December 6, 2018
Akero Therapeutics Appoints Mark Iwicki to its Board of Directors
Iwicki is chairman and CEO of Kala Pharmaceuticals
San Francisco, CA – Akero Therapeutics Inc., a biotechnology company developing transformational treatments for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and other serious metabolic diseases, today announced the appointment of Mark Iwicki, chairman and CEO of Kala Pharmaceuticals, to Akero’s Board of Directors.
“Mark is a proven leader with an incredible track record of building life science companies and bringing novel therapies to market,” said Akero President and CEO Andrew Cheng, MD, PhD. “His breadth of experience and leadership will be invaluable to Akero as we continue to become a fully integrated biotechnology company with a unique and compelling focus on metabolic disease.”
Mr. Iwicki is a seasoned executive with extensive senior leadership experience. Prior to joining Kala, he served as president and CEO of Civitas Therapeutics, which was acquired by Acorda Therapeutics in 2014. He also served as president and CEO at Blend Therapeutics and Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, formerly Sepracor.
Mr. Iwicki currently serves on the Board of Directors for Aimmune Therapeutics, Merus N.V., Pulmatrix, and Nimbus Therapeutics. He holds a BS in Business Administration from Ball State University and an MBA from Loyola University.
“NASH is a serious and debilitating metabolic condition affecting millions of people globally. I’m inspired by Akero’s vision to transform the treatment of NASH and metabolic disease more broadly, and am excited to have the opportunity to work with Andrew and the leadership team to grow that vision and the company’s pipeline,” said Mr. Iwicki.”
Akero’s lead program (AKR-001) is a long-acting fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) analogue to treat NASH. In June, the company raised a $65M Series A round from Apple Tree Partners, Atlas Venture, venBio Partners and Versant Ventures and in-licensed AKR-001 from Amgen Inc. Akero plans to advance the compound into Phase 2 clinical studies for NASH in mid-2019 as well as evaluate its potential to treat other serious metabolic diseases.
AKR-001 is an Fc-FGF21 fusion protein that has been engineered to mimic the biological activity profile of native FGF21, an endogenous hormone that regulates lipid and energy metabolism, and is secreted throughout the body to alleviate cellular stress. Observations from clinical trials of AKR-001 and other FGF analogs point to AKR-001’s potential to reduce liver fat, cellular stress, inflammation and fibrosis in people with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), as well as to improve risk factors of cardiovascular disease, the principal cause of death among NASH patients.
About Akero Therapeutics
Akero Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of transformative treatments for patients with serious metabolic disease with high unmet medical need by restoring metabolic balance. Akero’s lead program AKR-001, an engineered Fc-FGF21 fusion protein, is being evaluated in clinical trials as a potential leading fibroblast growth factor analog for treatment of NASH, a disease without any approved therapies.
Media ContactLissette Steele
Verge Scientific Communications
Stern IR, Inc.