Abide Therapeutics Appoints Donald Hertzog As Vice President, Early Lead Identification

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Abide Therapeutics announced today the appointment of Donald Hertzog, Ph.D., as Vice President, Early Lead Identification. Dr. Hertzog was previously the site head and director for GlaxoSmithKline's Molecular Discovery Research Department of Medicinal Chemistry in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Dr. Hertzog has more than 20 years of experience in drug discovery and development in diverse areas, including metabolic diseases, at GlaxoSmithKline and Bayer Pharmaceuticals.

"Don is a perfect fit for Abide as he brings a significant amount of drug discovery and development expertise that will be a valuable asset to Abide Therapeutics as we continue to build out our therapeutic pipeline and advance compounds into clinical trials," said Alan Ezekowitz, MBChB, D.Phil., co-founder, President and CEO of Abide Therapeutics.

In July 2015, Abide began enrollment in its first clinical study, a Phase 1a clinical study of ABX-1431, a first-in-class, investigational endocannabinoid system modulator with potential indications in neuropathic pain, neuroinflammation, neurodegenerative diseases, and certain forms of epilepsy.

"I look forward to joining the excellent team of scientists at Abide in finding new medicines that will benefit patients in need of life-changing therapies," said Dr. Hertzog. "Abide's drug discovery platform provides a great opportunity to fully explore serine hydrolase inhibition, an important yet underexplored area of chemistry with applications in treating a number of diseases."

As site head for the Molecular Discovery Research Department of Medicinal Chemistry at GlaxoSmithKline's Research Triangle Park site, Dr. Hertzog and his group were responsible for lead generation for programs in metabolic disease, antivirals, and diseases of the developing world. Also at GlaxoSmithKline, Dr. Hertzog was Director, Medicinal Chemistry, Metabolic Diseases, overseeing a team that progressed a number of molecules into preclinical development and clinical trials. Dr. Hertzog began his industrial career at Bayer Pharmaceuticals, where he was part of a team that advanced a drug candidate into human trials for type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Hertzog earned his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Emory University and a B.A. degree in chemistry from Hendrix College. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at The Scripps Research Institute and has more than 40 total publications, patents, and invited presentations.  Dr. Hertzog was co-chair of the 2014 ACS National Medicinal Chemistry Symposium and has served as a member of the Long Range Planning Committee of the Medicinal Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

About Serine Hydrolases

The large family of serine hydrolases are largely underexplored as drug targets.   These enzymes play a key regulatory role in human physiological processes, such as regulating CNS signaling, digestion, metabolism, inflammation, blood clotting, and life cycle of viruses and pathogens. Thus, the ability to target serine hydrolases has broad therapeutic applications. Currently there are several medically important and commercially successful drugs that target enzymes of the serine hydrolase family. The proprietary Abide technology platform provides a unique highly selective small molecule collection that specifically targets the common catalytic site of serine hydrolases. The technology provides a rapid and effective method for target identification and validation.

About Abide Therapeutics
Abide Therapeutics is focused on developing innovative medicines that target serine hydrolases, one of the largest enzyme classes in nature with validated but mostly untapped therapeutic potential. Serine hydrolases play important regulatory roles in human physiology and disease. Abide has created a proprietary platform, based on technology developed at The Scripps Research Institute by Professors Ben Cravatt and Dale Boger, that specifically targets serine hydrolases with selective small molecules. The ability to target and modulate serine hydrolases has potential to develop new medicines in many therapeutic areas. Abide has research laboratories in San Diego and offices in Princeton, N.J. To learn more, visit www.abidetx.com.

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SOURCE Abide Therapeutics