SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., September 25, 2020 -- Surrozen Inc., a biotechnology company pioneering a new class of targeted regenerative antibodies, today announced the addition of David J. Woodhouse, Ph.D.,to the Board of Directors. Dr. Woodhouse currently serves as the chief executive officer and a director of NGM Biopharmaceuticals.
“David’s background as a scientist with profound finance and leadership industry experience is perfectly tailored to Surrozen’s goals and vision. We are ecstatic to add him to our board,” said Craig Parker, Surrozen’s chief executive officer. “Surrozen is rapidly advancing targeted regenerative antibodies into the clinic to treat serious liver diseases and IBD, while simultaneously progressing multiple discovery projects in various Wnt-responsive tissues. David’s experience in growing innovative companies within the biopharma industry will assist Surrozen in delivering on our mission of translating regenerative therapeutics into the clinic.”
Dr. Woodhouse has a deep history of leadership throughout the biopharmaceutical industry, with expertise in strategy, finance, and capital development for growing biotechnology companies. Prior to his role as NGM’s chief executive officer, Dr. Woodhouse served as chief financial officer for over three years. Prior to joining NGM, Dr. Woodhouse held multiple leadership positions at Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, most recently as a managing director in the healthcare investment banking group and co-head of biotechnology investment banking.
“Surrozen has positioned itself as the leading company innovating regenerative therapies through their Wnt signal activating technologies,” commented Dr. Woodhouse. “I look forward to aiding in the development of a pipeline that will maximize the potential of regenerative therapies for patients.”
Dr. Woodhouse received his B.A. in pharmacology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, a Ph.D. in molecular pharmacology from Stanford University School of Medicine, and an M.B.A. from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.
Wnt signaling plays key roles in the control of development, homeostasis,and regeneration of many essential organs and tissues, including liver,intestine, lung, kidney, central nervous system, cochlea, bone, and others. Modulation of Wnt signaling pathways has potential for treatment ofd egenerative diseases and tissue injuries. There are 19 Wnt ligands (Wnts) in mammals, and they signal through Frizzled receptors 1-10 and co-receptors LRP5or 6, two families of receptors. Endogenous Wnts bind to multiple Frizzled receptors and are heavily modified post-translationally, making them difficult to manufacture consistently. R-spondin stabilizes Frizzled receptors, enhancing the body’s response to endogenous Wnts.
Since its founding in 2016, Surrozen has developed two proprietary platforms to selectively modulate the Wnt pathway for the potential treatment of injury and disease. Surrozen Wnt-mimetics, also referred to as SWAP (Surrozen Wnt signal activating proteins), are bi-specific full-length human (IgG) antibodies that directly activate the canonical Wnt signaling pathway in target tissue. Surrozen R-spondin-mimetics, also referred to as SWEETS (Surrozen Wnt signal enhancers engineered for tissue specificity), are antibody-based molecules that enhance Wnt signaling by stabilizing Frizzled receptors on targeted cells.
SZN-043 is the first development candidate designed using Surrozen’s SWEETS platform. In preclinical animal models of liver injury and fibrosis, SZN-043 has been shown to selectively activate Wnt signaling in the liver, stimulate hepatocyte proliferation, improve synthetic function, and reduce fibrosis. Surrozen will develop SZN-043 for severe liver diseases: acute hepatitis and decompensated cirrhosis.
SZN-1326 is the first development candidate designed using Surrozen’s SWAP platform. SZN-1326 targets the Wnt-signaling pathway in the intestinal epithelium. In preclinical animal models of acute and chronic colitis, SZN-1326 has been shown to activate Wnt signaling in the intestine, stimulate intestinal epithelial regeneration,and reduce disease activity. Surrozen will develop SZN-1326 for moderate to severe inflammatory bowel disease.
Surrozen is a biotechnology company pioneering a new class of targeted regenerative antibodies to repair a broad range of tissues and organs damaged by serious disease. Surrozen is designing tissue-specific antibodies that engage the body’s own biological repair mechanisms resulting in a broad pipeline of disease-specific therapies to help patients across multiple disease areas, including severe liver diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, retinopathies, hearing loss, lung and airway diseases, and certain neurological disorders. For more information, please visit surrozen.com.
VP, Corporate Development and Strategy