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Asceneuron Appoints Experienced CNS Clinician Dr Eric Yuen to the Board of Directors

Seasoned pharma & biotech executive joins the Board of mid-stage clinical company

Lausanne, SWITZERLAND and CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts, May 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Asceneuron, an emerging leader in the development of orally bioavailable modulators of tau for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, today announces the appointment of Dr Eric Yuen to its Board of Directors.

Dr Eric Yuen, has over 25 years of clinical development experience in central nervous system (CNS) pathologies and has led multiple Phase I-IV development programs for biologics and small molecules obtaining numerous regulatory approvals. He is currently Chief Medical Officer at Talee Bio Inc which he co-founded in addition to RiboNova Inc. Dr Yuen's industry experience began at Merck Sharp & Dohme (known as Merck & Co in the United States) as Director of Clinical Research, where he focused on CNS and pain indications. He then spent nine years at Johnson & Johnson finally as Vice President of Clinical Development responsible for the portfolio of monoclonal antibodies and vaccines targeting Alzheimer's disease. He has since held senior positions in several biotech companies including as Chief Medical Officer at Inozyme Pharma and Ultragenyx Pharmaceuticals. Before joining the industry, Dr Yuen was an assistant professor of neurology at the University of Washington, where he conducted clinical research in rare CNS disorders. Dr Yuen received his M.D. from the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago and completed his neurology training at the University of California at San Francisco. He holds a B.S. in Physics and Biology with Academic Distinction from Stanford University.

Peter Van Vlasselaer, Chairman of the Board of Asceneuron, said: 

"I would like to welcome Eric to the Board of Directors. His outstanding track record and expertise in CNS drug development will be invaluable as Asceneuron initiates later stage clinical development in the tau pathology space."

Dirk Beher, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Asceneuron, added:

"Asceneuron is making rapid progress in the clinical development of orally-bioavailable tau modifiers and we are delighted to welcome such a highly experienced CNS clinician to the Board of Directors. Eric's know-how will add tremendous value to Asceneuron's development and our ultimate goal of bringing urgently needed medicines to patients."

Eric Yuen, Non-Executive Director of Asceneuron, commented:

"Asceneuron's exciting compounds could be the basis for highly novel treatments of broad range of CNS diseases including progressive supranuclear palsy, frontotemporal dementia, and Alzheimer's disease. I look forward to supporting the Asceneuron team in bringing its highly promising orally-bioavailable tau modifiers to underserved patient populations."

Asceneuron's lead program ASN120290 is a small molecule inhibitor of the enzyme O-GlcNAcase. Based on its unique mechanism of action, ASN120290 has the potential to become a first in class treatment for progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and other tau-related dementias.

Late last year the company appointed CNS specialist Dr Thomas C. Wessel as Chief Medical Officer in its US based team. Asceneuron recently completed a clinical trial with ASN120290 to quantify target engagement in the human brain using positron emission tomography (PET) the results of which will guide dose selection for a trial in PSP planned for later this year. 

Asceneuron's CEO Dirk Beher will be presenting at the BioEquity Europe Conference in Barcelona on Monday, May 20 at 2:00pm CET in Room Vivaldi 2, Crowne Plaza Barcelona Fira Center.

About Asceneuron

Asceneuron is an emerging, clinical stage biotech company focusing on the development of orally bioavailable therapeutics for debilitating neurodegenerative disorders with high unmet medical need, such as orphan tauopathies, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. The lead program ASN120290, an O-GlcNAcase inhibitor, is being developed for the orphan tauopathy progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). Asceneuron has completed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase I study to assess the safety and tolerability of single and multiple doses of orally administered ASN120290. Asceneuron is a privately held company financed by a strong 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.

About ASN120290

Asceneuron's lead program ASN120290, an O-GlcNAcase inhibitor, is being developed for the orphan tauopathy progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and was recently granted Orphan Drug Designation by the US FDA for the treatment of PSP. ASN120290 has recently completed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase I study to assess its safety and tolerability of single and multiple doses in healthy young and elderly volunteers. Data from that study were presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) in Chicago July 22-26, 2018.