SAN DIEGO, January 11, 2020 PRNewswire –
DTx Pharma, Inc. (DTx), a privately-held biotechnology company creating novel RNA-based therapeutics to treat the genetic drivers of disease, announced today the promotion of Bryan Laffitte, Ph.D. to Chief Scientific Officer.
“Given Bryan’s significant contributions to date, the Board and I are in full alignment that he is the best person to take our science to the next level,” said Arthur T. Suckow, CEO of DTx Pharma. “We have tremendous momentum right now in advancing our FALCON (fatty acid conjugate) technology platform. With Bryan leading our R&D activities, we are well-positioned to expand on our progress. His track record of advancing programs into the clinic, excellent leadership of high-functioning teams, and wealth of biology expertise, make him perfectly suited for this role.”
Dr. Laffitte, who joined DTx as Vice President, Biology in July 2020, has twenty years of pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry experience, with significant expertise leading research teams across many scientific disciplines and advancing programs from pre-clinical development through IND filings. Dr. Laffitte joined DTx from Inception Therapeutics, Inc., where he served as Vice President, Biology and was responsible for the managing research activities for Inception and several of its subsidiary companies, including Tempest Therapeutics, Lycia Therapeutics, Osprey Therapeutics and Metis Therapeutics. Prior to Inception, Dr. Laffitte served in roles of increasing responsibility over a thirteen-year period, most recently as Director, Regenerative Medicine, at the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF), Novartis Institutes of Biomedical Research (NIBR). During his time at GNF/NIBR, Dr. Laffitte lead several functions including the strategic direction of the Regenerative Medicine Group, the pre-clinical pharmaceutical development for several programs in a wide range of indications, and the Type 1 Diabetes collaboration with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), which secured the largest research grant ever (~$25M) from the JDRF. He initiated and led the Novartis FXR Agonist project leading to the development of tropifexor (LJN452), which has demonstrated proof of concept in Phase 2 clinical trials in two indications including non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. He was a member of the Novartis FXR Agonist global project team and acted as co-lead of the strategic initiative on targeted drug delivery. In 2016, he was named the VIVA (Vision, Innovation, Value and Achievement) Award winner and was named the Novartis Leading Scientist for the year.
“I look forward to continuing the ground-breaking work we’re doing at DTx to enable RNA therapeutics for diseases with high unmet medical need,” said Dr. Laffitte. “Our FALCON technology platform builds upon several decades of research in this field and I believe that we are at the tipping-point of innovation by utilizing DTx’s unique approach to create a meaningful pipeline of novel drugs. I am proud to lead our R&D efforts to realize the promise of RNA therapeutics beyond the liver into previously undruggable tissue and cell types.”
Before GNF/NIBR, Dr. Laffitte served as Investigator, High Throughput Biology at GlaxoSmithKline Research and Development. Dr. Laffitte received his Ph.D. in biological chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Laffitte has presented his research at several leading medical conferences and is the author on 30 peer-reviewed publications.
About DTx Pharma
DTx Pharma, Inc. is a privately-held biotechnology company creating novel RNA-based therapeutics to treat the genetic drivers of disease. The company’s proprietary delivery technology platform utilizes fatty acids as targeting ligands to enable the delivery of oligonucleotide therapies to tissues and cell types throughout the body. In preclinical studies, DTx has demonstrated cellular uptake and broad activity of oligonucleotides in the retina, muscle, heart, neurons, T cells and many other specialized cell types. Based upon the novelty, IP position and data demonstrating the effectiveness of its proprietary fatty acid motifs, DTx has previously received investment, nondilutive funding and other forms of support from Eli Lilly, Eye CRO and the CMT Research Foundation (CMTRF) for its ocular and muscle programs and has received multiple grant awards from the NIH (NCATS, NIA), and the TPEP program of Alzheimer’s Association and Rainwater Charitable Trust to advance its efforts to treat CNS diseases. To learn more about DTx Pharma, please visit www.dtxpharma.com and follow DTx on LinkedIn and Twitter @DTxPharma.