CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: IRWD), a commercial biotechnology company, today announced the appointment of Christopher Wright, M.D., MMSc., Ph.D., as senior vice president of global development and chief development officer. Dr. Wright is a practicing neurologist and has nearly two decades of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry and academia, including several years leading global development across all therapeutic areas at Vertex Pharmaceuticals. He will lead Ironwood’s regulatory, clinical and medical affairs functions and will focus on driving the development of later-stage pipeline candidates, reporting to Mark Currie, Ph.D., chief scientific officer and president of research and development.
“Ironwood’s mid- to late-stage pipeline is advancing, with a string of recent successes, and we expect multiple near-term, value-creating catalysts from our clinical development programs. In addition, we are commercializing two products in the U.S., with a new drug application for a third product currently under FDA review,” said Dr. Currie. “At this exciting and transformational time for Ironwood, Chris’s collaborative leadership style, dedication to patients and track record of translating science into important therapies for patients will help Ironwood scale our capabilities and enhance the speed, quality, functional integration and innovative means by which we advance our medicines to patients.”
“Ironwood has built an impressive R&D team with a proven ability to innovate and address patients’ unmet needs,” said Dr. Wright. “With multiple medicines on the market and a rich pipeline advancing through later-stage development, this is an exciting time to join the company, and I look forward to adding my perspective as a physician and scientist to the important work this incredibly talented group of professionals is undertaking.”
Prior to joining Ironwood, Dr. Wright served as senior vice president and chief medical officer for Axcella Health, Inc. Before that, he worked at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. as senior vice president and head of global medicine development and affairs, where he led global development functions across all therapeutic areas of clinical development, medical affairs, clinical operations, medical writing, biometrics, regulatory affairs and patient safety. In this role, he directly oversaw the successful submission of medications for approval to the FDA, EMA and other drug approval entities. Also at Vertex, Dr. Wright served as vice president of clinical development, where he oversaw clinical programs in the areas of hepatitis C, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, influenza, epilepsy and pain. Dr. Wright is a practicing neurologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Previously, Dr. Wright was an associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and a Harvard-MIT Clinical Investigator Training Program graduate and advisor. He earned a B.S. in biochemical sciences from Harvard University, an M.D. and MMSc. from Harvard Medical School and a Ph.D. from Vrije University in the Netherlands.
About Ironwood Pharmaceuticals
Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: IRWD) is a commercial biotechnology company focused on creating medicines that make a difference for patients, building value for our fellow shareholders, and empowering our passionate team. We are commercializing two innovative primary care products: linaclotide, the U.S. branded prescription market leader for adults with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) or chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC), and lesinurad, which is approved to be taken with a xanthine oxidase inhibitor (XOI) for the treatment of hyperuricemia associated with uncontrolled gout. We are also advancing a pipeline of internally and externally generated innovative product candidates in areas of significant unmet need, including uncontrolled gastroesophageal reflux disease and vascular and fibrotic diseases. Ironwood was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Cambridge, Mass. For more information, please visit www.ironwoodpharma.com or www.twitter.com/ironwoodpharma; information that may be important to investors will be routinely posted in both these locations.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, including statements about Ironwood’s leadership and the expected benefits from Dr. Wright’s appointment as Senior Vice President of Global Development and Chief Development Officer; our ability to scale capabilities and enhance how we advance our medicines to patients; and the development, launch, introduction and commercial potential of our products, product candidates, and the other products that we promote and the drivers, timing, impact and results thereof (including near-term value-creating catalysts). Each forward-looking statement is subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statement. Applicable risks and uncertainties include those related to the effectiveness of development and commercialization efforts by us and our partners; preclinical and clinical development, manufacturing and formulation development; our reliance on AstraZeneca to provide critical support services related to lesinurad; the risk that findings from our completed nonclinical and clinical studies may not be replicated in later studies; efficacy, safety and tolerability of linaclotide, lesinurad and our product candidates; decisions by regulatory authorities; the risk that we are unable to successfully integrate lesinurad into our existing business, commercialize lesinurad or realize the anticipated benefits of the lesinurad transaction; the risk that we may never get sufficient patent protection for linaclotide and our product candidates or that we are not able to successfully protect such patents; the outcomes in legal proceedings to protect or enforce the patents relating to our products and product candidates, including ANDA litigation; developments in the intellectual property landscape; challenges from and rights of competitors or potential competitors; the risk that our planned investments do not have the anticipated effect on our company revenues, linaclotide, lesinurad or our product candidates; the risk that we are unable to manage our operating expenses or cash use for operations, or are unable to commercialize our products, within the guided ranges or otherwise as expected; and the risks listed under the heading "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in Ironwood's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, and in our subsequent SEC filings. These forward-looking statements (except as otherwise noted) speak only as of the date of this press release, and Ironwood undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.