BOSTON, July 26, 2011— Rhythm announced today three appointments to its Scientific Advisory Board to work with the company on its clinical development programs in metabolic diseases: John M. Amatruda, MD, formerly Franchise Head of Diabetes and Obesity at Merck; Michael C. Camilleri, MD, Professor of Medicine and Physiology at the Mayo Clinic; and William W. Chin, MD, Executive Dean for Research at Harvard Medical School.
“This is a special group that has the potential to make a transformational impact on the treatment of diabetes, obesity, and GI functional disorders,” said Lee M. Kaplan, MD, PhD, chair of Rhythm’s SAB. “They represent the top talent in drug development and academic research in fields that directly relate to the Rhythm programs targeting the ghrelin and MC4 pathways.”
Dr. Amatruda was Senior Vice President and Franchise Head for Diabetes and Obesity at Merck. His experience includes the development and commercialization of Januvia® and Janumet®, which had combined sales of more than $3 billion in 2010. He led Merck’s drug discovery and development groups in obesity and diabetes as well as drug development groups in atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Previously, he was Vice President of Metabolic Disorders Research at Bayer Corporation. Before joining industry, he was a Professor of Medicine Adjunct at Yale University School of Medicine and a Professor of Medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine.
Dr. Camilleri is a leading expert in gastroenterology, with a research focus on enteric neurosciences and the physiology, pathophysiology, and treatment of diseases that affect GI motility, including gastroparesis, diabetes, obesity, and irritable bowel syndrome. Dr. Camilleri has made extensive contributions to the development of new treatments and diagnostic tools for disordered gut function, obesity, and the problems of diabetes.
Dr. Chin is Executive Dean for Research, Professor of Medicine, and Bertarelli Professor of Translational Medical Science at Harvard Medical School (HMS) following an 11-year career at Eli Lilly, where he was most recently Senior Vice President for Discovery Research and Clinical Investigation. At Lilly, he led the discovery and development of a strong pipeline of molecules in endocrine and other therapeutic areas, of which many achieved clinical testing status, and he participated in several acquisitions that expanded Lilly’s product and technology platform. Prior to Lilly, Dr. Chin was on the faculty of HMS for 25 years, where his accomplishments as a molecular endocrinologist included the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms of nuclear receptor action.
“There are very few people with the depth of clinical expertise and success in pioneering new insights into pathophysiology and treatments for metabolic diseases as the members of this group,” said Bart Henderson, President of Rhythm. “We are excited to be working with each of them on the clinical development of RM-131 for diabetic gastroparesis and RM-493 for obesity and diabetes.”