CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Yumanity Therapeutics, a company focused on discovering and developing transformative therapies to treat neurodegenerative diseases, today announced the appointment of accomplished physician, scientist, and industry veteran Richard Peters, M.D., Ph.D., as chief executive officer (CEO). Dr. Peters will also become a member of the company’s board of directors. He is succeeding founding CEO Tony Coles, M.D., who will transition to the role of executive chairperson of the board of directors. The appointment will take effect on September 3, 2019.
“Since the founding of Yumanity Therapeutics nearly five years ago, the intention has always been that we would evolve to the point where we would identify a highly-talented and capable CEO with the right clinical development and biotech leadership experience who could lead Yumanity to its next phase of growth. Having worked closely with Richard previously at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, I know we have found the right leader, and I am looking forward to working with him to deliver on the promise of our productive scientific platform,” said Dr. Coles. “Richard has the skills, background, and entrepreneurial spirit to guide our pipeline programs through early clinical development in a way that will set the company up for near-term shareholder value creation and longer-term success.”
Dr. Peters is a veteran life sciences executive with more than 25 years of experience developing new therapies for difficult-to-treat diseases in a variety of industry, medical, and academic settings. Dr. Peters is joining Yumanity Therapeutics from Merrimack Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: MACK) where he served as its president, chief executive officer, and a member of the board of directors. Prior to joining Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Peters served as global head of rare diseases and senior vice president at Genzyme (Sanofi).
“Richard’s leadership qualities combined with his strategic vision and relevant drug development expertise make him ideally suited to lead the company during this exciting time,” said Richard A. Heyman, Ph.D., a member of the board of directors of Yumanity Therapeutics. “With a proven track record of efficiently overseeing the advancement of multiple early-stage programs from preclinical development into clinical trials, regulatory approval, and ultimate commercialization, we are certain that Richard will help us realize the full potential of the company’s portfolio for the benefit of patients suffering from devastating neurological disorders.”
“Neurodegenerative diseases represent the greatest therapeutic challenge of our time, and historically, too few hypotheses have been explored and too few mechanisms identified, which has led to a dearth of innovation for these under-served populations,” said Dr. Peters. “Having worked with Tony over the years, I am delighted to have this opportunity to collaborate with him and help realize the vision he and the team had in founding Yumanity Therapeutics. The company’s integrated discovery platform is uniquely positioned to elucidate previously unexplored targets ripe for intervention, and I look forward to working with the team to advance much needed new treatments to help combat this growing public health crisis.”
About Richard Peters, M.D., Ph.D.
Earlier in his career, Dr. Peters held medical leadership roles at Onyx Pharmaceuticals and Amgen. Prior to that, he was chief executive officer of Mednav. Dr. Peters is a Harvard-trained physician and scientist, has served on the faculty at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and completed a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellowship in biophysics at Harvard Medical School. He has published more than 100 papers in leading journals and is also an active founder and angel biotech investor in several start-up biopharmaceutical companies.
About Yumanity Therapeutics
Yumanity Therapeutics is transforming drug discovery for neurodegenerative diseases caused by protein misfolding. Formed in 2014 by renowned biotech industry leader Tony Coles, M.D., and protein folding science pioneer Susan Lindquist, Ph.D., the company is focused on discovering disease-modifying therapies for patients with Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Leveraging its discovery engine, Yumanity Therapeutics’ innovative new approach to drug discovery and development concentrates on reversing the cellular phenotypes and disease pathologies caused by protein misfolding. For more information, please visit yumanity.com.