Facio expands BoardLeiden, the Netherlands - June 30, 2017
Facio Therapies announced today that Cord Dohrmann, David Mackay, and Chip Wilson have joined its Board. Facio’s Board was expanded in conjunction with the successful raise of €4.8M in equity that Facio announced on 20 June, 2017.
Cord Dohrmann is the Chief Scientific Officer and a member of the Management Board of Evotec, Facio’s strategic drug discovery partner. He also serves on the Supervisory Board of Eternygen GmbH. Cord has spent over 20 years in biomedical research at leading academic institutions and in the biotech industry. Before joining Evotec in 2010, he held various management positions including CEO at DeveloGen, where he led the company from a start-up to an internationally recognized metabolic disease company. Cord received his Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology from Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA. He (co-)authored a number of scientific publications and is an inventor on several patents.
David Mackay held a number of key positions at Kellogg Company in the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Ireland, retiring as president and chief executive officer. He was also a member of Kellogg Company’s Board of Directors and Executive Management Committee. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in business from Charles Sturt University, Australia. Currently, David serves as Director at Clorox and Fortune Brands. David’s wife, Michelle, has FSHD.
Chip Wilson is an entrepreneur, visionary, business leader, and philanthropist. He founded the yoga-inspired clothing company, lululemon athletica, and is credited with starting the “athleisure” retail category, which has expanded into a $100-billion-a-year global business. More recently, he created a portfolio of companies called Hold It All, which directly reflects his diverse interests, personal vision and values. His philanthropic initiatives include imagine1day, a non-profit organization committed to bringing quality education to all Ethiopians by 2030, public arts and parks initiatives throughout Metro Vancouver, and The Chip and Shannon Wilson School of Design at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Chip has FSHD.
Kees van der Graaf, Facio’s Chairman, commented: “We are proud that three business leaders of such distinction have agreed to join our Board. With a wealth of industry experience normally not available to early-stage biopharmaceutical companies, our Board is a strong force behind our efforts to bring causal and affordable therapies to all people with FSHD.”
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).