focused on the development of GI therapeutics, including amiselimod, next generation Xifaxan® formulations, ENVIVE™, and other GI and microbiome focused programs. Previously, he held leadership roles within early-stage biotechnology companies as well as large pharmaceutical companies, including Icon Bioscience, Oceana Therapeutics, The Medicines Company, and Esprit Pharma. Prior accomplishments include supporting the regulatory submission and FDA approval of PLENVU®, DexyCu®, and Solesta®. Prior to entering industry, Dr. Franklin served as a general surgeon in private practice. He earned his BS from Lehigh University, his MD from Drexel University College of Medicine, and his MBA from La Salle University.

About Finch Therapeutics

Finch Therapeutics is a clinical-stage microbiome therapeutics company leveraging its Human-First Discovery® platform to develop a novel class of orally administered biological drugs. With the capabilities to develop both complete and targeted microbiome therapeutics, Finch is advancing a rich pipeline of candidates designed to address a wide range of unmet medical needs. Finch’s lead candidate, CP101, is in late-stage clinical development for the prevention of recurrent C. difficile infection (CDI) and has received Breakthrough Therapy and Fast Track designations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In June 2020, Finch announced that CP101 met its primary efficacy endpoint in PRISM3, the first of two pivotal trials to support the development of CP101 for the prevention of recurrent CDI. PRISM4, a Phase 3 trial, is designed to serve as the second pivotal trial of CP101 for recurrent CDI. Finch is also developing CP101 for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus, and FIN-211 for children with autism spectrum disorder and significant gastrointestinal symptoms. Finch has a partnership with Takeda focused on the development of targeted microbiome therapeutics for inflammatory bowel disease.

Human-First Discovery® is a registered trademark of Finch Therapeutics Group, Inc.

Forward-Looking Statements:

Statements contained in this press release regarding matters that are not historical facts are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Words such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “potential,” "projects,” “would” and "future" or similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding: Finch’s ability to advance a novel class of orally administered biological drugs and continue to make progress across multiple discovery-stage programs. Because such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among others: Finch’s limited operating history and historical losses; Finch’s ability to raise additional funding to complete the development and any commercialization of its product candidates; Finch’s dependence on the success of its lead product candidate, CP101; the possibility that Finch may be delayed in initiating, enrolling or completing any clinical trials; results of clinical trials may not be indicative of final or future results from later stage or larger clinical trials (or in broader patient populations once the product is approved for use by regulatory agencies) or may not be favorable or may not support further development; Finch’s product candidates may not generate the benefits to patients that are anticipated; anticipated regulatory approvals may be delayed or refused; competition from third parties that are developing products for similar uses; Finch’s ability to maintain patent and other intellectual property protection and the possibility that Finch’s intellectual property rights may be infringed, invalid or unenforceable or will be threatened by third parties; Finch’s ability to qualify and scale its manufacturing capabilities to support multiple global clinical trials; Finch’s lack of experience in selling, marketing and distributing its product candidates; Finch’s dependence on third parties in connection with manufacturing, clinical trials and preclinical studies; and risks relating to the impact and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic on Finch’s business. These and other risks are described more fully in Finch’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including the section titled “Risk Factors” in Finch’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on November 10, 2021, as well as discussions of potential risks, uncertainties, and other important factors in Finch’s other filings with the SEC. All forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date on which they were made. Except to the extent required by law, Finch undertakes no obligation to update such statements to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the date on which they were made.

Investor Contact:

Stephen Jasper
Gilmartin Group
(858) 525-2047
stephen@gilmartinir.com

Media Contact:

Jenna Urban
Berry & Company Public Relations
(212) 253-8881
jurban@berrypr.com