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Zafgen Appoints Chief Commercial Officer and New Member of Board of Directors

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Zafgen, Inc., a leading biopharmaceutical company dedicated to addressing the unmet needs of severely obese patients, today announced the appointment of Alicia Secor to the newly created position of Chief Commercial Officer, and the appointment of  John L. LaMattina to the Company's Board of Directors.

Ms. Secor joins Zafgen as an experienced health care executive with over 15 years of global leadership and commercial operating experience with an established track record in leading the commercial development, product management, and global expansion of products across various therapeutic areas including metabolic diseases.  She most recently served as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Synageva BioPharma Corp. 

Dr. LaMattina brings significant experience in business, partnership and product development spanning his 30-year career at Pfizer.

"We are thrilled to welcome Alicia to our executive team and John to our Board of Directors at such a pivotal time in Zafgen's development," said Thomas Hughes, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Zafgen.  "We are approaching a number of key milestones in our development of beloranib, including the expected results of our Phase 2a trial in patients with Prader-Willi syndrome, and I am confident that the addition of Alicia's strategic leadership and commercial knowledge and proficiency, as well as John's broad drug discovery and development expertise, will prove invaluable as we continue to pursue our goal of bringing beloranib to market for severely obese patients."

Previously, Ms. Secor spent fifteen years at Genzyme, a Sanofi Company, where she held various leadership positions, most recently as Vice President and General Manager of Metabolic Diseases, a global business consisting of five marketed products, including two products for orphan diseases.  Prior to this role, Alicia was Vice President and General Manager of Biosurgical Specialties, a surgical device portfolio.  During her tenure at Genzyme, she was instrumental in advancing products through clinical development and responsible for establishing and executing the commercial development and launch, general management and global expansion of products.  Ms. Secor successfully led multiple strategic business development transactions, held global P&L responsibility, and built high performance teams, resulting in consistent growth and profitability across multiple businesses. 

Prior to Genzyme, Ms. Secor held positions at Alkermes in business development, at Centocor (a Johnson & Johnson Company) in clinical and commercial operations, and began her career at Pfizer as a hospital-based sales representative.  She received her M.B.A. from Northeastern University, and her B.S. in Healthcare Administration from the University of New Hampshire.

Dr. LaMattina is an experienced investor who has also overseen research, discovery and development processes on a global level for one of the industry's largest R&D organizations.  He is currently a senior partner at PureTech Ventures and previously spent 30 years at Pfizer, where he held positions of increasing seniority and ultimately served as Senior Vice President, as well as President of Pfizer Global Research & Development.  As Executive Vice President of Pfizer Global Research & Development, he was responsible for all aspects of Human Drug Discovery and Full Development worldwide.  He also served on key decision-making bodies for worldwide Central Research, including the Development Planning Committee, the Global Development Research Committee, the Executive Leadership Team and the Research Leadership Team.  Dr. LaMattina earned his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of New Hampshire, and his B.S. in Chemistry from Boston College.

About Beloranib
Beloranib is the first compound in its class that works by targeting a key enzyme called MetAP2 that controls the production and utilization of fatty acids.  Inhibitors of MetAP2 reduce the production of new fatty acid molecules by the liver and help to convert stored fats into useful energy.  Beloranib is being developed as a twice-weekly subcutaneous injection for severe obesity.  Zafgen holds exclusive worldwide rights (exclusive of Korea) for development and commercialization of beloranib.  The company licensed beloranib from CKD Pharma in Korea.

About Zafgen, Inc. 
Zafgen is an innovative company dedicated to addressing the unmet need of severely obese patients and related orphan indications by bringing beloranib, a first-in-class novel medicine, to market.  Founded in 2005 as a virtual company, Zafgen brings together leading experts in obesity and metabolic disease to address the underserved and growing population of patients who are severely obese.  Zafgen's singular focus is on advancing novel therapeutics for patients suffering from severe obesity and obesity-related disorders including Prader-Willi syndrome and patients with hypothalamic obesity, including obesity resulting from surgical treatment of craniopharyngioma.  The company is located in Cambridge, MA.  For more information, visit

SOURCE Zafgen, Inc.
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