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Taligen Therapeutics Initiates Corporate Growth Plan with Appointment of Abbie Celniker, Ph.D., as CEO and Establishment of Cambridge, Mass., Headquarters

Company Focused on IND-Enabling Work with Protein Therapeutics that

Modulate Alternative Pathway of Complement System

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., July 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Taligen Therapeutics Inc. today announced it has initiated a corporate growth plan with the appointment of Abbie Celniker, Ph.D., as chief executive officer and the establishment of its headquarters in Cambridge, Mass. Dr. Celniker succeeds Woodruff Emlen, M.D., a co-founder of the company who remains president.

Under Dr. Celniker's leadership, Taligen intends to build its late-stage research and development operations in Cambridge while maintaining in Denver its early discovery activities that are closely aligned with an international complement biology research network organized by Michael Holers, M.D., one of the company's founders.

"Abbie's expertise will be critical to the acceleration of our efforts to develop protein therapeutics that are designed to modulate the alternative pathway of the complement system," said Dr. Emlen. "We are currently focused on IND-enabling work with our therapeutic candidates. Moreover, we have advanced our programs to the point where Abbie's significant experience in devising and implementing strategies and building infrastructure for the development of biologics will enable us to realize the potential of our expertise in complement biology."

Prior to joining Taligen, Dr. Celniker was global head of Novartis Biologics, where she built and oversaw Novartis' strategy and infrastructure for the late-stage discovery and development of protein therapeutics. Before this, she held senior research and development leadership positions with Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Wyeth BioPharma (Genetics Institute) and Genentech. Dr. Celniker earned a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Arizona and a B.A. in biology from the University of California, San Diego.

"We are excited to have attracted someone of Abbie's caliber to Taligen at a time the company is moving rapidly toward the clinical development stage," said Tim Mills, Ph.D., Taligen's chairman and a managing director with Sanderling Ventures. "I look forward to working with her as we implement our corporate growth plan to build a company focused on the development of a pipeline of protein therapeutics intended for the treatment of diseases where complement dysregulation is implicated."

In January Taligen closed the first tranche of a $65 million Series B financing led by Alta Partners and Clarus Ventures with participation from existing investors Sanderling Ventures, Tango and High Country Venture. The financing is expected to enable Taligen to implement its growth plan and advance multiple product candidates to the proof-of-concept stage.

"I am thrilled to join and lead the Taligen team," said Dr. Celniker. "The complement system is emerging as a critical area for drug development. Taligen's founders discovered and validated the importance of the alternative pathway as an amplification loop in the inflammation process. Based on this expertise, the company has designed protein therapeutics that are intended for the treatment of a wide range of orphan and large indications. These programs are cutting-edge and should be very appealing to prospective corporate partners. With the company's expertise, protein therapeutic development candidates and strong financial backing, Taligen is well-positioned to implement its corporate growth plan."

About Taligen Therapeutics

Taligen Therapeutics is focused on the discovery and development of novel protein therapeutics that are designed to modulate the alternative pathway of the complement system to treat a wide range of inflammatory conditions and diseases. The company's lead therapeutic candidates are monoclonal antibodies and recombinant fusion proteins that target key factors in the alternative pathway, which Taligen's founders have validated as an important amplification loop in the inflammation process. Taligen's headquarters and late-stage research and development operations are located in Cambridge, Mass. The company also maintains a drug discovery operation in Denver that is closely aligned with an international complement biology research network organized by Michael Holers, M.D., one of the company's founders. For more information, visit

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including statements relating to development of the Company's product candidates and potential advantages of the Company's technology and product candidates. Actual results could differ materially from those projected and the Company cautions readers not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this release.

Media Contacts:

David Schull or Robert Flamm, Ph.D.

Russo Partners

(212) 845-4271

SOURCE Taligen Therapeutics Inc.
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