Facio Board member, Bill Moss AO, speaks with The AustralianLeiden, the Netherlands - June 4, 2018
Facio Therapies announced today that its Board member, Bill Moss AO, was interviewed by the leading Australian newspaper, The Australian. Speaking with The Australian’s Sarah-Jane Tasker, Bill shared his quest to find a cure for FSHD and explained how Facio’s patient-driven, single-focus and capital-efficient model is uniquely geared towards developing a therapy that is not only safe and effective, but also affordable.
A former executive director with Macquarie Group, Bill has FSHD. In 2007, he founded the FSHD Global Research Foundation, the largest private funder of FSHD research in the world, which he still chairs. In 2014, Bill founded Facio together with Kees van der Graaf and Neil Camarta. He is an investor in Facio, as is FSHD Global Research. In 2015, Bill was appointed Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), one of Australia’s highest honors, in recognition of his services in banking, finance and charity.
The full interview is available here.
FSHD (facioscapulohumeral dystrophy) is a skeletal muscle wasting disease that devastates the lives of over 700,000 people worldwide and those close to them. The loss of muscle strength has a huge impact on daily life. Living with FSHD means living with pain, fatigue, and social isolation. Above all, the future becomes uncertain because the course of the disease is unpredictable. About 20% of people with FSHD end up in a wheelchair. Currently, no therapy for FSHD is available other than forms of temporary symptomatic relief.
About Facio Therapies BV
Facio Therapies, established in 2014, is a Netherlands-based company with a single focus: to overcome FSHD by developing a causal therapy that restores the natural repression of the muscle-toxic protein, DUX4. When unduly produced in skeletal muscle, DUX4 sets in motion a cascade of cellular events that eventually result in the muscle wasting seen in FSHD. Facio is the only one in the FSHD field with a fully automated, high-throughput screening platform based on quantifying the DUX4 protein in unadulterated (“primary”) FSHD-affected muscle cells. Facio delivered the first-ever therapeutically relevant proof of principle in FSHD by showing that one of its lead candidates, an orally active small molecule, represses DUX4 levels produced by human FSHD-affected muscle cells in a unique animal model (“in vivo”).
Rooted in, and dedicated to working for the FSHD community, Facio’s business approach is to have a positive impact on lives rather than to maximize financial gain. Since inception, Facio has raised over €16M in equity funding from FSHD-affected families, their friends, FSHD foundations, and Facio’s drug discovery partner, Evotec. Facio’s Board consists of business leaders from the FSHD community – Kees van der Graaf (Chairman; Netherlands), Neil Camarta (Canada), Dave Mackay (USA), Bill Moss (Australia), and Chip Wilson (Canada) – and Evotec’s CSO, Cord Dohrmann (Germany).