BETHESDA, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ValenzaBio, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company developing monoclonal antibody therapeutics for autoimmune and inflammatory indications, today announced that Gregory F. Keenan, M.D., has been appointed as chief medical officer (CMO), bringing more than 20 years of experience in the development and commercialization of small molecules and biologics. In addition, Mike Solomon, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Ribometrix, has joined ValenzaBio’s board of directors.
“We have made rapid progress advancing our lead program VB119 for membranous nephropathy into the clinic, and preparing VB421, our anti-IGF-1R mAb for the treatment of thyroid eye disease, for the clinic in the first half of next year,” said Patrick Crutcher, president and chief executive officer of ValenzaBio. “It was time to bring in a world-class CMO and add broad operational experience to the board of directors, and we are thrilled to welcome Greg and Mike to our close-knit team. Greg’s impressive track record of successfully leading programs through development, regulatory approval and post approval medical affairs will be invaluable for both of our clinical programs. Mike’s hands-on operational experience launching and growing successful companies will be critical to ensure we continue to make wise development choices. We proudly welcome them both to the team.”
Dr. Keenan is an experienced physician who has played a key role in the approvals of 11 products and supported 5 FDA advisory committee meetings as well as numerous other regulatory interactions around the globe. He joins ValenzaBio from Avrobio, Inc., where he served as senior vice president, global head of medical and drug safety. Previously he served as vice president, U.S., medical affairs and head medical officer at AstraZeneca, which he joined following the company’s acquisition of Medimmune, where he was senior vice president, medical affairs. Earlier, he was vice president, medical affairs at Human Genome Sciences Inc., and spent 10 years in roles of increasing responsibility at Centocor, most recently serving as the Remicade compound development team leader for Centocor OrthoBiotech. He started his career as a rheumatologist in academia, holding appointments at The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania. He completed fellowships in pediatric and adult rheumatology at the University of Pennsylvania after having completed his residency in medicine/pediatrics at the LA County/University of Southern California Medical Center. Dr. Keenan holds an M.D. from Albany Medical College and a B.A. from Colby College.
Dr. Solomon has over 20 years of experience in the biotechnology industry, with the last seventeen focused on creating and operating early stage therapeutic-focused companies. Dr. Solomon is the chief executive officer of Ribometrix, a company backed by multiple investors including SV Health Investors, where he was previously a venture partner. Prior to that, he was chief operating officer at Decibel Therapeutics, joining the company from his role as entrepreneur in residence at Third Rock Ventures. Previously, he was chief operating officer at Ember Therapeutics, a Third Rock company, and earlier, was chief business officer at Link Medicine, which was acquired by AstraZeneca in 2012. He was a founder and vice president, molecular discovery at Epizyme, and vice president, discovery at Hypnion, Inc, which was acquired by Eli Lilly in 2007. Dr. Solomon also spent time as a biotechnology analyst at Bank of America Securities, and started his career at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, where he was a project leader for multiple programs. He holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Wisconsin and a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Massachusetts’s Amherst.
About ValenzaBio, Inc.
ValenzaBio is a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing safe and effective therapies for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. The company is advancing a pipeline of differentiated monoclonal antibodies targeting clinically validated mechanisms of action, in order to provide improved therapies for patients with limited treatment options. ValenzaBio’s lead program, VB119, is being developed for the treatment of membranous nephropathy (MN), followed by VB421, which is being developed for the treatment of thyroid eye disease. ValenzaBio is based in Bethesda, Md. For more information, please visit www.valenzabiotech.com.