October 17, 2018
Akero Therapeutics Expands Leadership Team
Kitty Yale Appointed Chief Development Officer
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 Kitty Yale as Chief Development Officer. Yale joins Akero from Gilead Sciences, Inc. where she led global clinical operations and management of the company’s oncology, HIV, inflammation and liver disease trials. She will direct Akero’s clinical development program for its lead candidate for the treatment of NASH.
“Kitty brings more than two decades of clinical research experience to Akero, including an extensive background in both early and late stage drug development. Her knowledge and insights will be invaluable as we advance AKR-001 into the clinic for NASH and continue to grow and build our pipeline,” said Andrew Cheng, MD, PhD, President and CEO, Akero Therapeutics.
Yale has held senior clinical research and operations roles at Gilead Sciences and Roche Global Development. Most recently, as VP of Clinical Operations at Gilead, she led global development programs resulting in eight drug approvals in the US, EMEA, Canada, Korea, Japan and China.
“Akero is an exciting company with a vision to become a leader in treating NASH and other metabolic diseases,” said Yale, Chief Development Officer of Akero Therapeutics. “I am thrilled about the opportunity to work alongside such a talented team and develop truly meaningful therapies for patients.”
Akero’s lead program (AKR-001) is a long-acting fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) analogue to treat NASH. In June, the company announced it raised a $65M Series A round from Apple Tree Partners, Atlas Venture, venBio Partners and Versant Ventures and in-licenses AKR-001 from Amgen. Akero plans to advance the compound into Phase 2 clinical studies for NASH in mid-2019 and 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.