Acer Therapeutics Appoints Jason Amello and Michelle Griffin to Board


Jason Amello

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 12, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Acer Therapeutics Inc., (Nasdaq:ACER), a pharmaceutical company focused on the acquisition, development and commercialization of therapies for serious rare and ultra-rare diseases with critical unmet medical need, today announced the appointments of Mr. Jason Amello and Ms. Michelle Griffin to Acer’s Board of Directors. Mr. Amello and Ms. Griffin were appointed to the Audit Committee, with Ms. Griffin serving as Chairperson.

“We are pleased to welcome Jason and Michelle as the newest members to our Board. Both bring decades of financial and commercial experience and public company operations expertise,” said Stephen Aselage, Chairman of the Board of Acer. “Their insight will add tremendous value to our Board, and we look forward to their contributions as we continue to execute on our development strategy and move towards filing of an NDA for our lead product candidate EDSIVO™.”

About Mr. Jason Amello

Mr. Amello is the Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer of Akebia Therapeutics, Inc. and has held the position since 2013. Prior to joining Akebia, Mr. Amello served as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer of ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. from 2012 to 2013. From 2000 to 2011, Mr. Amello held various positions at Genzyme Corporation, most recently as Senior Vice President, Corporate Controller, and Chief Accounting Officer, and led the Strategic Financial Services group through which he served as a key advisor on all of Genzyme’s M&A and strategic transactions. Earlier in his career, Mr. Amello spent 10 years in the business advisory and assurance practice of Deloitte, serving in various roles of increasing responsibility through senior manager. Mr. Amello currently serves on the Board of Directors of the New England Baptist Hospital, where he is the Chair of the Quality of Care Committee and a member of the Finance and Investment Committee. Mr. Amello holds a BA from Boston College and is a Certified Public Accountant in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

About Ms. Michelle Griffin

Ms. Griffin currently provides consulting services to biotechnology companies and boards of directors through her firm, Pacific Biotechnology Consulting Group. Ms. Griffin currently serves on the board of directors and chair of the audit committee for PhaseRx, Inc. since February 2016 and as of August 2017 serves as chair of the board of directors for Universal Cells, Inc. Additionally, she serves on the board of directors of Virginia Mason Health System and Virginia Mason Medical Center. Ms. Griffin served as a member of the board of directors for Polynoma LLC from 2012 to 2014. She served as executive vice president, operations, and as chief financial officer at OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals Inc. from January 2011 to March 2013. Prior to that, Ms. Griffin served as a member of the board of directors of OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals Inc. from May 2004 to January 2011. She served as acting chief executive, senior vice president and chief operating officer at Trubion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, from February 2006 until its acquisition in October 2010 by Emergent BioSolutions, Inc. From August 2005 to January 2006, Ms. Griffin served as senior vice president and chief financial officer of Dendreon Corporation, a biotechnology company. From March 1995 to July 2005, she was employed by Corixa Corporation, a biotechnology company, and served as its chief financial officer from 1997 until 2005 when Corixa Corporation was acquired by GlaxoSmithKline plc. Prior to that, Ms. Griffin held several finance and strategic planning positions at The Boeing Company. She received a post-graduate certificate in accounting and an MBA from Seattle University and a B.S. in statistics and marketing from George Mason University and has passed the certified public accountant exam.

About Acer Therapeutics

Acer, headquartered in Cambridge, MA, is a pharmaceutical company focused on the acquisition, development and commercialization of therapies for patients with serious rare and ultra-rare diseases with critical unmet medical need. Acer’s late-stage clinical pipeline includes two candidates for severe genetic disorders for which there are few or no FDA-approved treatments: EDSIVO™ (celiprolol) for vEDS, and ACER-001 (a fully taste-masked, immediate release formulation of sodium phenylbutyrate) for urea cycle disorders (UCD) and Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD). There are no FDA-approved drugs for vEDS and MSUD and limited options for UCD, which collectively impact more than 4,000 patients in the United States. Acer’s products have clinical proof-of-concept and mechanistic differentiation, and Acer intends to seek approval for them in the U.S. by using the regulatory pathway established under section 505(b)(2) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, or FFDCA, that allows an applicant to rely for approval at least in part on third-party data, which is expected to expedite the preparation, submission, and approval of a marketing application.

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