SAN DIEGO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Epirium Bio, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on mitochondrial biogenesis and therapeutic approaches to neuromuscular diseases, today announced the appointment of Ransi Somaratne, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer (CMO). In this role, Dr. Somaratne will provide leadership to Epirium’s clinical program to further develop the company’s innovative scientific platform.
Dr. Somaratne brings more than 25 years of clinical practice and industry experience to the Epirium team. Most recently, Dr. Somaratne served as core team leader for BioMarin Pharmaceutical’s hemophilia A gene therapy program where he led the cross-functional team that recently submitted a Biologics License Application (BLA) for the first potential gene therapy in the treatment of hemophilia A. Dr. Somaratne spent several years at Amgen, Inc. most recently as global development lead for Repatha® (evolocumab), where he was instrumental in the development and global approvals of the PCSK9 inhibitor for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia and reduction in cardiovascular events. He was also Vice President, Clinical Development at NGM Biopharmaceuticals where he helped move forward innovative approaches to treating non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
“Dr. Somaratne’s exceptional skill set as a team player is a great fit for Epirium Bio. Under his leadership we will advance our clinical programs in Becker Muscular Dystrophy and other drug development targets addressing unmet needs in diseases characterized by failure of tissue bioenergetics and function,” said CEO, Russell Cox. “His clinical expertise and track record of success scaling drug development programs will elevate Epirium Bio’s platform to help achieve our primary goal of bringing potentially life-changing treatments to patients.”
In addition to his deep industry experience with innovative therapies, Dr. Somaratne brings more than 16 years of clinical experience in internal medicine and cardiology. Dr. Somaratne received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from UC Santa Barbara, his M.D. from the Albany Medical College and earned an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School.
“I am thrilled to be joining the Epirium team at this important stage of the company’s development and to be leading our clinical programs into areas of high, unmet clinical need,” said Dr. Somaratne. “The potential of harnessing a therapeutic approach to mitochondrial biogenesis and impacting diseases characterized by mitochondrial depletion or dysfunction is one of the most exciting areas in medicine.”
Epirium is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company that has developed unique insights related to the biology of mitochondrial biogenesis and tissue function, potentially resulting in novel and clinically significant therapeutic approaches to currently intractable neuromuscular diseases. The Company has identified and established an IP-protected platform of small molecules that constitute a new class of therapeutics with the potential to stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis and tissue regeneration. Epirium intends to advance its first clinical candidate next year, initially in Becker Muscular Dystrophy, followed by drug development targeting other progressive neuromuscular disorders associated with mitochondrial depletion. To learn more, please visit www.epirium.com.