Facio strengthens its BoardLeiden, the Netherlands - February 10, 2016
Facio Therapies announces that Otto Postma has been appointed to the Board of FSHD Unlimited as per February 11, 2016.
FSHD Unlimited is the parent company of both Facio Therapies and Facio Intellectual Property. Its shareholders have unanimously approved the nomination of Otto Postma for membership of the Board. With his appointment, the Board now consists of Kees van der Graaf, Bill Moss AO, Neil Camarta and Otto Postma.
“We are very pleased that Otto joins the Board”, said Kees van der Graaf, Chairman of the Board. “As a strategic advisor, Otto has been instrumental in the establishment of the Facio group. His long-lasting business and corporate finance expertise in the medical life science sector brings important value to the Board and will definitely help to drive the Facio group to fulfilling its ambition: the development of an affordable causal therapy for as many people with FSHD as possible.”
Otto Postma is a Managing Director of MedSciences Capital, an investment fund of the Amsterdam-based merchant bank Kempen & Co, providing equity funding to emerging life science companies. Prior, Otto co-founded (the predecessor of) Pharming Group NV, where he held various management positions in the fields of business and corporate development.
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).