WATERTOWN, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Enanta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ENTA), a research and development-focused biotechnology company dedicated to creating small molecule drugs for viral infections and liver diseases, today announced the appointment of Lesley Russell, MBChB, MRCPb, to its Board of Directors. Dr. Russell will also serve as a member of Enanta’s audit committee and its nominating and corporate governance committee, effective as of January 1, 2017.
Dr. Russell has over two decades of clinical, regulatory and drug development expertise in the therapeutic areas of hematology/oncology, neurology, psychiatry, pain and inflammation, respiratory medicine, cardiovascular medicine, virology and stem cell therapy. Throughout her career and under her leadership, she has advanced multiple drug candidates from preclinical development, through the regulatory approval process.
“Dr. Russell’s appointment to our Board comes at a critical time as we seek to expand and advance our development-stage pipeline,” stated Jay R. Luly, Ph.D. President and Chief Executive Officer. “Her expertise in clinical and regulatory development will be invaluable as our programs progress.”
Dr. Russell currently serves as Chief Medical Officer at Innocoll Holdings, Plsc., a global, specialty pharmaceutical company, where she leads the clinical development programs, and medical and regulatory affairs groups. Prior, she held executive management positions at TetraLogic Pharmaceuticals, where she held the role of Chief Operating Officer from 2013 through 2016, and at Teva Pharmaceuticals, where she was Senior Vice president and Global Head of Research and Development from 2011-2012. At Teva, she led a team of over 1,500 and was responsible for all aspects of global drug development. Earlier in her career, she spent over 10 years at Cephalon, Inc. where she held positions of increasing responsibility from 2000 -2011, most recently serving as Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer.
Dr. Russell currently serves on the Boards of Directors of AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Endocyte Pharmaceuticals, Inc., public biotechnology companies, and Melmark, Inc., a non-profit organization serving adults and children with severe intellectual and physical disabilities.
Dr. Russell received a MB.Ch.B. degree from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, Faculty of Medicine. She is a member of the Royal College of Physicians, UK, and is registered with the General Medical Council, UK.
Separately, Dr. Ernst-Günter Afting advised the Board of Directors of Enanta that he will retire as a director effective as of the date of the 2017 annual meeting of stockholders.
Dr. Luly commented, “I want to thank our long-standing board member Ernst-Günter Afting, M.D., Ph.D., for his many years of guidance and dedication to Enanta. His significant contributions to the development of our company are greatly appreciated by all of us at Enanta.”
Enanta Pharmaceuticals is a research and development-focused biotechnology company that uses its robust chemistry-driven approach and drug discovery capabilities to create small molecule drugs for viral infections and liver diseases. Enanta’s research and development efforts are currently focused on four disease targets: Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).
Enanta has discovered novel protease inhibitors that are members of the direct-acting-antiviral (DAA) inhibitor classes designed for use against the hepatitis C virus (HCV). These protease inhibitors, developed through Enanta’s collaboration with AbbVie, include paritaprevir, which is contained in AbbVie’s marketed DAA regimens for HCV, and glecaprevir (ABT-493), Enanta’s second protease inhibitor product, which AbbVie has developed in Phase 3 studies in a fixed-dose combination (G/P) with pibrentasvir (ABT-530), AbbVie’s second NS5A inhibitor, and is preparing for regulatory approval filings in the U.S., Europe and Japan.
Enanta has also discovered EDP-305, an FXR agonist product candidate for NASH, currently in Phase 1 clinical development, as well as a cyclophilin inhibitor, EDP-494, a novel host-targeting mechanism for HCV, which is also in Phase 1 clinical development. In addition, Enanta has early lead candidates for HBV and RSV in preclinical development. Please visit www.enanta.com for more information on Enanta’s programs and pipeline.