Amylyx Pharmaceuticals, a company developing a innovative therapeutic for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease), recently announced that former Biogen CEO Walter Gilbert, Ph.D and Nobel Laureate, will join Amylyx’s board of directors.
“Dr. Gilbert brings an enormous breadth of experience as a scientist, biotech founder, and executive,” Justin Klee, president and co-founder of Amylyx, said in a press release. “We are honored that he will join our efforts to advance AMX0035 for the treatment of ALS, which will be tested in an initial clinical trial in patients later this year.”
AMX0035, Amylyx’s proprietary combination of two compounds that simultaneously block mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum stress, is anticipated to enter clinical trials in patients with ALS in 2016.
Gilbert’s wide-ranging career extends from industry to academia. He co-founded Biogen and served as its CEO and chairman of the board from 1981 and 1985; he also conducted Biogen’s initial public offering. He subsequently co-founded other life sciences corporations, including Myriad Genetics, where he is still serves as vice chairman of the board of directors.
In his 40-year academic career at Harvard, Gilbert has been part of many breakthroughs in the fields of genetics and molecular biology. He developed a rapid method of DNA sequencing, which received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1980. Gilbert currently is the Carl M. Loeb University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University.
“Amylyx has assembled an outstanding team that is advancing an innovative approach to ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases,” Gilbert said. “There is a strong foundation for AMX0035’s clinical development in ALS based on early data from clinical studies of the product’s components and the synergistic activity demonstrated in the company’s preclinical studies. I am excited to help bring this promising therapeutic to patients.”