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Protagonist Therapeutics Names David Liu Chief Scientific Officer

MENLO PARK, Calif., May 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Protagonist Therapeutics, Inc. today announced the appointment of David Y. Liu , Ph.D. as Chief Scientific Officer. A 26-year veteran of the biotechnology industry, Dr. Liu is a former Vice President of Research and a Corporate Officer at FibroGen Inc. with deep rooted knowledge and expertise in the fields of inflammation and fibrosis.


"David's impressive track-record in basic discovery, translational research and clinical development of drugs for inflammatory indications will serve Protagonist well as our company advances its novel peptides from  discovery to preclinical and clinical stage development for both our own pipeline and that of our collaborators," said Dinesh V. Patel , Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Protagonist Therapeutics. "We are very pleased to welcome him to the Protagonist management team."

David Y. Liu was most recently Chief Operating Officer and co-founder of Trenovus, Inc., as well as a strategic advisor to several other biotechnology companies.  Prior to that he spent more than seven years at FibroGen, Inc. with management responsibility for all therapeutic research and drug discovery, including interim leadership of the Clinical Development department. These efforts resulted in two first-in-class drugs currently in phase 3 clinical trials for the treatment of anemia and in phase 2 for the treatment of deep organ fibrosis. Prior to that, he spent 10 years as Director of Inflammation Research at Scios, Inc., now part of Johnson & Johnson. Dr. Liu's career began with Cetus Corporation (since acquired by Chiron and now Novartis), COR Therapeutics (since acquired by Millenium/Takeda). He additionally spent 10 years as an academic researcher at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School and was Instructor and Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Liu received his Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from Michigan State University. He has more than 80 publications and patent filings and has been involved in the filing of 17 INDs and NDAs for over 10 clinical indications.

"Protagonist is an emerging company with a vaildated technology platform that is now primed to transition their internal and collaborative assets from discovery to development of well differentiated peptide therapeutic agents," said Dr. Liu. "I look forward to joining their efforts to identify drug candidates poised to serve important medical needs and guide their timely progression through preclinical and clinical proof-of-concept."

About Protagonist Therapeutics
Protagonist Therapeutics is a U.S.-incorporated biotechnology company pursuing the discovery and development of disulfide-rich peptides (DRPs) as well differentiated alternatives to biologics, and also as new chemical entities (NCEs) against those targets and life threatening diseases for which ideal small molecule and/or biologic options are unavailable. DRPs are a proven chemical class of drugs with numerous examples of orally stable and injectable NCEs on the market and in various stages of clinical development. The company has a validated technology platform well suited to explore the full potential of the DRP scaffold class. It comprises of a purposefully built computational design environment, directed evolution approaches to prepare millions of molecules via phage libraries, and classical small molecule medicinal chemistry-type analoging and SAR development.

Protagonist is a spin-out of University of Queensland's Institute of Molecular Biosciences (IMB) and has discovery operations in Menlo Park, California USA and Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. For further information, please visit

SOURCE Protagonist Therapeutics, Inc.
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