CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 26, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Zafgen, Inc. (Nasdaq:ZFGN), a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to significantly improving the health and well-being of patients affected by obesity, today announced the appointment of Frank Thomas to the Company's Board of Directors. In this new role he will also serve as the Chair of the Audit Committee.
Mr. Thomas joins Zafgen with more than 22 years of experience in high growth industries, including the life sciences industry, and significant skill and expertise at the c-suite level. He has served in various executive roles of AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc. since 2011, and is currently the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Thomas also served as Interim President and Chief Executive Officer of AMAG from November 2011 to May 2012.
"We are thrilled to welcome Frank Thomas to our Board of Directors, during this important milestone," said Thomas Hughes, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Zafgen. "Frank's extensive experience in the biotechnology industry, combined with significant public company experience will further strengthen our Board, and help us progress as a public company toward our goal of bringing beloranib to market."
"The evolution of Zafgen over the last few years has been impressive to watch and I am looking forward to lending my experiences and expertise to the Company's already exceptional leadership team at such an exciting time," said Mr. Thomas. "I am thrilled to be contributing to the Company's mission to address the significantly underserved population of patients with rare and difficult-to-treat metabolic conditions."
Prior to his time as a senior executive at AMAG Pharmaceuticals', Mr. Thomas served as Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for Molecular Biometrics, Inc., a commercial stage medical diagnostics company, from October 2008 to July 2011.
From April 2004 to March 2008, Mr. Thomas spent four years at Critical Therapeutics, Inc., a public biopharmaceutical company, where he began as a Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, and was then promoted to President in June 2006 and Chief Executive Officer in December 2006. Mr. Thomas also held the roles of Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Finance and Investor Relations at Esperion Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company and has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council. Mr. Thomas earned his B.B.A. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Beloranib is a novel, first-in-class injectable small molecule therapy with a unique mechanism of action that reduces hunger while stimulating the use of stored fat as an energy source. Beloranib is a potent inhibitor of MetAP2, an enzyme that modulates the activity of key cellular processes that control metabolism. MetAP2 inhibitors work, at least in part, by directing MetAP2 binding to cellular stress mediators, and, thus, reducing the tone of signals that drive lipid synthesis by the liver and fat storage throughout the body. In this manner, MetAP2 inhibition increases metabolism of fat as an energy source. Zafgen holds exclusive worldwide rights (exclusive of South Korea) for development and commercialization of beloranib. Zafgen exclusively licensed beloranib from Chong Kun Dang (CKD) Pharmaceutical Corp. of South Korea.
About Zafgen, Inc.
Zafgen (Nasdaq:ZFGN) is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to significantly improving the health and well-being of patients affected by obesity. Beloranib, Zafgen's lead product candidate, is a novel, first-in-class, twice-weekly subcutaneous injection being developed for the treatment of multiple indications, including severe obesity in Prader-Willi syndrome, craniopharyngioma-associated obesity, and severe obesity in the general population. Zafgen was founded in 2005 to explore novel approaches to obesity therapeutics, including agents known to inhibit MetAP2 that had been found to drive unprecedented weight loss and metabolic improvements in mice. Zafgen holds exclusive worldwide rights (exclusive of South Korea) for development and commercialization of beloranib. Zafgen exclusively licensed beloranib from Chong Kun Dang (CKD) Pharmaceutical Corp. of South Korea. The company is located in Cambridge, MA.
Shauna Elkin (212) 850-5613 Shauna.Elkin@fticonsulting.com