Jeff Jonker Joins Ambys Medicines as President and CEO
-Company pursuing novel modalities including cell and gene therapies to regenerate the liver and restore liver function across multiple liver diseases-
REDWOOD CITY, Calif., DECEMBER 13, 2018 – Ambys Medicines, a biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing regenerative and restorative therapies for people with advanced liver diseases, announced today that industry veteran Jeff Jonker has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and will also join the company’s Board of Directors. Jeffrey Tong, Ph.D., who has served on Ambys’ Board and as interim CEO during the development and subsequent launch of the company, will become Chairman. Charles Homcy, M.D., who was integral to the founding of Ambys, will remain a Director as will Asit Parikh, M.D., Ph.D., of Takeda Pharmaceuticals. Both Dr. Homcy and Dr. Tong are Partners at Third Rock Ventures. Third Rock and Takeda are the founding investors in Ambys.
“We are thrilled to have Jeff assume the helm of Ambys. His deep leadership experience, industry expertise and passion for driving much-needed innovations for the treatment of liver disease will help Ambys build the pipeline, team and culture needed to maximize the broad opportunities presented by our breakthrough science,” said Dr. Homcy.
Founded by world-renowned experts in liver disease and regenerative medicine, Ambys is pursuing a multi-modality strategy aimed at regenerating the liver, restoring liver function and preventing progression of liver failure for patients suffering from serious liver diseases. The company is advancing a pipeline of innovative medicines that include cell therapy for liver regeneration, gene therapy for liver restoration and drug therapy to replace lost protein function.
“I am excited to join the Ambys team and be a part of changing how life-threatening liver diseases are treated,” said Mr. Jonker. “With mortality rates from chronic and acute liver diseases rising globally and cirrhosis on an alarming upward trajectory, patients need more and better therapies to address these major unmet medical needs. Ambys’ mission to bring novel treatments for a disease state where organ transplant is often the only option for patients holds the potential to be truly transformational.”
“Since the formation of the company, we have continued to make important progress building its foundations and advancing our pipeline. The appointment of Jeff as president and CEO is another very important milestone for Ambys,” said Dr. Tong. “On behalf of the entire company, I want to welcome Jeff. I look forward to collaborating with him, the management team and the board as we work together to revolutionize the clinical landscape for severe liver diseases.”
Jeff joins Ambys Medicines from NGM Bio, where he previously served as President, leading the advancement of the company’s robust pipeline, including therapeutics for liver and metabolic diseases. Prior to joining NGM Bio, Mr. Jonker was Senior Vice President, Corporate and Business Development at Theravance Biopharma (NASDAQ: TBPH) and held that same role at Theravance, Inc. (NASDAQ: THRX) prior to completing the spin-out of TBPH and creation of Innoviva, Inc. (NASDAQ: INVA). He previously served as Chief Business Officer of Satori Pharmaceuticals, Vice President of Business Development and Corporate Strategy for Gloucester Pharmaceuticals prior to its acquisition by Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG), and in multiple leadership positions in the business development and legal groups at Genentech. Prior to Genentech, Mr. Jonker was an associate in the Technology Transactions Group at Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati, representing clients in the life science and high tech industries. Mr. Jonker holds a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law, an M.LITT. from the University of St. Andrews and a B.A. from Claremont McKenna College.
About Ambys Medicines
Ambys Medicines is a biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing regenerative and restorative therapies for people with advanced liver disease. Founded by world-renowned experts in liver disease and regenerative medicine, Ambys is pioneering the application of novel modalities including cell and gene therapy, and gain-of-function drug therapy, to meet the urgent need for treatments that have potential to restore liver function and prevent the progression to liver failure across multiple liver diseases that are untreatable or poorly treated today. Ambys was launched in 2018 by Third Rock Ventures and Takeda Pharmaceuticals, and is headquartered in Redwood City, Calif. For more information, please visit https://www.ambys.com.