Abide Therapeutics Appoints Dr. Gary O'Neill as Vice President of Biology

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Abide Therapeutics announces today that Gary O'Neill, Ph.D., has joined Abide Therapeutics as vice president of biology and member of the senior management team. Dr. O'Neill was previously in Boston, where he was responsible for Merck's preclinical drug discovery programs in respiratory, immunology and oncology.

"Dr. O'Neill has more than 20 years of experience advancing drug discovery programs to clinical trials," said Alan Ezekowitz, MBChB, D.Phil., president and CEO of Abide Therapeutics. "His extensive experience as a molecular biologist, in-depth knowledge of multiple disease areas, and proven success in advancing drug candidates from target discovery to clinical trials will drive our research and development programs as we advance a pipeline of novel small molecules targeting the large and therapeutically relevant family of serine hydrolases."

"Abide's ability to selectively and near-universally target the more than 200 members of the serine hydrolase 'superfamily' is a unique platform to extract the therapeutic potential from this enzyme class," said Dr. O'Neill. "I am looking forward to joining the team at Abide as we work to discover and develop novel medicines in many therapeutic areas."

Dr. O'Neill's long-standing career with Merck started in 1990 when he joined as a senior research scientist. His scientific accomplishments lead to leadership positions of increasing responsibility at Merck Frosst Research Laboratories, and by 2006, Dr. O'Neill was executive director and head of biology, where he was responsible for a large research team engaged in the discovery and clinical advancement of innovative small molecule drugs to treat asthma, COPD, inflammation, pain, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular indications.

In 2009, Dr. O'Neill became the site lead & executive director in respiratory and immunology and then in 2011 the discovery site head and vice president at the Boston Merck Research Laboratories. Here, he led several compounds to clinical trials and was responsible for the implementation of Merck's preclinical drug discovery programs in asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.

Dr. O'Neill obtained his B.S. and Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from McGill University and the University of British Columbia, respectively. He did his post-doctoral fellowship in molecular biophysics and biochemistry at Yale University. Since then his successful research career has culminated in numerous prestigious honors, including the Merck Presidential Fellow award and 80 peer-reviewed research publications, which highlight his diverse expertise spanning multiple disease areas.

About Serine Hydrolases
The large family of serine hydrolases are validated but largely under explored 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. 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 andDale 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 is located in San Diego. To learn more, visit www.abidetx.com.

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