North Brunswick, NJ - Amicus Therapeutics, an emerging biopharmaceutical company, today announced the appointment of John F. Crowley as chairman and CEO. Mr. Crowley was most recently founding president and CEO of Orexigen Therapeutics. Prior to this Mr. Crowley was senior vice president of Genzyme Therapeutics and founding president and CEO of Novazyme Pharmaceuticals.
Amicus develops orally-active, small molecule drugs to treat a broad range of human genetic diseases. Recent work has shown that many of these diseases are the result of genetic errors that cause the misfolding and loss of a particular protein. Amicus' products act as "pharmacological chaperones" that selectively bind and "rescue" the misfolded target protein in order to restore its natural function. Amicus' first drug in the clinic, AT1001, is being developed to treat Fabry disease and is currently being studied in a Phase I clinical trial. The company has a strong intellectual property position and active research and development programs for multiple additional diseases.
"Amicus represents a remarkable opportunity," said Mr. Crowley. "Utilizing Amicus' core technology, proprietary systems and intellectual property, we will create small molecule drugs to treat a very large number of genetically based diseases. We intend to address multiple patient populations with dramatic unmet medical needs and we will do so at a very rapid pace. I am eager to lead this team and am honored by the trust and confidence that Amicus' investors have placed in me."
Also joining the company's management team are Matthew Patterson as chief business officer and Gregory Licholai, M.D., as vice president of medical affairs and corporate development. Norman Hardman, Ph.D., who had been serving as the Amicus CEO, will assume the position of chief scientific officer.
Prior to Amicus Mr. Patterson worked for BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. from 1998-2004 where he was vice president, regulatory affairs and later vice president, commercial planning. At BioMarin Mr. Patterson oversaw the development of Aldurazyme® (laronidase) for the treatment of MPS I and initiated the sales and marketing functions for genetic diseases. From 1993-1998 Mr. Patterson worked for Genzyme Corporation.
Before coming to Amicus Dr. Licholai was a venture capitalist at Domain Associates where he helped fund biotechnology and medical device start-up companies. Previously he was director of ventures and business development for Medtronic Neurological, where he managed a global portfolio of drug delivery and neurological projects. He trained at Harvard Medical School, the Brigham and Women's, Children's and Massachusetts General Hospitals.
"The addition of these highly experienced senior managers will enable Amicus to rapidly advance its preclinical and development pipeline programs and will support the company as it develops the wealth of opportunities its unique therapeutic approach makes possible," said Alex Barkas, Ph.D., managing director of Prospect Venture Partners and a member of the Amicus board of directors. "The board looks forward to working with the expanded management team to accelerate development and commercialization of this important new technology."
Amicus was founded in 2002. In mid-2004, the company completed a $31 million series B financing led by Canaan Partners, with participation from Frazier Healthcare Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Prospect Venture Partners and Radius Ventures. The company's founding investor, CHL Medical Partners, also participated in the round.
About Amicus Therapeutics
Amicus develops orally-active, small molecule drugs to treat a broad range of human genetic diseases. Many of these diseases are the result of genetic errors that cause the misfolding and loss of a particular protein. Amicus' products act as "pharmacological chaperones" that selectively bind and "rescue" the misfolded target protein, in order to restore its natural function. The company's first compound, AT1001, is in a Phase I clinical trial for Fabry disease. Additional information about Amicus can be found at www.amicustherapeutics.com.