SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Imago BioSciences, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing innovative treatments for malignant and life-threatening diseases of the bone marrow, today announced the appointment of James D. Watson as Chief Business Officer.
“James has a long history of success in biotech financing, business development, and commercial planning. That experience will guide the strategic direction and growth of Imago,” said Hugh Young Rienhoff, Jr., M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Imago BioSciences. “His experience in corporate development and financings will help ensure the advancement of bomedemstat (IMG-7289) through clinical development in myelofibrosis and other indications.”
Mr. Watson most recently served as Chief Business Officer at Sigilon Therapeutics where he closed a $473 million strategic partnership with Eli Lilly for a treatment for Type 1 diabetes. Prior to Sigilon, Mr. Watson was Chief Business Officer for Alvine Pharmaceuticals and led strategy, corporate development, new product planning, and finance during which he closed a transaction giving AbbVie the right to acquire Alvine for $345 million. Previously, Mr. Watson was CEO of a San Francisco-based, boutique investment bank focused on mergers, acquisitions, partnering, and raising capital for life science companies.
“I am excited to join Imago BioSciences at this important stage of growth, helping the company realize its full potential. Bomedemstat has great promise for the day-to-day management of myelofibrosis and it offers the additional possibility of altering the course of this disease. Furthermore, its broader myeloproliferative neoplasm platform and expertise in life-threatening diseases of the bone marrow represent an opportunity to address areas of high unmet clinical need and to build a valuable company.” said Mr. Watson.
About Bomedemstat (IMG-7289)
Bomedemstat is a small molecule discovered by Imago BioSciences that inhibits lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1 or KDM1A), an enzyme essential for production and normal function of megakaryocytes and for self-renewal of malignant hematopoietic stem or progenitor cells. Megakaryocytes are the primary producer of growth factors and cytokines that drive myelofibrosis pathogenesis.
In non-clinical studies, bomedemstat demonstrated robust in vivo efficacy as a single agent and in combination with other therapeutics across a range of myeloid malignancy models including the myeloproliferative neoplasms encompassing myelofibrosis, essential thrombocythemia and polycythemia vera. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Fast Track designation to bomedemstat for the treatment of myelofibrosis which is currently being studied in an international Phase 2b study. Additional clinical studies in hematologic disorders will begin in 2020.
About Imago BioSciences
Imago BioSciences is a clinical-stage, private therapeutics company focused on malignant and life-threatening diseases of the bone marrow. The initial clinical focus is on myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) disorders including myelofibrosis, essential thrombocythemia and polycythemia vera. Investors in Imago include a fund managed by Blackstone Life Sciences, Frazier Healthcare Partners, Omega Funds, Amgen Ventures, MRL Ventures Fund, HighLight Capital, Pharmaron, Greenspring Associates and Xeraya Capital.