Veteran Drug Developer Stephen Barat, Ph.D. Joins to Head Company’s Therapeutics Division
TUCSON, Ariz., Oct. 05, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — HTG Molecular Diagnostics, Inc. (Nasdaq: HTGM) (HTG), a life science company advancing precision medicine through its innovative transcriptome-wide profiling technology, announced it has expanded its therapeutics team with the addition of several highly experienced professionals. Stephen Barat, Ph.D., a drug development veteran who most recently served with the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson and Johnson (Janssen), has been named HTG’s Senior Vice President of Therapeutics. Also joining the company are Todd Huffman, Ph.D. as Vice President of Strategy, Carl Kaub as Vice President of Chemistry Operations and Desmond Raitt, Ph.D. as Vice President of Business Development.
“Our proprietary RNA platform, paired with our advanced medicinal chemistry technologies, has set the stage for HTG to be highly disruptive in drug discovery by developing candidates with superior efficacy and safety profiles,” said John Lubniewski, CEO of HTG.
“Dr. Barat brings an impressive track record, having successfully brought at least 15 products to market across multiple therapeutic areas over the course of his two decades in global drug development,” he added. “As we look to leverage our extensive background in RNA profiling to unlock the full potential of HTG’s innovative technology, we are delighted to have Dr. Barat and the other talented team members in place.”
“HTG has the opportunity to utilize its proprietary RNA platform technologies to create an entirely new generation of drug discovery tools aimed at significantly reducing risk and increasing positive outcomes,” said Dr. Barat. “With a relatively small percentage of drug candidates currently succeeding through clinical trials because critical learnings are identified too late in the process, we now have the potential to transform the drug discovery process across a broad range of disease areas. I couldn’t be more excited to join this dynamic team at this pivotal time.”
Prior to joining HTG, Dr. Barat was the U.S. Head, Non-clinical Safety Leaders in Non-clinical Safety Assessment at Janssen, where he led a large team that supported programs in all phases of discovery and development, from target assessment and lead optimization through candidate selection, early/late-stage development and registration. Before Janssen, he served as Vice President, Preclinical Research and Early Development at Scynexis and held additional senior roles at Allergan (Actavis/Forest Laboratories) and Schering-Plough/Merck. A graduate of Rutgers University, Dr. Barat earned his Ph.D. in biomedical sciences, pharmacology and toxicology from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Medical School.
Before joining HTG, Dr. Huffman co-founded Padlock Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company dedicated to creating new medicines to treat destructive autoimmune diseases that was subsequently acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb. Prior to that, he led institute-wide startup company formation initiatives as Director, Drug Discovery Partnerships at The Scripps Research Institute. He also founded S6 Therapeutics, which focused on drug discovery for cancer, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases. A graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, he earned his Ph.D. in molecular pharmacology from the University of Virginia.
Mr. Kaub was Senior Director of Business Development and Operations at WuXi AppTec, Inc., which provides a broad portfolio of R&D and manufacturing services to the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device industries worldwide. He began his career as a medicinal chemist in the pharmaceutical industry, holding various positions as part of drug development teams at companies such as Cephalon, Renovis and Evotec. A graduate of Saint Joseph’s University, he earned a Master of Science degree in organic chemistry and biochemistry from Villanova University.
As Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Seal Biosciences, Dr. Raitt negotiated an exclusive license from the University of California in San Francisco and led strategic partnering and fundraising activities for a novel anti-EGFR response biomarker to improve patient outcomes in metastatic colorectal cancer. As Founder of Bay Biotech Consulting, Dr. Raitt conducted strategic advisory work on behalf of companies including Genentech, BioMarin Pharmaceutical, BioCision and venBio. He also led the U.S. West Coast External Innovation function for Ferring Pharmaceuticals, focusing on pre-clinical licensing opportunities across their core therapeutic areas. A graduate of Dublin City University, Dr. Raitt earned his Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Leicester.
HTG is accelerating precision medicine from diagnosis to treatment by harnessing the power of transcriptome-wide profiling to drive translational research, clinical diagnostics and targeted therapeutics across a variety of disease areas.
Building on more than a decade of pioneering innovation and partnerships with biopharma leaders and major academic institutes, HTG’s proprietary RNA platform technologies are designed to make the development of life science tools and diagnostics more effective and efficient and to unlock a differentiated and disruptive approach to transformative drug discovery. For more information visit www.htgmolecular.com.
Statements contained in this press release regarding matters that are not historical facts are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding HTG potentially being disruptive in drug discovery and having a transformational impact on the drug discovery process, the ability of HTG’s RNA platform and advanced medicinal chemistry technologies to result in the development of candidates with superior efficacy and safety profiles, and other potential benefits of HTG’s RNA platform and technologies. Words such as “believes,” “plans,” “expects,” “intends,” “will,” “goal,” “potential” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements necessarily contain these identifying words. These forward-looking statements are based upon management’s current expectations, are subject to known and unknown risks, and involve assumptions that may never materialize or may prove to be incorrect. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements as a result of various risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, risks associated with drug discovery and development; the risk that our RNA platform and medicinal chemistry technologies may not provide the benefits that we expect; risks associated with our ability to develop and commercialize our products; the risk that our products and services may not be adopted by biopharmaceutical companies or other customers as anticipated, or at all; our ability to manufacture our products to meet demand; competition in our industry; additional capital and credit availability; our ability to attract and retain qualified personnel; risks associated with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on us and our customers; and product liability claims. These and other factors are described in greater detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including under the “Risk Factors” heading of our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2021, as filed with the SEC on August 12, 2021. All forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date on which they were made, and we undertake no obligation to update such statements to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the date on which they were made.
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