Facio names US ambassadorLeiden, the Netherlands - September 8, 2017
Facio Therapies announced today that Jennifer Burgess has agreed to become Facio’s ambassador to the FSHD community in the USA. Ms Burgess will raise awareness of Facio’s mission and progress among American FSHD-affected families, their friends and healthcare impact investors.
Jennifer Burgess, Esq. is an independent attorney based in New York. She is the founder of the Long Island FSHD Foundation and a long-time advocate for the interests of people with FSHD. Jennifer has FSHD.
“I’m excited and privileged to be working with Facio’s renowned team”,noted Jennifer Burgess. She added: “Facio’s commitment to the FSHD community and their innovative approach to finding a cure for FSHD brings much-needed hope to those affected by this devastating disease”.
Noting that Facio is the only company that arises from, works for, and is owned by the FSHD community, Kees van der Graaf, Facio’s Chairman, said: “As part of our strategy, we continually seek to expand our ties with FSHD-affected families, their friends, and FSHD foundations across the globe. It makes us proud to work with Jennifer on reaching out to the American FSHD community”.
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).