CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Acceleron Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:XLRN), a leading biopharmaceutical company in the discovery and development of TGF-beta therapeutics to treat serious and rare diseases, today announced the appointment of Robert K. Zeldin, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer (CMO). Dr. Zeldin brings to Acceleron more than two decades of clinical, regulatory and industry experience, most recently serving as CMO of Belgium-based Ablynx NV.
“Robert has built an impressive career, holding a variety of leadership positions across clinical development, regulatory, and medical affairs functions,” said Habib Dable, Chief Executive Officer of Acceleron. “He’s joining us at a critical time for the company as we advance our lead product candidate, luspatercept, in multiple hematologic indications. Moreover, we have ongoing Phase 2 programs with our key, wholly-owned pipeline assets in neuromuscular and pulmonary diseases. Robert’s breadth and depth of experience should prove immensely valuable in executing on our clinical development goals.”
As a member of the Executive Committee at Ablynx, Dr. Zeldin contributed to the development and implementation of the overall corporate strategy. He was responsible for the Medical, Regulatory, Pharmacovigilance, Clinical Operations, Biostatistics, and Data Management functions and led a team of 60. He joined Ablynx from French pharmaceutical firm Stallergenes SA, where he was Senior Vice President and Head of Global Clinical Development. Earlier, he worked for five years at Novartis Pharmaceuticals, the final three as Vice President and U.S. Medical Franchise Head, Respiratory and Dermatology. Dr. Zeldin’s career in industry began at Merck, where he spent seven years in progressively strategic roles in worldwide regulatory affairs and clinical development, rising to the position of Senior Director of Clinical Development with responsibility for products in the respiratory, cardiovascular, and infectious disease therapeutic areas.
“It’s a privilege to join the Acceleron team in the pursuit of novel therapies for serious and rare diseases with significant unmet medical need,” said Dr. Zeldin. “Seldom does one have an opportunity to contribute to the development and potential launch of medicines in multiple therapeutic areas for diverse patient populations, all of whom are vastly underserved by current options.”
Prior to his work in industry, Dr. Zeldin served as a Medical Officer at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, assessing efficacy and safety data from the clinical development of allergy-related therapies, vaccines, and orphan products. He also spent several years in clinical practice treating patients with allergic, asthmatic, and immunologic disorders. He holds a B.A. with honors from Johns Hopkins University and an M.D. from Tufts University School of Medicine. His postdoctoral training included Residency in Internal Medicine at University Health Center of Pittsburgh and Fellowship in Allergy and Clinical Immunology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Dr. Zeldin succeeds longtime Acceleron CMO, Matthew Sherman, M.D., who earlier this year announced his planned retirement. Dr. Sherman will remain on staff until the anticipated mid-2018 release of topline Phase 3 data from the BELIEVE trial of luspatercept in beta-thalassemia patients, and will then serve in an advisory capacity for one year thereafter.
Acceleron is a Cambridge, MA-based, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development, and commercialization of therapeutics to treat serious and rare diseases. The Company’s leadership in the understanding of TGF-beta biology and protein engineering generates innovative compounds that engage the body’s ability to regulate cellular growth and repair.
Acceleron focuses its research and development efforts in hematologic, neuromuscular, and pulmonary diseases. In hematology, the Company and its global collaboration partner, Celgene, are developing luspatercept for the treatment of chronic anemia in myelodysplastic syndromes, beta-thalassemia, and myelofibrosis. Acceleron is also advancing its neuromuscular franchise with two distinct Myostatin+ agents, ACE-083 and ACE-2494, and a pulmonary program with sotatercept in pulmonary arterial hypertension.
This press release contains forward-looking statements about the Company’s strategy, future plans and prospects, including statements regarding the development of the Company’s compounds, the timeline for clinical development and regulatory approval of the Company’s compounds and the expected timing for reporting of data from ongoing clinical trials. The words “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “goal,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “project,” “should,” “target,” “will,” “would,” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words.
Actual results could differ materially from those included in the forward-looking statements due to various factors, risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, that preclinical testing of the Company’s compounds and data from clinical trials may not be predictive of the results or success of ongoing or later clinical trials, that the results of any clinical trial may not be predictive of the results or success of other clinical trials of the same product candidate, that the development of the Company’s compounds will take longer and/or cost more than planned, that the Company will be unable to successfully complete the clinical development of the Company’s compounds, that the Company may be delayed in initiating, enrolling or completing any clinical trials, and that the Company’s compounds will not receive regulatory approval or become commercially successful products. These and other risks and uncertainties are identified under the heading “Risk Factors” included in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, and other filings that the Company has made and may make with the SEC in the future.
The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based on management’s current views, plans, estimates, assumptions and projections with respect to future events, and the Company does not undertake and specifically disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.