Facio’s Managing Director, David Dasberg, passes away suddenlyLeiden, the Netherlands - January 17, 2019
Facio Therapies announced today that David Dasberg, its Managing Director, passed away unexpectedly on January 16. David suffered a fatal heart attack during a walk in the Dolomite mountains in Northern Italy, where he was vacationing with friends. David had served as Managing Director since Facio’s inception in September 2014. He was 52 years old.
Kees van der Graaf, Facio’s Chairman, said: “All of us at Facio are deeply shocked by David’s sudden passing. He leaves a big void in a closely knit team. David combined a quick and razor-sharp mind with deep expertise, great integrity and total dedication to Facio’s mission. We will remember him as a shining example of what people can accomplish when they pursue a cause in which they truly believe. Without him, Facio would not have been where it is today, and we will build on his legacy as we move forward. Our thoughts go out to David’s loved ones, especially his mother.”
For the time being, David’s responsibilities will be assumed by Otto Postma. Otto is Managing Director of Facio’s parent company, FSHD Unlimited.
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).