BOSTON-Glyscend Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that is reshaping the treatment of metabolic disease, including obesity and type 2 diabetes, with first-in-class oral polymer medicines that address unmet needs for patients globally, today announced the appointment of Sapan Shah, Ph.D., as Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Shah has more than 25 years of experience leading innovative life science companies as CEO, founder, board member and strategic advisor.
His appointment is part of a planned leadership transition to accelerate Glyscend’s growth as it further advances lead product candidate, GLY-200, a clinical stage oral polymer medicine targeting gut mediated metabolic signaling. In conjunction with the transition, founding CEO, Ashish Nimgaonkar, M.D., was appointed to the newly created role of Chief Medical Officer and Head of Research and Development.
“We are delighted to bring in Sapan at this pivotal time, with his deep experience in executing financings, business development deals and operational buildouts for development-stage companies. Together with our existing leadership, we have a clear path toward execution of our near- and long-term goals.”
“I am thrilled to welcome Sapan to the team and excited to partner with him through the next phase of Glyscend’s growth. I also want to commend the entire Glyscend team for their dedication and efforts in getting the company to its current stage,” stated Dr. Nimgaonkar. “GLY-200 is well-positioned to advance into a Phase 2b trial for patients with obesity and type 2 diabetes, and I look forward to collaborating with Sapan to progress our lead program and bring forward additional therapies for patients living with metabolic diseases.”
“Under Ashish’s leadership, Glyscend has made tremendous progress going from scientific hypothesis to clinical proof-of-concept in a positive Phase 2a trial. His insights across our clinical and research portfolio will be crucial to our continued success,” said Dennis McWilliams, Partner at Santé Ventures and Chair of Glyscend’s Board of Directors. “We are delighted to bring in Sapan at this pivotal time, with his deep experience in executing financings, business development deals and operational buildouts for development-stage companies. Together with our existing leadership, we have a clear path toward execution of our near- and long-term goals.”
Dr. Shah has significant leadership experience in the biopharma industry, with a focus on building, financing and operating innovative companies advancing novel therapeutics that address critical areas of unmet medical need.
His previous CEO roles have included StrideBio, a leading developer of novel adeno-associated virus (AAV) based gene therapies with a pioneering structure-driven capsid engineering platform that was acquired by Gingko Bioworks in 2023; ARMGO Pharma, a clinical-stage company advancing treatments for debilitating cardiac and rare muscle diseases; Ezose Sciences, a high-throughput glycomics platform company acquired by Sumitomo Bakelite in 2014; and Shionogi Inc., the U.S. pharmaceutical business of Shionogi & Co, Ltd. At StrideBio, Dr. Shah led efforts to expand the company’s capabilities and pipeline, execute multiple pharmaceutical partnerships and close a Series B financing with a top venture syndicate.
At Shionogi, Dr. Shah launched the company’s initial U.S. business, ultimately building a fully integrated clinical development and commercial organization, including overseeing development programs and marketed products in the obesity and diabetes area.
Dr. Shah began his career as a consultant with McKinsey & Company, where he advised pharmaceutical and biotech clients on a wide range of R&D, commercial and corporate strategy initiatives. Dr. Shah holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University and B.A. degrees in Mathematics, Biochemistry and Integrated Science from Northwestern University.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to build on the fantastic progress made by Ashish and the entire Glyscend team, and to lead the next phase of growth. This is a transformative time for obesity and type 2 diabetes patients with current therapies showing remarkable results.
However, significant unmet needs persist with large numbers of patients remaining uncontrolled or unable to tolerate available treatments. Given the magnitude of the global obesity-diabetes epidemic, new oral therapies with mechanisms of action that are complementary to existing approaches are urgently needed,” said Dr. Shah. “Based on recent Phase 2a clinical results, GLY-200 has the potential to offer obesity and type 2 diabetes patients an oral, well-tolerated and effective therapy. I look forward to working alongside the Glyscend team and Board to bring this important medicine to patients.”
About Glyscend, Inc.
Glyscend Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that is reshaping the treatment of metabolic disease, led by obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D), with first-in-class oral polymer medicines with the potential to address significant unmet needs for patients globally. The company’s lead candidate, GLY-200, is designed to be non-absorbed and selectively target and bind to the inner lining of the upper GI tract, where it can modulate nutrient sensing and downstream metabolic signaling pathways. Based on its unique mechanism of action, GLY-200 mimics the beneficial effects of metabolic surgery and duodenal exclusion devices. In a Phase 2a study in patients with T2D, GLY-200 was well-tolerated and demonstrated clinical proof-of-concept, with statistically significant improvements on glycemic control and body weight as well as potential beneficial effects on other metabolic markers. Glyscend plans to advance GLY-200 into longer term Phase 2b studies in patients with obesity and T2D. The company is backed by healthcare innovators, Santé Ventures and Brandon Capital Partners, and was founded based on research and funding from Johns Hopkins University, the Thiel Foundation and Breakout Labs. For more information, please visit www.glyscend.com.
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