SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Annexon Biosciences, a biopharmaceutical company pioneering the development of antibodies that inhibit the classical complement pathway to treat neurodegenerative and autoimmune disorders, today announced the appointment of current board member William (Bill) Young, long-time biotech executive, as Chairman of the Board. In addition, Annexon has appointed Thomas (Tom) Wiggans, Chief Executive Officer of Dermira, Inc., as a new independent director on its Board of Directors.
“We are entering an exciting new phase in the evolution of our company with first-in-human studies for our antibody programs beginning this year,” said Doug Love, President and Chief Executive Officer of Annexon Biosciences. “The appointment of Bill and addition of Tom further strengthens our Board with industry leaders to help shape our strategy and unique approach to bringing new treatments to patients suffering from debilitating neurodegenerative and autoimmune disorders.”
Mr. Young joined Annexon’s Board as an independent director in 2014. He currently serves as a Venture Partner at Clarus, after serving as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Monogram Biosciences from 1999 through to the sale of the company to LabCorp in 2009. Mr. Young also serves on the Board of Directors of Theravance Biopharma where he is Lead Director (NASDAQ: TBPH), Chairman of Nanostring Technologies (NASDAQ: NSTG) and a director of Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: VRTX). Mr. Young previously served as Chairman of the Board of Biogen (NASDAQ: BIIB). Prior to Monogram, Mr. Young spent 19 years at Genentech in positions of increasing responsibility, including Chief Operating Officer responsible for all of the biotechnology company’s development, operations and commercial functions. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering in recognition of his contributions to biotechnology.
Mr. Wiggans, a co-founder and current CEO of Dermira, Inc., brings over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to founding Dermira, Mr. Wiggans served as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of Peplin, Inc., which was acquired by LEO Pharma A/S in 2009. Mr. Wiggans previously served as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of Connetics Corporation until Connetics was acquired by Stiefel Laboratories, Inc. in 2006. Prior to Connetics, Mr. Wiggans served as President and Chief Operating Officer of CytoTherapeutics Inc., and in various management positions at Ares-Serono S.A., including President of its U.S. pharmaceutical operations and Managing Director of its U.K. pharmaceutical operations. Mr. Wiggans is a member of the Board of Directors of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization and has served on the boards of various industry organizations, educational institutions and private and public companies, including service on the Boards of Directors of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., until its acquisition by Amgen in 2013, Sangamo Biosciences, Inc. and Somaxon Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
“Annexon’s unique approach of preserving functional synapses through the complement pathway offers great promise in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders,” commented Mr. Wiggans. “I look forward to working with the Annexon team and the Board as the company moves through the clinic with its two lead programs, ANX005 and ANX007.”
Annexon Biosciences is focused on advancing disease-modifying therapies for patients with complement-mediated neurodegenerative diseases and autoimmune disorders. Through pioneering research on the classical complement pathway, Annexon is developing a pipeline of first-in-class inhibitors of C1q, the initiating molecule of the classical pathway, that have shown to block synaptic loss, neuronal degradation and inflammation in disease. Annexon’s lead clinical programs are targeting several neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases of high unmet need, including Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease. Annexon is a private company based in South San Francisco, CA and is supported by an accomplished syndicate, including Novartis Venture Fund, Clarus, New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Satter Investment Management, LLC. www.annexonbio.com.