TauC3 Biologics Limited Announces the Appointments of Industry Leaders Andrew Heath MD, PhD and Shafique Virani, MD as Non-Executive Chairman and Director, respectively.

LONDON, Jan. 10, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TauC3 Biologics Limited, a newly established privately held British biopharmaceutical company developing an innovative immunotherapy with the demonstrated potential to prevent the spread of tau pathology in the brain, today announced the appointments of Andrew J. Heath, MD, PhD as Non-Executive Chairman of its Board of Directors and Shafique Virani, MD as Non-Executive Director. The company is developing an extremely potent humanized monoclonal antibody targeting an especially noxious form of tau with the aim of slowing or halting the progression of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Dr. Heath is a biopharmaceutical executive with in-depth knowledge of US and UK capital markets and international experience in marketing and sales, R & D and business development. Dr. Heath was Chief Executive Officer of Protherics PLC from 1997 to 2008, taking the Company from 30 to 350 staff and managing its eventual acquisition by BTG for £220 million. Prior to this, Dr. Heath held senior positions at Astra AB and Astra USA, including Vice President Marketing & Sales. Dr. Heath is currently Deputy Chairman and Senior Independent Director to Oxford Biomedica PLC. He obtained his PhD and trained in medicine at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. He is based in London.

Dr. Virani brings 15 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and was instrumental in building an industry-leading portfolio in neuroscience, ophthalmology and rare diseases at Roche through academic collaborations, licensing and acquisitions. He joined Roche in 2004 and held various positions of increasing seniority globally within medical affairs, marketing and business development culminating as Global Head of Business Development, Licensing and M&A for neuroscience, ophthalmology and rare diseases. Dr. Virani recently served as CEO-in-Residence at BridgeBio Pharma and was appointed as CEO of Navire Pharma and CoA Therapeutics, building both companies from Lead Generation to IND ready. He trained as a neurosurgeon in Cambridge, UK and Boston. He is based in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

“We are delighted to welcome Andrew Heath and Shafique Virani to our board,” said Dr. Daniel Chain, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of TauC3 Biologics. “Their deep expertise and exceptional talents will be invaluable as we work to develop and commercialize our novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of devastating neurodegenerative diseases for the ultimate benefit of patients and society."

“I am delighted to join TauC3 Biologics as the company transitions from the laboratory to a commercial venture,” stated Andrew Heath. “With its deep insight into tau pathology, this company has the potential to have an impact on the outcome of one of our generations biggest medical conundrums. I look forward to working with Daniel, Shafique and the board to take our program for AD and PSP into the clinic.”

“It’s an exciting time to join TauC3 Biologics, with the company at a critical cross-road in understanding the toxic moieties relating to mis-folded proteins in neurodegenerative diseases,” stated Shafique Virani. “Alzheimer’s Disease poses perhaps the greatest unmet medical need of our time and exploring new approaches that could potentially ameliorate the disease is certainly warranted. I look forward to working with the company management and fellow Board Directors to help guide the mission at TauC3 Biologics.”

About TauC3 Biologics Limited:

A privately held British biopharmaceutical company developing an exceptionally potent, humanized monoclonal antibody uniquely targeting an especially noxious protein metabolite in the brain of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. The company believes that the antibody has the potential to be a standout immunotherapy for these diseases whereas other more advanced tau programs are unlikely to be as efficacious and pose potential safety concerns. The humanized antibody was generated in partnership with LifeArc, a UK medical research charity.

About AD

AD is the most common cause of dementia and represents an enormous and growing global public health challenge. It is a uniformly fatal neurodegenerative disorder with no cure or substantially effective treatment. AD currently affects more than 5 million Americans, 7 million Europeans and, in total, about 44 million people worldwide according to the most recent report by the Alzheimer’s Association with an estimated cost of more than one percent of global GDP. No disease-modifying treatments have been approved.

About PSP

PSP is a rare and fatal degenerative neurological disorder affecting about 20,000 people in the United States. It causes progressive impairment of balance and walking; impaired eye movement, abnormal muscle tone, speech difficulties, and problems related to swallowing and eating. Affected individuals also frequently experience personality changes and cognitive impairment. Symptoms typically begin after age 60 but can begin earlier. The exact cause of PSP is unknown. PSP is often misdiagnosed as Parkinson disease, AD, corticobasal degeneration and other neurodegenerative disorders. No disease-modifying treatments have been approved.


Daniel G. Chain, PhD, President & CEO, TauC3 Biologics; dchain@tauC3bio.com; +44 (0)203 743 3938