CHAPEL HILL, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Areteia Therapeutics, Inc. (“Areteia”) today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Ian Read as Chairman of the Board. Mr. Read’s appointment as Areteia’s first Chairman follows the launch of the Company by Knopp Biosciences and Population Health Partners and the successful completion of the Company’s $350 million Series A financing led by Bain Capital Life Sciences, with participation from Access Biotechnology, GV, ARCH Venture Partners, Saturn Partners, Sanofi, Maverick Capital, and Population Health Partners.
“I am excited that Ian has been appointed as Chairman,” said Jorge Bartolome, Chief Executive Officer of Areteia. “He is an incredibly esteemed executive whose depth of experience, proven leadership and expert judgment will be invaluable to me and the Board of Directors as we focus on delivering on the Company’s strategy and advancing the Phase III program for dexpramipexole, the first potential oral drug for eosinophilic asthma.”
Commenting on his appointment, Mr. Read said, “I am honored to be chosen to serve as Chairman of Areteia and look forward to working with Jorge and the team. This is a compelling opportunity to address a high unmet need for severe asthmatics by bringing a new oral medicine to market to potentially treat eosinophilic asthma earlier in the treatment paradigm and offer patients and health systems an alternative to injectable biologics.”
Mr. Read brings to his role a distinguished 42-year track record as one of the foremost leaders, dealmakers, and value creators in the global biopharmaceutical industry. He was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pfizer, Inc. from December 2010 until January 2019, and Executive Chairman until December 2019. During that tenure, he oversaw over 30 new drug approvals, $88 billion in acquisition and divestiture deals, and a total shareholder return of 250%—representing over $242 billion in value creation. Mr. Read oversaw a period of industry-shaping innovation regarding the structure of Pfizer and its portfolio, including novel spin-outs and acquisitions alongside dozens of major licensing agreements. Mr. Read currently serves as a partner of Population Health Partners.
About Areteia Therapeutics
Areteia Therapeutics, Inc. (areteiatx.com) is a clinical stage biotechnology company committed to putting asthma patients in better control of their disease and lives by developing the first potential oral drug for eosinophilic asthma. Areteia’s lead drug candidate is dexpramipexole, a first-in-class oral eosinophil maturation inhibitor. Areteia was created by Population Health Partners and Knopp Biosciences. A syndicate of leading life sciences and strategic investors led by Bain Capital Life Sciences with participation from Access Biotechnology, GV, ARCH Venture Partners, Saturn Partners, Sanofi, Maverick Capital, and Population Health Partners, has committed to invest up to $350 million in Series A financing to establish Areteia and advance dexpramipexole through Phase III clinical trials, secure commercial supply, and pursue potential next-generation medicines. Areteia will conduct late-stage development, including Phase III clinical trials of dexpramipexole, in partnership with Population Health Partners’ development unit, Validae Health.
Dexpramipexole is an oral small molecule in Phase III development for eosinophilic asthma. Dexpramipexole inhibits the maturation and release of eosinophils in bone marrow, based on evidence from cell cultures and human biopsies, thereby lowering peripheral blood eosinophil levels. Most recently in a Phase II study in patients with moderate-to-severe eosinophilic asthma, treatment with dexpramipexole resulted in a significant, dose-dependent reduction in blood absolute eosinophil count at all doses tested (daily dexpramipexole doses of 37.5 mg, 75 mg, or 150 mg twice daily) compared to placebo. Dexpramipexole was well tolerated in the trial, with adverse events balanced across treatment and placebo groups, no serious adverse events, and no adverse events leading to discontinuation.
About Eosinophilic Asthma
Asthma disrupts the lives of more than a quarter of a billion people worldwide. More than half of asthma patients have eosinophilic asthma, which is driven by an oversupply of eosinophils, a type of white blood cell, in blood and tissue. By inhibiting the maturation of eosinophils, oral dexpramipexole acts in a way similar to injectable anti-IL-5 biologic therapies. The asthma biologic market is experiencing growth of 10% per year and is valued at around $8 billion, with IL-5 biologic therapies representing approximately $3 billion of that figure. If approved as a first-to-market oral, dexpramipexole could provide a compelling alternative to injectable biologics, and could potentially be used earlier in the asthma treatment paradigm to prevent progression of disease.