Struggling Regulus promotes former Lilly executive as new CMO

Deeg becomes CMO as other executives and staffers have left the building.

Under-pressure microRNA biotech Regulus has promoted Mark Deeg, M.D., Ph.D., into a new role as chief medical officer, just two months after he was named VP of translational medicine.

It’s not been good times at Regulus. After hemorrhaging executives this year, including its CEO and COO and a stripped-back workforce, things got worse yesterday when the biotech announced that AstraZeneca has handed back rights to a clinical-stage drug for NASH. Regulus will be dumping its ill-fated hepatitis C candidate RG-101 as well as another liver disease candidate, as it desperately tries to put its business back on secure footing.

What is left in the thinning pipeline for Deeg and chief R&D officer Timothy Wright? A revised phase 2 trial of RG-012 for kidney disease Alport syndrome, now its leading program, could deliver proof-of-concept data by the end of the year.

Following after is RGLS4326 for autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, but that is still in preclinical development with approval to start clinical trials not due until later this year.