Seed Therapeutics Launches Protein Degradation Research Platform and Appoints Edward Dongheng Liu as Chief Financial Officer
“Molecular Glue” Protein Degradation Serves as Alternative Approach for Difficult-to-Treat Diseases
NEW YORK – October 14, 2020 – Seed Therapeutics Inc. (the “Company” or “Seed Therapeutics”), a global research company and BeyondSpring subsidiary focused on harnessing and engineering “molecular glue,” a targeted protein degradation (TPD) platform to attack previously believed undruggable targets, today announced the Company’s appointment of Edward Dongheng Liu as Chief Financial Officer.
TPD technology targets diseases that cannot be treated with traditional pharmaceutical approaches. About 70 percent of protein targets that are believed to contribute to causing disease have been considered undruggable. Seed Therapeutics employs a world-leading molecular glue platform, which re-wires the cellular ubiquitination system to potentially target any disease-causing proteins.
“Seed Therapeutics is one of the few global companies leading the charge in molecular glue-induced protein degradation research,” said Dr. Lan Huang, CEO, Seed Therapeutics. “I am particularly close to this field, as I solved the first E2-E3 ligase in the world 20 years ago when I was a research fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. I am inspired to see the TPD field blossoming into a major force behind current innovative drug discovery efforts. As CFO, Edward will lead Seed Therapeutics’ financial efforts and strengthen the Company’s global leadership in the TPD field. His vast global experience in investment banking, corporate development and entrepreneurship will be crucial to the Company’s success.”
Mr. Liu has served as BeyondSpring’s CFO since 2018 and played an instrumental role in its overall financial strategies and activities. He successfully enhanced BeyondSpring’s shareholder base, built strong investor and banking relationships and significantly improved the stock’s liquidity. Additionally, he has been an investor in BeyondSpring since 2016. Before joining BeyondSpring, Mr. Liu served as Partner and Executive Director at Epiphron Capital, a healthcare-focused private equity firm, as well as held leadership positions at global financial institutions that include Senior Vice President and Vice President of Investment Banking and Capital Markets at Jefferies and Vice President of Investment Banking at J.P. Morgan. Mr. Liu has led financing and M&A transactions for clients across sectors, with a total transaction value exceeding $30 billion.
“Seed Therapeutics’ differentiated molecular glue protein degradation research platform will enable the discovery of new therapies to treat diseases that do not currently have solutions,” added Mr. Liu, who also serves as CFO, China, for BeyondSpring. “My new responsibilities at Seed Therapeutics will further allow us to help bring innovative medicines to patients in need where current therapies fall short.”
About Seed Therapeutics
Seed Therapeutics, a subsidiary of BeyondSpring Inc. (NASDAQ: BYSI), is a global research company focused on harnessing and engineering “molecular glue” in targeted protein degradation to attack previously believed undruggable targets. Backed by a comprehensive intellectual property portfolio, Seed Therapeutics’ mission is to positively impact human health by creating novel protein degradation therapeutics to treat various severe diseases that currently have limited options for patients and their families. Through ongoing collaborations with world-leading academic experts in the field, Seed Therapeutics is establishing a growing pipeline of novel drug candidates on a path to potential clinical and commercial success.
About Protein Degradation
The majority of approved treatments for diseases act by binding molecular targets inside or outside of cells to impact target-related signaling or actions. The cellular targets of drugs and drug candidates discovered with this typical strategy predominately bind to a specific pocket of the targeted protein structure to inhibit the function of disease-causing proteins. Importantly, more than 70 percent of proteins thought to be involved in diseases are likely to be “undruggable,” as they do not have the pockets for small molecular binding, which this drug development strategy will benefit. Therapeutic development in many serious indications has, therefore, suffered due to a lack of proteins that are druggable, rather than a lack of understanding the disease’s biology.
Seed Therapeutics is overcoming this challenge by developing novel therapies that aim to “degrade” disease-causing proteins, such as the mutant KRAS or proteins responsible for resistance to other therapies, to inhibit their function. This groundbreaking strategy has the potential to offer meaningful benefits to millions of patients suffering from serious conditions, from cancer to CNS diseases to infectious diseases.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release includes forward-looking statements that are not historical facts. Words such as “will,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “believe,” “design,” “may,” “future,” “estimate,” “predict,” “objective,” “goal,” or variations thereof and variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on BeyondSpring’s current knowledge and its present beliefs and expectations regarding possible future events and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of several factors including, but not limited to, difficulties raising the anticipated amount needed to finance the Company’s future operations on terms acceptable to the Company, if at all, unexpected results of clinical trials, delays or denial in regulatory approval process, results that do not meet our expectations regarding the potential safety, the ultimate efficacy or clinical utility of our product candidates, increased competition in the market, and other risks described in BeyondSpring’s most recent Form 20-F on file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements made herein speak only as of the date of this release and BeyondSpring undertakes no obligation to update publicly such forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, except as otherwise required by law.
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