SOMERVILLE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Finch Therapeutics Group, Inc., a clinical-stage microbiome therapeutics company, announced today the appointment of Dr. Jo Viney and Domenic Ferrante to its Board of Directors. “We are delighted to have Jo and Dom join our Board of Directors,” said Mark Smith, PhD, CEO of Finch. “The extensive drug development and corporate finance experience that Jo and Domenic respectively bring to Finch will be very valuable as we advance our pipeline of microbiome therapeutics for recurrent C. difficile infection, autism spectrum disorder, ulcerative colitis, and other conditions linked to a disrupted gut microbiome.” The Company recently announced the completion of a $53 million Series C financing from new and existing investors.
Jo Viney, PhD
Jo is an entrepreneurial scientist and experienced biotech executive. She has successfully advanced multiple programs into the clinic. Jo is a Co-Founder, President and CSO of Pandion Therapeutics, a startup company in Cambridge, Massachusetts focused on developing new therapies for treating autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Prior to Pandion, she worked at Immunex, Amgen, and most recently Biogen, where she was Senior Vice President of the Drug Discovery Organization. Throughout her career, Jo has been passionate about workplace inclusiveness. Since 2015 she has served on the Board of WEST, a non-profit organization supporting early to mid-career women. She was WEST’s President for the 2017 to 2018 term. Jo earned a BSc in biophysics from the University of East London and a PhD in Gut Immunology from St Bart’s Hospital, University of London. Jo is on the advisory Board for HotSpot Therapeutics and is a member of the Board of Directors for Quench Bio and Carogen Corp in addition to Finch Therapeutics.
Domenic Ferrante, MBA
Domenic is the Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of The Ferrante Group, an investment firm created to partner with well-positioned companies to create value over a long investment horizon. Domenic was a Managing Director of Bain Capital for 14 years and is an experienced investor in the private equity and venture capital industries. Earlier in his career, he worked at Brentwood Associates and Morgan Stanley. Domenic earned his BA in Economics from the University of Michigan and his MBA from Harvard Business School. He sits on the Investment Advisory Committee and the President’s Advisory Group at the University of Michigan, and holds leadership roles within philanthropic organizations, such as the Boys and Girls Club, Community School of Naples, and the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation.
About Finch Therapeutics
Finch Therapeutics Group, Inc. (Finch) is developing novel microbial therapies to serve patients with serious unmet medical needs. Built on 30 years of translational research at OpenBiome, MIT, University of Minnesota and the Center for Digestive Diseases, Finch uses Human-First Discovery™ to develop therapies from microbes that have demonstrated clinically significant impacts on patient outcomes. Finch is unique in having both a donor-derived Full-Spectrum Microbiota® (FSM®) product platform and a Rationally-Selected Microbiota® (RSM™) product platform based on microbes grown in pure culture. Finch’s lead program, CP101, is an investigational FSM product with Breakthrough Therapy designation from the FDA for prevention of recurrent C. difficile infections. Finch also has FastTrack designation from the FDA for a program to develop an FSM therapy for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Finch’s RSM platform employs machine-learning algorithms to mine Finch’s unique clinical datasets, reverse engineering successful clinical experience to identify the key microbes driving patient outcomes. Finch has a strategic partnership with Takeda to develop FIN-524, an investigational RSM product for ulcerative colitis.
Finch is using a rich foundation of clinical data to advance its pipeline, leveraging proof-of-principle results to evaluate target indications and inform the design of this new therapeutic class.
Full-Spectrum Microbiota, FSM, Rationally-Selected Microbiota, RSM, and Human-First Discovery are trademarks of Finch Therapeutics Group, Inc.
About recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (CDI)
Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is the most common hospital-acquired infection in the United States. CDI is a bacterial infection that causes severe diarrhea and GI distress, and can be life-threatening. CDI often results from disruption of a patient’s microbiome following antibiotic use. Over 500,000 Americans are infected every year, with 25% or more of patients suffering a recurrence, or return of symptoms, resulting in substantial morbidity and healthcare costs.
About Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is characterized by deficits in social interaction and restricted/repetitive behaviors that can interfere with daily living. Many individuals with ASD also suffer from chronic gastrointestinal symptoms such as constipation and diarrhea. Studies suggest ASD may be linked to a disrupted microbiome. Approximately 1 in 59 children in the US is diagnosed with ASD; there are no FDA-approved therapeutics that address the core symptoms of ASD.