VectivBio Appoints Omar Khwaja, M.D., Ph.D., as Chief Medical Officer
- Christian Meyer, currently Chief Development Officer, to assume the newly created position of Chief Operating Officer
- Senior leadership appointments strengthen VectivBio as it continues development of apraglutide in short bowel syndrome and graft versus host disease, and expansion of its rare disease product portfolio
BASEL, Switzerland, May 25, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- VectivBio Holding AG, (“Vectiv” or “VectivBio”) (Nasdaq: VECT), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative treatments for severe rare conditions for which there is a significant unmet medical need, today announced the appointment of Omar Khwaja, M.D., Ph.D., as Chief Medical Officer. Concurrently, Christian Meyer, M.D., Ph.D., has been appointed to the newly created position of Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Khwaja and Dr. Meyer each possess over two decades of experience and notable accomplishments in drug development, medicine and academia.
“The addition of Omar to our team significantly strengthens Vectiv’s leadership as we continue to build on the momentum of the recent launch of our Phase 3 trial evaluating our lead asset, apraglutide, in short bowel syndrome and our successful U.S. IPO listing on Nasdaq. Having personally witnessed Omar’s expertise and leadership qualities, I am confident that his impressive experience in translational research and drug development, combined with his passion for helping patients suffering from rare diseases, will serve as key drivers in advancing apraglutide and expanding our pipeline,” said Luca Santarelli, M.D., Founder and Chief Executive Officer of VectivBio. “Christian has been instrumental in the growth of VectivBio since its founding and I am excited about the continued impact he will make as Chief Operating Officer. With his new focus on organizational and infrastructural development, Christian will bolster VectivBio’s operational capabilities as we transition towards commercialization.”
“VectivBio is dedicated to developing safe and effective treatments for severe rare diseases with high unmet medical needs,” said Omar Khwaja, M.D., Ph.D. “I have long shared this same goal and am eager to join the Vectiv team in their mission to deliver life-changing therapeutics to patients.”
Omar Khwaja, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer
Prior to joining Vectiv, Dr. Khwaja served as Chief Medical Officer and Head of Research and Development at Voyager Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on severe neurological diseases. Previously, he was the Global Head of Rare Diseases and Neuroscience Translational Medicine at Roche, where he worked for over eight years. Preceding Dr. Khwaja’s industry experience in drug development, he practiced medicine and taught in academia for over a decade, including as Director of the Clinical Neurogenetics program at Boston Children’s Hospital and as a member of the faculty at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Khwaja received his M.D. and Ph.D. in Human Molecular Genetics from the University of Cambridge. He is a member of the Royal College of Physicians, serves as the Chief Medical Officer for the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Foundation and is the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the CDKL5 Forum.
Christian Meyer, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer
Dr. Meyer was part of the founding team of VectivBio, acting as its Chief Development Officer since June 2019, after serving as Chief Medical Officer of both Therachon AG and uniQure N.V., where he led the development of several rare disease programs and established their development organizations. Prior to his role at uniQure, he held several senior executive positions at Cardoz AB, Symphogen A/S and Zymenex A/S, where he was responsible for leading clinical development in the rare disease space. Dr. Meyer began his career at Novo Nordisk A/S and held academic and hospital positions before entering the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Meyer received his M.D. and Ph.D. in Clinical Cardiology from the University of Copenhagen.
About VectivBio AG
VectivBio (Nasdaq:VECT) is a global, clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative treatments for severe rare conditions with high unmet medical need. The company is committed to pursuing product candidates with a clear mechanism of action and the potential to meaningfully transform and improve the lives of patients and their families. VectivBio’s product candidate, apraglutide, is a next-generation GLP-2 analog being developed as a differentiated therapeutic for a range of rare gastrointestinal (GI) diseases. Apraglutide is currently being evaluated in a global Phase 3 clinical trial as a once-weekly treatment for short bowel syndrome with intestinal failure (SBS-IF). VectivBio also plans to initiate clinical studies of apraglutide in additional indications, including graft versus host disease, where GLP-2 is believed to be central to disease pathophysiology.
Forward Looking Statement
Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. Words and phrases such as “anticipated,” “forward,” “will,” “would,” “may,” “remain,” “potential,” “prepare,” “expected,” “believe,” “plan,” “near future,” “belief,” “guidance,” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning the success of development and commercialization efforts with respect to VectivBio’s product candidate; and VectivBio’s ability to expand its rare disease product portfolio. All of such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond VectivBio’s control, that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied or projected by, the forward-looking information and statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: the impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including interruptions or other adverse effects on clinical trials and delays in regulatory review; delay in or failure to obtain regulatory approval of VectivBio’s product candidate and successful compliance with FDA and other governmental regulations applicable to product approvals; the risks inherent in drug development and in conducting clinical trials; and those risks and uncertainties identified in the “Risk Factors” section of VectivBio’s Registration Statement on Form F-1 declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 8, 2021 and its other subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date on which they were made. Except to the extent required by law, VectivBio undertakes no obligation to update such statements to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the date on which they were made.
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