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Friday 02 September, 2016

PureTech Health PLC

Gelesis Appoints New Chief Operating Officer

RNS Number : 7709I
PureTech Health PLC
02 September 2016

2 September 2016

PureTech Health plc


PureTech's Gelesis Appoints Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Medical Affairs


PureTech Health plc ("PureTech", LSE: PRTC), a cross-disciplinary biotech company developing 21st century medicines in and at the interface of the immune, central nervous and gastro-intestinal systems, is pleased to note that Gelesis today announced the appointment of David Pass, Pharm.D., as Chief Operating Officer and William Aschenbach, Ph.D., MBA, as Vice President of Medical Affairs.


Eric Elenko, Executive Vice President of Science and Technology for PureTech said: "We're pleased to have David and William join the team as we work to advance our pipeline toward commercialisation. They bring a wealth of expertise from their tenure in the industry."


The full text of the announcement from Gelesis is as follows:


Gelesis Appoints New Chief Operating Officer


Former Boehringer Ingelheim Vice President will lead commercialisation and operations efforts


BOSTON, Massachusetts, September 2, 2016 -- Gelesis, a biotechnology company focussed on developing first-in-class products to safely induce weight loss and improve glycaemic control, today announced the appointment of David Pass, Pharm.D., as Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Pass will lead operations, including commercial planning, business development and all commercialization efforts.  His initial focus will be on Gelesis100, Gelesis' lead product candidate.


Dr. Pass joins Gelesis with more than 20 years of commercial expertise across multiple therapeutic areas with a focus on diabetes and metabolics. Dr. Pass gained a broad range of commercial experience from his time with Johnson & Johnson, and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Most recently, Dr. Pass served as Vice President of Marketing at Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) for Diabetes, where he built a billion-dollar franchise. In this role, Dr. Pass also led the BI alliance with Eli Lilly & Company to develop and commercialise a portfolio of diabetes compounds in mid- and late-stage development.


"We are excited to have David onboard as we prepare for the potential launch of our first product, Gelesis100," said Yishai Zohar, Chief Executive Officer of Gelesis. "David brings invaluable commercial, strategic and business development experience across a broad range of therapeutic areas and has a proven track record of building successful franchises."


William Aschenbach, Ph.D., MBA, also joins Gelesis as the Vice President of Medical Affairs. Dr. Aschenbach brings with him 13 years of diverse research and development and medical affairs experience from his tenure as Scientific Director of U.S. Medical Affairs for EMD Serono. He also previously served as the Director of Global Medical Research at Biogen Idec, where he led global external research and medical communications efforts for the company's central nervous system franchise.


About Gelesis

Gelesis is focussed on the development of novel therapies to induce weight loss and improve glycaemic control in people who are overweight or have obesity, including those with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Gelesis100, one of the company's product candidates and a first-in-class therapeutic, is currently being evaluated in a six-month pivotal study. Gelesis is also developing Gelesis200, created from the same proprietary technology platform as Gelesis100, as a product optimised to induce weight loss and improve glycaemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes.


The Gelesis executive and advisory teams comprise leading experts in obesity and its related comorbidities, clinical research and development and advanced biomaterials, including Caroline Apovian, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine; Louis J. Aronne, M.D., FACP, Director of the Comprehensive Weight Control Program at Weill Cornell Medicine, who also holds equity in Gelesis; Arne Astrup, M.D., Head of Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports at University of Copenhagen; Ken Fujioka, M.D., Director of the Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center and the Center for Weight Management at the Scripps Clinic; Allan Geliebter, Ph.D., Senior Attending Psychologist, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital; James Hill, Ph.D., Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, University of Colorado; Lee M. Kaplan, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Obesity, Metabolism and Nutrition Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital; Bennett Shapiro, M.D., Co-founder and Non-Executive Director at PureTech and former Executive Vice President of Research for Merck; and Angelo Tremblay, Ph.D., professor, Department of Kinesiology at Laval University.


Gelesis investors include Cormorant Asset Management, PureTech Health PLC (LSE: PRTC), Invesco Asset Management, the Pritzker/Vlock Family Office, and other prominent biotech and finance investors.


PureTech Health plc (PRTC.L) owns 22.5% of the company on a diluted basis plus potential product royalties as of 30 June 2016. This calculation includes issued and outstanding shares as well as options to purchase shares and written commitments to issue shares or options, but excludes unallocated shares authorised to be issued pursuant to equity incentive plans.


About PureTech Health

PureTech Health (PureTech Health plc, PRTC.L) is a cross-disciplinary biotech company focussed on areas of growing scientific and technical insights that it believes are at an important inflection point, including the immune, central nervous and gastro-intestinal systems, and the interactions and signalling between them. PureTech has approximately 20 clinical studies across its pipeline targeting multi-billion dollar market opportunities, including five human proof-of-concept studies and multiple pivotal or registration study readouts expected in the next two years. While inevitably some technologies will not advance to commercialisation, PureTech's approach mitigates risk as most of the cash resides on a PureTech parent company level, allowing PureTech to build value and divert cash to its most successful programmes as milestones are achieved. PureTech has over 220 patents and patent applications. PureTech's leading team and board, along with an advisory network of more than 60 expert founder-scientists and advisors across multiple disciplines, gives PureTech access to potentially ground-breaking science and technological innovation. With healthcare undergoing major transformation, PureTech believes it is well positioned to develop and launch medicines for the 21st century. For more information, visit and connect with us on Twitter.


Forward Looking Statement

This press release contains statements that are or may be forward-looking statements, including statements that relate to the company's future prospects, developments and strategies. The forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance and achievements to differ materially from current expectations, including, but not limited to, those risks and uncertainties described in the risk factors included in the regulatory filings for PureTech Health plc. These forward-looking statements are based on assumptions regarding the present and future business strategies of the company and the environment in which it will operate in the future. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as at the date of this press release. Except as required by law and regulatory requirements, neither the company nor any other party intends to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.





Allison Mead, Director, Communications and Investor Relations

+1 617 651 3156


FTI Consulting (Communications adviser to PureTech)

Ben Atwell

Matthew Cole


+44 (0) 20 3727 1000


This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange

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