HepaRegeniX GmbH Announces Management Changes

Published on: 17 Oct 2019

Dr. Michael Lutz appointed as new CEO/Managing Director

TUBINGEN, Germany, October 17, 2019 / B3C newswire / -- HepaRegeniX GmbH, a preclinical stage company developing a novel therapy for the treatment of acute and chronic liver diseases today announced the appointment of seasoned biotech expert Dr. Michael Lutz as new CEO and Managing Director of the company.

Dr. Lutz is an experienced biotech entrepreneur who has spent the last 15 years at executive management positions with several Life Sciences companies which he successfully established or built-up to a successful exit. He brings to HepaRegeniX vast experiences from both private and listed companies concerning strategic, commercial, partnering, financial and product development aspects. Prior to joining HepaRegeniX, he was CEO of LifeCodexx AG, a company he led from start in 2010 through its acquisition by Eurofins Scientific in 2017 and the subsequent integration process. Lutz holds a Ph.D in bioorganic chemistry from the ETH Zurich (Switzerland).  

Dr. Wolfgang Albrecht who was the founding CEO since 2017 and led its evolution from early science to preclinical stage following successful closing of the first financing round of € 9 Million with the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund GmbH (BIVF), Novo Seeds, the High-Tech Gruenderfonds and coparion, remains part of the now extended leadership team and will be responsible in the future as Chief Operating Officer for guidance of all activities related to finalization of the preclinical package and IND filing of HepaRegeniX’ first clinical candidate in 2020.  In addition, the company’s leadership team is strengthened by Dr. Birgit Jung who joined HepaRegeniX already in January 2019 as Chief Scientific Officer on a consulting basis.

Dr. Jung has long standing expertise in Pharma research and development at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & CoKG and was instrumental in driving the pre-clinical profiling and characterization of drug candidates. Under her supervision several research projects targeting novel mode of actions were successfully concluded and entered clinical development including one product launch.

Since its inception in 2017, HepaRegeniX has successfully discovered and developed several preclinical drug candidates for the treatment of acute and chronic liver diseases based on a novel proprietary molecular target Mitogen-Activated Protein (MAP) Kinase 4. MKK4 is a key regulator of liver regeneration and suppression of MKK4 unlocks the regenerative capacity of hepatocytes even in severely diseased livers. This new and unique therapeutic concept for the treatment of liver diseases was discovered by Prof. Lars Zender and his research group at the University Hospital Tubingen, Germany.

Commenting on his new role, Dr. Lutz said, "I am thrilled to join HepaRegeniX at this pivotal time with impending preclinical results and ahead of its planned IND filing. The company´s technology is highly promising and I am very eager to contribute unlocking the company´s full potential in the field of liver diseases, an area with such a high unmet medical need."

Dr. Birgit Jung added, "I am excited about the high efficacy that the drug candidates exhibited in disease-related animal models so far and their enticing preclinical profile indicating a broad therapeutic potential in acute and chronic liver diseases."

Dr. Wolfgang Albrecht commented, "I am very proud of the remarkable work accomplished by the HepaRegeniX team over the last 2,5 years starting from a drug target identified in a functional in vivo screen leading to promising small molecules directed against this drug target, which are currently tested in several in vivo and in vitro models of liver tissue repair."

Graham Dixon, Chairman of the Board concluded, "We highly welcome Michael´s and Birgit´s arrivals and their very strong track record in shaping and developing innovative Life Science companies which will help to bring HepaRegeniX to the next level. At the same point, we strongly applaud what Wolfgang and the team have built to scientifically validate the original concept and derive at novel and proprietary small molecule kinase Inhibitors with significant further potential."