Connect Biopharma Announces Appointment of Karen J. Wilson and Dr. Kleanthis G. Xanthopoulos to Board of Directors

Connect Biopharma Announces Appointment of Karen J. Wilson and Dr. Kleanthis G. Xanthopoulos to Board of Directors

PR Newswire

SAN DIEGO and TAICANG, SUZHOU, China, Nov. 12, 2020

SAN DIEGO and TAICANG, SUZHOU, China, Nov. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Connect Biopharma, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of next-generation immune modulators for the treatment of serious autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, today announced the appointment of Karen J. Wilson, veteran Life Science Finance Executive and Board Director, and Dr. Kleanthis G. Xanthopoulos, Stork Capital Life Sciences Chairman, to the Connect Biopharma Board of Directors, effective November 1, 2020. 

"Karen and Kleanthis each have extensive track records of success in multiple aspects of biopharmaceutical company finance, corporate and product development, and strategic alliance formation," said William (Wubin) Pan, Ph.D., Co-founder, President and Chairman of the Board. "We are delighted that they have joined our Board and their expertise will enhance our ability to create value for patients and our investors as we advance our diverse pipeline of innovative therapies. Our ability to attract industry leaders to our Board of Directors enhances our ability to capitalize on opportunities in multiple global markets."

Ms. Wilson is a biopharmaceutical finance executive and board member with more than 30 years of industry and leadership experience in life science companies across finance, strategy, and risk management. She was most recently Senior Vice President of Finance at Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc, an international biopharmaceutical company, where, during her tenure, she built a global finance team, led financial due diligence and execution of numerous M&A integrations, and contributed to Jazz's rapid growth in revenue. She is currently an independent Director and Chairperson of the Audit Committee for Angion Biomedica, and for Vaxart, Inc. Ms. Wilson is a CPA and received a B.S. in Business from the University of California, Berkeley.

"With two potentially best-in-class therapies in Phase 2 clinical development, an exciting pipeline of earlier-stage programs and a powerful, proprietary Immune Modulation Technology Platform, I believe that Connect Biopharma has multiple opportunities to achieve clinical and commercial success, on its own and in potential collaborations with other industry-leading companies," said Ms. Wilson. "I look forward to working together with the board and the management to maximize the company's value creation opportunities."

Dr. Xanthopoulos is a serial entrepreneur whose passion is building healthcare companies focused on innovation. He has over two decades of experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical research industries as an executive, company founder, chief executive officer, investor and Board member. Dr. Kleanthis has founded four companies, introduced three life science companies to NASDAQ and financed and brokered numerous creative strategic alliance and partnership deals with large pharmaceutical partners. He is currently CEO of IRRAS AB, and Chairman of Stork Capital Life Sciences, which focuses on building and investing in innovative biotechnology companies. He serves on a number of private and public boards. Dr. Kleanthis received a B.Sc. in Biology from Aristotle University and an M.Sc. in Microbiology and Immunology and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Stockholm.

"Throughout my career I have focused on establishing or working with companies that have not only the intellectual power to develop transformative therapies but also are committed to ensuring that these therapies lead to significant improvements in patients' care and outcomes," said Dr. Xanthopoulos. "Connect Biopharma meets these criteria, and that the company's management team and Board of Directors have the expertise and dedication to realize the potential of its technology and product candidates. I welcome the opportunity to join the Board of Directors and help Connect Biopharma become a legacy company."   

Following the appointment of Ms. Wilson and Dr. Xanthopoulos, the Board will comprise seven directors, five of whom are independent.

About Connect Biopharma
Connect Biopharma is a U.S.- and China-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, focused on the discovery and development of next-generation immune modulators to be used in the treatment of serious autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Leveraging our expertise in the biology of T cell modulation and our proprietary Immune Modulation Technology Platform, a high-throughput screening platform that rapidly and efficiently identifies molecules that target clinically validated disease pathways, we are a company passionate about developing innovative medicines and improving the lives of those suffering from these chronic and debilitating diseases worldwide.

We have built a pipeline of proprietary drug candidates, including CBP-201 and CBP-307, which are in Phase 2 clinical development. A Phase 1b study of CBP-201, an antibody targeting IL-4Rα, in patients with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis demonstrated significant and rapid improvement in all disease metrics including skin lesion and pruritus, after four weeks of treatment. CBP-307 is a small molecule candidate currently in Phase 2 clinical trials in ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.

In addition to our lead candidates, we are advancing three preclinical programs, comprising two small molecule candidates (CBP-174 and CBP-312) and one antibody targeting IL-33 (CBP-233) as treatments for various serious inflammatory conditions. We hold all global rights to our proprietary pipeline and discovery technologies. For additional information about Connect Biopharma, please visit our website at www.connectbiopharm.com.

IR/PR Contacts: 
Lazar FINN Partners
David Carey (IR)
T: +1-(212) 867-1768
david.carey@finnpartners.com

Erich Sandoval (Media)
 +1-(646) 871-8482 or +1-917-497-2867
erich.sandoval@finnpartners.com

Corporate Contacts:
info@connectpharm.com

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