CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – September 1, 2015 – Navitor Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company developing novel medicines targeting the activation of mTORC1, today announced that pharmaceutical industry veteran David M. Madden, founder and principal with Narrow River Management, LP and chairman of the board of directors of Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, has joined the Navitor Board of Directors as an independent Director, and also that accomplished researcher Michael Hall, PhD, Professor at Biozentrum of the University of Basel (Switzerland) and the discoverer of the target of rapamycin (TOR) complexes, has joined the Navitor Scientific Advisory Board.
Mr. Madden stated “Navitor has assembled an outstanding team, experienced investors, and a strong scientific and proprietary position in a novel area of drug discovery that is ripe for innovation: the modulation of the mTORC1 pathway. This unique combination of capabilities positions Navitor for a promising future growth trajectory and I look forward to contributing to the company’s success.”
Dr. Hall said “I admire the drug development strategy that Navitor has rapidly implemented to yield impressive results related to multiple unprecedented drug targets that can regulate mTORC1 activity. Navitor is in an excellent position to discover and develop the next generation of mTOR pathway modulators, and I am excited to collaborate with the experienced scientific team and Dr. David Sabatini at the Whitehead Institute and other members of the Scientific Advisory Board to advance the frontier for novel medicines that modulate mTORC1.”
David M. Madden has been chairman of the board of directors of Dicerna Pharmaceuticals since 2009. He is a founder and principal with Narrow River Management, LP, an investment management company with a focus on equity investments in, and management of, drug development projects. From 2000 to 2003, David was co-CEO of Royalty Pharma AG. Previously, he was a managing member of Pharmaceutical Partners, LLC, and was president, CEO and a director of Selectide Corporation, a development-stage pharmaceutical company, which was acquired by Marion Merrill Dow in 1995. Additionally, David served as chairman of the board of Adolor Corporation, and is a member of the board of directors of the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. David holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from Union College and an M.B.A. from Columbia University.
Dr. Michael N. Hall is Professor, Vice-Director and former Chair of Biochemistry at Biozentrum of the University of Basel (Switzerland). Dr. Hall received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Pasteur Institute (Paris, France) and the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Hall is a pioneer in the fields of TOR signaling and cell growth control. He discovered the highly conserved, nutrient-activated protein kinase TOR (Target of Rapamycin) in the early 1990’s, and subsequently elucidated its role as a central controller of cell growth. His subsequent studies include the discovery of the two structurally and functionally distinct TOR complexes (TORC1 and TORC2) and the description of the two signaling branches mediated by these two complexes. More recently, he demonstrated that mammalian TOR (mTOR) signaling in metabolic organs controls whole body growth and metabolism. As a central controller of growth and metabolism, TOR plays a key role in development and aging, and is implicated in disorders such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. Dr. Hall is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, has received numerous awards, including the Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine (2009), the Marcel Benoist Prize for Sciences or Humanities (2012), the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences (2014), and the Canada Gairdner International Award (2015), and has served on several editorial and scientific advisory boards.
“I am honored to welcome David Madden to our Board as an independent Director,” said George P. Vlasuk, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Navitor. “Dave is an extremely skilled life sciences executive with a strong track record of building, financing and leading innovative drug discovery and development companies. Dave’s extensive financial and strategic experience will be of tremendous value as we build the company and advance Navitor’s first product candidates toward the clinic.”
Dr. Vlasuk continued, “I’m also very pleased to welcome Michael Hall to our Scientific Advisory Board. Mike is an extraordinary scientist with a deep understanding of mTOR biology, stemming from his landmark discovery of the TOR complexes and contributions to understanding the multifaceted signaling pathways that regulate mTOR activity. His insight and experience into the mTORC1 activation pathway and its impact on cellular growth and metabolism will offer important insight as we continue to build our proprietary drug discovery platform and develop first-in-class selective modulators of mTORC1 activation.”
Navitor Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel medicines by targeting cellular nutrient signaling pathways. The company’s proprietary drug discovery platform targets mTORC1, which responds to and integrates the cell’s response to nutrient availability and plays a key role in protein synthesis and cellular growth. Navitor’s therapeutics are designed to selectively modulate the cellular signals that are aberrant in disease processes caused by the dysregulation of mTORC1 activation to address a wide range of diseases, including metabolic, neurodegenerative, autoimmune and musculoskeletal diseases, as well as age-related immune suppression and several rare disorders. The company’s founding intellectual property is based on the groundbreaking discoveries related to the mTORC1 pathway and nutrient signaling mechanisms by Dr. David Sabatini at The Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. The company is backed by leading financial and corporate investors, including Polaris Partners, Atlas Venture, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, SR One and The Longevity Fund. For more information, please visit www.navitorpharma.com.
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