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SAN DIEGO, Sept. 06, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Metacrine, Inc., a biotechnology company developing therapies to benefit patients with liver and gastrointestinal diseases (GI), today announced the appointment of Hubert C. Chen, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer, and Andrew Guggenhime as a director of the company. Dr. Chen most recently served as Chief Medical and Scientific Officer at Pfenex, Inc. Mr. Guggenhime currently serves as Chief Financial Officer of Dermira, Inc.
“We are delighted to have both Hubert and Andrew join Metacrine at this pivotal moment in our company growth,” said Ken Song, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Metacrine. “Hubert’s demonstrated leadership in early and late stage clinical development and regulatory negotiations in several biotechnology companies positions him well to drive progress across our product pipeline. Andrew brings with him a wealth of financial, operational, and managerial experience in the life sciences industry and we look forward to benefiting from his expertise and counsel in the coming years.”
Dr. Chen is a board certified endocrinologist with expertise in both clinical medicine and basic science research. His biotechnology career has spanned early to late stage clinical development in multiple disease areas including hepatitis, fibrosis, and inflammatory disease. Most recently, he served as Pfenex’s Chief Medical and Scientific Officer where he oversaw the development of a biosimilar drug. Previously, he served as Vice President, Clinical Development of Aileron Therapeutics, where he designed and led the company’s first two IND submissions and early clinical development for a novel drug discovery platform. Dr. Chen also held clinical leadership roles at Regulus Therapeutics, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, and Amgen, Inc. Concurrent with his corporate career, Dr. Chen served as Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Chen received his medical residency training at Massachusetts General Hospital, his M.D. from Columbia University and his B.A.S. in political science and biological sciences from Stanford University.
“It is great to be joining the Metacrine team at such an important time in the development of its FXR program,” said Dr. Chen. “I look forward to bringing important therapies to patients with liver and GI diseases.”
As Chief Financial Officer of Dermira, Mr. Guggenhime oversees the finance, corporate communications, corporate development, facilities, information technology, investor relations and legal functions. During his tenure he has helped Demira raise more than $850 million in equity and debt financing. Previously, Andrew was the Chief Financial Officer for CardioDx, Inc., where he also served as a director. He has also served as Chief Financial Officer for Calistoga Pharmaceuticals, Inc. until its acquisition by Gilead, Inc., Facet Biotech Corporation until its acquisition by Abbott Laboratories, PDL BioPharma, Inc., and Neoforma, Inc. Andrew began his career in financial services at Merrill Lynch & Co. and Wells Fargo & Company. He holds a B.A. in international politics and economics from Middlebury College and an MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
“I am pleased to be joining the Metacrine board at an exciting time for the company as it looks to advance several development programs to address underserved liver and GI diseases,” said Andrew Guggenhime. “I look forward to working closely with the Metacrine leadership team and the other directors as they prepare the company for the next phase of the company’s future.”
Metacrine is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on building an innovative pipeline of best-in-class drugs to treat liver and gastrointestinal, or GI, diseases. The most advanced program is focused on the farnesoid X receptor (FXR) an important drug target in multiple liver and GI diseases. MET409, the lead product candidate, was purposefully designed to be an optimized, next-generation FXR agonist that is initially being developed as a potentially differentiated and best-in-class treatment for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). In addition, Metacrine plans to evaluate MET409 as a potential first-in-class treatment for irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D), and inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Beyond the FXR program, a pipeline of novel drug candidates against other drug targets is being explored by taking advantage of internal drug discovery and development capabilities. Privately held Metacrine is headquartered in San Diego, California. For additional information, please visit www.metacrine.com.
Chief Financial Officer