Vedanta Biosciences Appoints New Chief Scientific Officer and Expands to New Facility

Former Genzyme group vice president will head company’s R&D in new Cambridge site

BOSTON, Massachusetts, March 16, 2016 – Vedanta Biosciences, pioneering the development of a new class of therapies designed to modulate the human microbiome, today announced the appointment of former Genzyme group vice president, Bruce L. Roberts, Ph.D., as Chief Scientific Officer. 

Dr. Roberts has 30 years of experience in biotechnology and pharmaceutical drug discovery and development. He most recently served as head of Neuro-Immunology and Immune-Mediated Disease Research at Sanofi Genzyme where he directed pre-clinical efforts resulting in the introduction of therapeutic antibodies, gene therapies, cell therapies and small molecules into multiple clinical trials for the treatment of cancer, multiple sclerosis and autoimmunity. He directed research efforts in support of several approved products including lemtrada, aubagio, thymoglobulin, Mozobil, alemtuzumab, leukine, chlofarabine and fludarabine and contributed to the generation of ecallantide. He has authored more than fifty peer-reviewed publications and contributed to several issued patents and patent applications. 

“Bruce brings decades of drug development experience across a broad range of novel biologic drug modalities and a proven track record of driving the discovery and development of multiple approved drugs in immunology,” said Bernat Olle, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Vedanta. “His experience and leadership in pioneering new drug modalities will be invaluable as we advance our pipeline of microbiome-modulating therapies.” 

Vedanta Biosciences was founded by PureTech Health and a team of world renowned experts in immunology and microbiology. The company is advancing a pipeline of product candidates designed to treat autoimmune, inflammatory and infectious diseases, which have been developed using a proprietary technology platform that enables mining of the human microbiome for potent pharmaceutical products. 

The Company recently expanded into new headquarters and research and development facility in Cambridge, MA, including a state-of-the-art Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facility for the production of live bacterial drugs. “Microbiome modulation is among the most exciting and rapidly evolving fields in science, and it has tremendous potential to change the way medicine is practiced,” said Dr. Roberts. “I am excited to join one of the leading teams in this field and I look forward to driving Vedanta’s technology platform and pipeline forward.” 

About Vedanta

Vedanta Biosciences is pioneering the development of a novel class of therapies designed to modulate pathways of interaction between the human microbiome and the host immune system. The Company was founded by PureTech Health and a group of world-renowned experts in immunology and microbiology, including Dr. Ruslan Medzhitov (Professor of Immunobiology at Yale), Dr. Alexander Rudensky (tri-institutional Professor at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Institute, the Rockefeller University and Cornell University), Dr. Dan Littman (Professor of Molecular Immunology at New York University), Dr. Brett Finlay (Professor at the University of British Columbia) and Dr. Kenya Honda (Professor, School of Medicine, Keio University). Vedanta’s Board of Directors includes Board Chairman, Christopher Viehbacher, Managing Partner at Gurnet Point Capital and former CEO and Member of the Board of Directors of Sanofi; Dr. Bennett Shapiro, former Executive Vice President of Merck; Dr. John LaMattina, former President of Research and Development at Pfizer and David Steinberg, Co-Founder of Vedanta and Executive Vice President at PureTech.

In January 2015, Vedanta announced a licensing agreement with Janssen Biotech, Inc., one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, including an upfront payment and development and commercialization milestone payments of up to $339 million. Under the agreement, Janssen is developing one of the product candidates in Vedanta’s pipeline built on the Company’s proprietary technology platform. The company has multiple other candidates in infectious and inflammatory diseases.

Forward Looking Statement

This press release contains statements that are or may be forward-looking statements, including statements that relate to the company's future prospects, developments and strategies. The forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance and achievements to differ materially from current expectations, including, but not limited to, those risks and uncertainties described in the risk factors included in the regulatory filings for PureTech Health plc. These forward-looking statements are based on assumptions regarding the present and future business strategies of the company and the environment in which it will operate in the future. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as at the date of this press release. Except as required by law and regulatory requirements, neither the company nor any other party intends to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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Julie DiCarlo
Senior Vice President, Communications and Investor Relations
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