CAMBRIDGE, Mass., July 1, 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 Patrick Loustau to the position of President. Mr. Loustau has broad experience in creating and implementing differentiated global and market strategies, from clinical development through life cycle management and business development. Most recently, he was the Senior Vice President for Global Commercialization (Cardiovascular & Metabolics) at Bristol-Myers Squibb, where he built a strong diabetes presence, growing sales from $158M to $1.6B in three years through both organic and external growth strategies that ultimately led to the $7B acquisition of Amylin.
"The addition of Patrick to our management team comes at a very exciting time for Zafgen," said Thomas Hughes, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, Zafgen, Inc. "Patrick is a seasoned professional, having shaped commercial strategy for major metabolic disease products in the U.S. and global markets. His business experience will prove especially valuable as we further develop Zafgen's corporate strategy and solidify our position as an emerging leader in the development of therapeutics for difficult-to-treat metabolic diseases."
Mr. Loustau was previously with Novo Nordisk, where he held the most recent role of Senior Vice President for Global Marketing & Medical Affairs (based in Copenhagen). While at Novo Nordisk, he rebuilt its global marketing and medical affairs team, implemented a globally aligned go-to-market model and increased diabetes sales in the U.S. by 76% in two years.
Mr. Loustau began his career with Parke-Davis in Paris, France, as a Human Resources and Training Manager. He attended the General Manager Program through Harvard Business School's Executive Education track.
"Zafgen represents a unique value proposition in the biotech field and has the potential to dramatically impact patients and their families, ultimately transforming the way obesity and related metabolic diseases are treated," said Mr. Loustau. "I have been very impressed with the rapid progress made by the company, and am thrilled to be joining at this critical juncture. Zafgen is well-positioned to lead this field and fill a critical gap for patients suffering from obesity with the development of beloranib."
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. The company is located in Cambridge, MA.
Media Contact: Shauna Elkin (212) 850-5613