SAN DIEGO, Nov. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced today the appointment of Gary Craig Burgess, M.B., Ch.B. MMed, as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer effective immediately. In this newly created position, Dr. Burgess will oversee all of the company's clinical development activities.
"I am delighted to welcome Gary to the Conatus leadership team," said Steven J. Mento, Ph.D., President and CEO. "His broad experience in drug development including fibrotic diseases will be particularly important as we move forward with the development of emricasan, our caspase inhibitor, targeted as a treatment for a variety of fibrotic diseases."
From 1999 through 2011, Dr. Burgess held various positions of increasing authority at Pfizer Inc. and most recently as Senior Director and Clinical Portfolio Lead for Asia Research. In this position, he had clinical oversight of all aspects of the Pfizer liver fibrosis program including clinical program design, development and execution, regulatory and key opinion leader interactions, and evaluation and establishment of external collaborations for fibrotic disease biomarker development. During the period following the acquisition of Idun Pharmaceuticals by Pfizer, Dr. Burgess' responsibilities included data integration, clinical oversight of ongoing Phase II studies, development of clinical plans and registration strategies for the Idun caspase inhibitor, IDN-6556, which was later assigned the USAN name emricasan.
"I am impressed by the strong scientific leadership at Conatus," said Dr. Burgess. "Emricasan has the potential to be a promising treatment for patients with fibrotic diseases of various etiologies, an area of high unmet medical need, and I am enthusiastic and excited about the company's potential to realize these possibilities."
Dr. Burgess earned his M.B, Ch.B. and MMed in Internal Medicine degrees or the equivalent of an M.D. in the U.S. from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa.
Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development of innovative human therapeutics in the areas of fibrotic disease and oncology. Conatus' lead drug candidate, emricasan (IDN-6556) is in development as a potential therapy for a variety of fibrotic diseases. Fibrotic diseases affect millions of people worldwide and can be caused by many different types of injuries. Conatus was founded by the executive management team of Idun Pharmaceuticals in July 2005 following the sale of Idun to Pfizer. Conatus acquired the Idun subsidiary from Pfizer in 2010. For additional information, please visit www.conatuspharma.com.
SOURCE Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc.