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    Sofinnova Capital

    Industry veteran Abbas Hussain appointed as Chair of Asceneuron

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    Related Deal lead

    Henrijette Richter

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    Further strengthening of leadership team following the appointment of industry stalwart Barbara Angehrn Pavik as Chief Executive Officer

    Accelerating advancement of novel treatments to halt disease progression in neurodegenerative diseases

    Lausanne, SWITZERLAND and San Francisco, CA, USA, 18 December 2023 - Asceneuron SA, a clinical stage biotech company dedicated to targeting the root causes of neurodegenerative diseases with its exemplary pipeline of O-GlcNAcase (OGA) inhibitors, is pleased to announce the appointment of Abbas Hussain as new Chair to its Board of Directors.

    Abbas Hussain has over 35 years of experience in the healthcare industry, building and growing businesses across the globe. He has a strong track record across the pharmaceutical value chain in both mature and emerging markets. Abbas has held various senior leadership positions at world leading pharma companies including GlaxoSmithKline, where he was President of Global Pharmaceuticals with responsibilities for operations in Europe, US, Asia and emerging markets and Eli Lilly, where he was President of Europe. He was Chief Executive Officer of Vifor Pharma which was acquired by CSL Limited in 2022 for $11.7 billion in one of the largest health care deals of the year.

    Henrijette Richter, Managing Partner of Sofinnova Partners and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Asceneuron, commented: “Abbas has fantastic experience and a proven track record in the pharma industry which will be invaluable as we take Asceneuron into its next stage of growth and accelerate development of these potentially transformative therapies. On behalf of the whole board and company, I would like to thank Peter Van Vlasselaer for his expertise and guidance over the past 5 years.”

    Barbara Angehrn Pavik, Chief Executive Officer of Asceneuron, said: “The recent significant advances in neurodegeneration therapies have reinvigorated interest and excitement in this challenging field. We are delighted to welcome Abbas. His experience will be invaluable as we further advance our lead clinical OGA inhibitors into the next stage of development for the benefit of patients.”

    Abbas Hussain, Chair of the Board of Directors of Asceneuron, remarked: “There have been tremendous advances in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders which impact millions of people globally every year. Asceneuron is developing potentially transformative therapies that have the potential to slow disease progression and I am delighted to be joining the team at a pivotal time of transition and growth.”

    Abbas currently holds various Non-Executive Director and Advisor roles at Alfasigma SpA, 4Bio Capital, C-Bridge Capital and GLG Institute. He previously held various Non-Executive Director roles at Cochlear Limited, CSL Limited, Teva Pharmaceutical, Immunocore and advisory roles with Hikma Plc, Cell Research Corp, Abingworth and Indegene Inc. In addition, Abbas also provides expert advisory services to private equity and venture capital firms focused on the healthcare sector.

    He holds a Bachelor of Science in Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry from Loughborough Institute of Technology (UK) and is a graduate of the Stanford Executive Program at Stanford University (California, USA).

    Asceneuron’s evolving pipeline is focused on new chemical entities designed to address the high unmet medical needs of neurodegenerative proteinopathies such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Its proprietary clinical pipeline consists of in-house developed OGA inhibitor ASN90 and potential best-in-class OGA inhibitor ASN51 which are demonstrating potential as a game changer in halting disease progression in neurodegenerative diseases.

    Asceneuron’s leadership team will be attending the upcoming 42nd Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco, 8-11 January 2024.


    For further information, please contact:

    Barbara Angehrn Pavik, CEO
    Sandra Millet, Head of Operations
    Email: asce-contact@asceneuron.com (mailto:asce-contact@asceneuron.com)

    Optimum Strategic Communications
    Mary Clark, Zoe Bolt, Joshua Evans
    Tel: +44 (0) 20 388 296 21 
    Email: asceneuron@optimumcomms.com (mailto:asceneuron@optimumcomms.com)

    About Asceneuron

    Asceneuron is a clinical stage biotech company focused on the development of orally bioavailable therapeutics for debilitating neurodegenerative disorders with high unmet medical need. The company’s pipeline reflects its ambition and commitment to developing treatments for a wide a range of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, as well as orphan tauopathies. Asceneuron has two clinical-stage small molecule O-GlcNAcase inhibitors in development for the treatment of proteinopathies: OGA inhibitor ASN90 (licenced to Ferrer Pharmaceuticals) for the treatment of progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and a potential best-in-class OGA inhibitor, ASN51 for Alzheimer’s disease.

    Details of the ongoing clinical trial in healthy volunteers can be found on clinicaltrials.gov under the identifiers NCT04759365 and NCT05725005.

    Asceneuron is a privately held company financed by a renowned syndicate of investors consisting of Sofinnova Partners, M Ventures, SR One, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. (JJDC) and Kurma Partners. For more information, please visit www.asceneuron.com.

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