Frequency Therapeutics Welcomes Former Otonomy CSO as Executive Vice President of Clinical Development
Leading clinical development executive joins as company prepares for Phase 2 clinical trials in hearing restoration
WOBURN, Mass., March 12, 2018 – Frequency Therapeutics, a biotechnology company spearheading the movement to harness the regenerative potential of target populations of stem cells inside the body, today announced the appointment of Carl LeBel, Ph.D., to Executive Vice President of Clinical Development. Dr. LeBel comes to Frequency with over 25 years of pharmaceutical research and development experience and following almost a decade with Otonomy, Inc. as their Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. LeBel joins Frequency as the company prepares to enter Phase 2 clinical trials in the U.S. for their lead program in hearing restoration, FX-322, in the second half of this year.
“Dr. LeBel is an accomplished leader who has a track record of building strong teams, putting patients first, leading change and delivering results,” said David Lucchino, President, Co-founder and CEO of Frequency. “Carl’s decades of experience in clinical development across several therapeutic areas, in particular otology, is an invaluable addition to our management team as we move forward with our clinical stage program in hearing restoration.”
Frequency’s Progenitor Cell Activation, or PCA Regeneration, platform targets the root cause of disease without removing stem cells from the body and avoiding the generational and systemic issues that arise with traditional cell or gene therapy. Through the use of small molecules to awaken dormant progenitor cells already in the body to restore healthy tissue, Frequency is reducing the complexity of regenerative medicine with its elegant and impactful approach, and presents the opportunity to address numerous diseases such as hearing loss, demyelinating diseases, skin disorders and gastrointestinal conditions.
“Since I’ve been monitoring scientific advances in hearing regeneration over the last decade, I consider Frequency’s PCA Regeneration platform a game-changer that has the potential to address a multitude of diseases, starting with their most advanced program in hearing regeneration,” said Dr. LeBel. “This is an exciting time to be involved with a company like Frequency, who is poised to bring a new form of regenerative medicine therapeutics to fruition and help millions of people the world over. I’m honored to join such an auspicious group of individuals and continue building on their successful therapeutic research and development.”
Carl LeBel, Ph.D. served as Chief Scientific Officer of Otonomy from April 2009 to November 2016. Previously, Dr. LeBel served as Executive Director and in a variety of other positions at Amgen, Inc., an American multinational biopharmaceutical company. Prior to his time at Amgen, Dr. LeBel served as Research Scientist at Alkermes, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company developing innovative medicines to help patients with serious chronic conditions. Earlier, he served as Consultant at Arthur D. Little, Inc., a management and technology consulting firm working across a number of industries. Dr. LeBel is a scientific fellow of the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery, a full member of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, and a full member of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Society of Toxicology. Dr. LeBel received his Bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Detroit and his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences/Toxicology from Northeastern University.
ABOUT PCA REGENERATION
Frequency’s precise and controlled approach transiently causes Lgr5+ progenitor cells to divide and differentiate, much like what is seen in naturally regenerating tissues such as the skin and intestine. Frequency activates ‘stemness’ through mimicking signals provided by neighboring cells (the stem cell niche) with small molecules, and this proprietary approach is known as the Progenitor Cell Activation (PCA) Regeneration platform. Frequency believes that PCA Regeneration has the potential to yield a whole new category of disease-modifying therapeutics for a wide range of degenerative conditions. To fuel its drug discovery programs, Frequency is leveraging a PCA screening platform using primary human cells, including cochlear progenitor cells and adult progenitor cells from the GI tract. Potential applications include hearing loss, demyelinating diseases, skin disorders and gastrointestinal diseases.
ABOUT FREQUENCY THERAPEUTICS
Frequency Therapeutics develops small molecule drugs to stimulate cells in the body to reverse biological deficits and restore healthy tissue. Through the transitory activation of these cells, Frequency enables disease modification without the complexity of genetic engineering. Our breakthrough therapy uses a proprietary combination of small-molecule drugs that induce dormant progenitor cells to multiply and create new cells. Our platform technology is founded on discoveries in progenitor cell biology by Bob Langer, Sc.D. at MIT and Jeff Karp, Ph.D., at Harvard, with contributions from Xiaolei Yin, Ph.D. and other members of the Karp Lab at Harvard and Brigham & Women's Hospital. www.frequencytx.com.
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Stefanie Tuck or Kari Watson
MacDougall Biomedical Communications