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Zafgen, Inc. Strengthens Executive Leadership Team with Appointment of Industry Veteran Priya Singhal as Head of Research and Development

1219 Days ago

BOSTON, March 04, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Zafgen, Inc. (Nasdaq:ZFGN) a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company leveraging its proprietary knowledge of MetAP2 systems biology to develop novel therapies for patients affected by a range of metabolic diseases, today announced the appointment of Priya Singhal, M.D., M.P.H., as Head of Research and Development. Dr. Singhal brings more than a decade of experience as a senior drug development executive and several years of experience as a clinician to her role at Zafgen, where she will lead and oversee the Company’s research, clinical and manufacturing strategy and implementation. She will also serve as a key member of the executive team supporting overall business strategy.

Dr. Singhal joins Zafgen most recently from Biogen, where she was concurrently the Senior Vice President and the Global Head of Safety and Benefit Risk Management (SABR) and the Interim Global Co-lead and Senior Vice President of Global Development.

“Priya is a seasoned and exceptional industry leader, and we are thrilled to welcome her to Zafgen to support the development of second-generation MetAP2 therapies for patients with complex metabolic disorders,” said Jeffrey Hatfield, Chief Executive Officer of Zafgen. “Her extensive experience leading strategy around innovative, first-in-class development programs includes driving critical nonclinical and clinical decisions and regulatory interactions. This expertise, combined with a genuine passion for transforming the lives of patients through therapeutic innovation, aligns perfectly with and supports the mission, vision and growth of Zafgen. I look forward to building a partnership with her and working together to create value for investors and patients.”

During her tenure at Biogen, Dr. Singhal led the worldwide benefit-risk strategy for the Biogen portfolio as well as for the filings and approvals of six products, including Tecfidera and Spinraza. She also contributed to Biogen’s overall R&D strategy and drug development plans, chaired safety governance for the entire portfolio, and led numerous successful portfolio and product interactions with regulators worldwide.

“Throughout my career I have been drawn to opportunities to lead translation from new scientific insights into safe and effective treatments that make a difference for patients and their families,” said Dr. Singhal. “Zafgen is highly scientific and patient-centric in its approach. I am excited to collaborate with this dedicated team and bring my experience across the drug development life cycle to guide the R&D strategy and realize the full potential of this pathway.”

Prior to Biogen, Dr. Singhal held roles of increasing seniority at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, including VP, Medical Affairs, where she led strategy and educational efforts across all Vertex programs including the company’s hepatitis C (HCV) and cystic fibrosis portfolios. She led benefit-risk for the HCV portfolio and represented Vertex at the FDA Advisory Committee for Incivek that resulted in an 18-0 positive vote. Previously, Dr. Singhal also led benefit-risk for Velcade and two compounds in the development portfolio at Millennium Pharmaceuticals. 

Dr. Singhal earned her M.P.H. at Harvard School of Public Health and M.D. (internal medicine) from the University of Mumbai. She is a frequent, invited speaker at pharmaceutical and biotechnology conferences and is actively engaged in national and international educational programs about drug development.  

About Zafgen
Zafgen (Nasdaq:ZFGN) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company leveraging its proprietary MetAP2 biology platform to develop novel therapies for patients affected by complex metabolic diseases. Zafgen has pioneered the study of MetAP2 inhibitors in both common and rare metabolic disorders and is currently advancing programs for type 2 diabetes, Prader-Willi syndrome and liver diseases. Learn more at www.zafgen.com.

Safe Harbor Statement
Various statements in this release concerning Zafgen’s future expectations, plans and prospects, including without limitation, Zafgen’s expectations regarding the use of ZGN-1258, ZGN-1061 and other second-generation MetAP2 inhibitors as treatments for metabolic diseases including Prader-Willi syndrome, type 2 diabetes, liver diseases and obesity and Zafgen’s expectations with respect to the timing and success of its nonclinical studies and clinical trials of ZGN-1258, ZGN-1061 and its other product candidates, may constitute forward-looking statements for the purposes of the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and other federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “could increase the likelihood,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “is planned,” “may,” “should,” “will,” “will enable,” “would be expected,” “look forward,” “may provide,” “would” or similar terms, variations of such terms or the negative of those terms. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including, without limitation, Zafgen’s ability to successfully demonstrate the efficacy and safety of ZGN-1258, ZGN-1061 and its other product candidates and to differentiate ZGN-1258, ZGN-1061 and its other product candidates from first generation MetAP2 inhibitors, such as beloranib, the nonclinical and clinical results for ZGN-1258, ZGN-1061 and its other product candidates, which may not support further development and marketing approval, actions of regulatory agencies, which may affect the initiation, timing and progress of nonclinical studies and clinical trials of its product candidates, Zafgen’s ability to obtain, maintain and protect its intellectual property, Zafgen’s ability to enforce its patents against infringers and defend its patent portfolio against challenges from third parties, competition from others developing products for similar uses, Zafgen’s ability to manage operating expenses, Zafgen’s ability to obtain additional funding to support its business activities and establish and maintain strategic business alliances and new business initiatives when needed, Zafgen’s dependence on third parties for development, manufacture, marketing, sales and distribution of product candidates, and unexpected expenditures, as well as those risks more fully discussed in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in Zafgen’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as discussions of potential risks, uncertainties, and other important factors in Zafgen’s subsequent filings, including without limitation Zafgen’s Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, any forward-looking statements represent Zafgen’s views only as of today and should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any subsequent date. Zafgen explicitly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Media/Investor Relations Contacts:
Zafgen, Inc.
Patricia Allen
Chief Financial Officer

Krystle Gibbs
Ten Bridge Communications  

John Woolford
Westwicke, An ICR Company

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