Changes to its Board of Directors: Oryzon revamps its Board with an expert in Biomedicine and Epigenetics in the US industry
MADRID, SPAIN and CAMBRIDGE, MA–(Marketwired – February 20, 2018) – Oryzon Genomics (ISIN Code: ES0167733015) (MAD: ORY), a public clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company leveraging epigenetics to develop therapies in diseases with strong unmet medical need, today announced by means of a “relevant fact” to the CNMV changes on its corporate governing bodies.
The company has incorporated today, February 19th, to Oryzon Genomics’ Board of Directors Dr. José Carlos Gutiérrez-Ramos, President and CEO of Synlogic, Inc. (NASDAQ: SYBX) as Independent Director. Dr. Gutiérrez-Ramos is a key addition for the company in its expansion plans in the US market. From his extensive experience it is worth noting that, in the period 2009-2015, he was Group Senior Vice-President, WorldWide R&D and Global Head of Biotherapeutics R&D at Pfizer and Head of its Research Center in Cambridge/Boston. Previously, from 2007 to 2010 he was Senior Vice-President and Director of the Group of Immunoinflammation and Discovery of Drugs (iiCEDD) of GSK, where he founded the Epinova Epigenetics Unit. Previously, he performed responsibility functions in Amgen, Peptimmune and Millenium Pharmaceuticals. In his current role as founder and CEO of Synlogic, he has raised more than 200 million dollars with the participation of specialized investment funds such as Orbimed, Deerfield, Sofinova, NEA, Atlas, EcoR1, Millenium, Farallon, Perceptive, RockSprings among others.
In the same meeting of the Board held today, February 19th, the resignation of the three Directors representing NAJETI has been tendered. NAJETI is a private investment fund that the Durand family founded in France in 1994, with the aim of promoting and boosting a diversification activity after divesting in its traditional family business in the Cristallerie D’Arques. Najeti was the first professional investor to join Oryzon in 2002 with an initial investment of EUR1.1m. In 2008, when the company reoriented its business model to become a biopharmaceutical company focused on epigenetics, it led a new private placement with a contribution of EUR1.7m. Najeti currently owns 20.54% of Oryzon’s capital.
After this revamp, Oryzon’s Board of Directors is composed of seven Directors, of which four are independent Directors.
The CEO of Oryzon, Dr. Carlos Buesa, said, “We are proud to welcome the new Board Member, Dr. José Carlos Gutiérrez-Ramos, who is a prestigious immunologist with more than 160 publications, has held positions of maximum responsibility in the international pharmaceutical industry and has been the leader of epigenetics in some of them. He is a well-known expert in the biotechnology sector in US where he has raised over $200m in three years as CEO of a company listed on the Nasdaq. We are convinced that his contribution will be key to achieving the company’s objectives in the coming years.” Dr. Buesa added, “We would also like to thank in a very special way the support that the Najeti family fund has lent to Oryzon in these 15 years, since their contribution was fundamental for the professionalization of the company and their commitment to remain on the Board in these first two years as a listed company to help us in the challenges of transitioning from private to public company in the main Spanish market was generous.”
Dr. José Carlos Gutiérrez-Ramos has declared, “I am delighted to join the Board of Oryzon at such an exciting time for the company with several novel Phase IIs clinical LSD1 programs. This is a world-class epigenetic company with very strong scientific fundamentals and a strong team. I look forward to working with the rest of the Board and the company to move forward these epigenetic medicines to help patients with devastating diseases.”
Mr. Thibaud Durand, CEO and Vice President of Najeti, said, “We are happy to have contributed to the growth of the Oryzon project since 2002. The company’s scientific excellence, work capacity and management quality have made it an international success. Once the challenges of becoming a successful company listed in the first Spanish market are overcome, after sixteen years it is time for Najeti to face a gradual and orderly process of divestment to focus on the type of private companies that are our natural investment niche. With the current development of the projects and the new incorporations, we are convinced that Oryzon will continue to write pages of success in the Spanish and international biotech industry.”
Founded in 2000 in Barcelona, Spain, Oryzon (ISIN Code: ES0167733015) is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company considered as the European champion in Epigenetics. The company has one of the strongest portfolios in the field. Oryzon’s LSD1 program has resulted in + 20 patent families and has rendered two compounds in clinical trials. In addition, Oryzon has ongoing programs for developing inhibitors against other epigenetic targets. The company has a strong technological platform for biomarker identification and performs biomarker and target validation for a variety of malignant and neurodegenerative diseases. Oryzon’s strategy is to develop first in class compounds against novel epigenetic targets through Phase II clinical trials, at which point it is decided on a case by-case basis to either keep the development in-house or to partner or outlicense the compound for late stage development and commercialization. The company has offices in Spain and USA. For more information, visit www.oryzon.com.
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