Alfred W. Sandrock, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., Joins Verge Genomics’ Board of Directors

Former Biogen R&D chief and one of the most prolific drug developers in the field to help translate AI innovations to successful products for patients with neurodegenerative diseases

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Verge Genomics, a tech-enabled drug discovery company pioneering the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and human data to develop new drugs, announced today that Alfred W. Sandrock, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., has been appointed to its Board of Directors.

Dr. Sandrock joins Verge’s Board following an illustrious career in drug development. Over the course of his 23 years at Biogen, he successfully led the discovery, development and regulatory approval of numerous medicines, including: TYSABRI®, TECFIDERA®, SPINRAZA®, PLEGRIDY® and ADUHELM®. While at Biogen, Dr. Sandrock served in positions of increasing responsibility, culminating in his service as Executive Vice President of Research and Development. He also served as Chief Medical Officer at Biogen and member of the Biogen Executive Committee for eight years.

“Al has personally spotted, championed, and developed more successful drugs than almost anyone in the industry. But what sets Al apart is that he is a change agent with a willingness to challenge and see what others may have missed” said Alice Zhang, CEO and co-founder of Verge Genomics. “At Verge, one of our values is courageous ambition – we are unafraid to go after the hardest problems for a shot at making a generational impact. This makes him a bullseye fit to help us balance disruptive innovation with disciplined execution and translate the promise of AI to transformative products for patients. ”

Verge is one of the first AI-enabled drug discovery companies to discover a novel target and develop it internally into a proprietary clinical candidate entirely using its platform. Since then, Verge has been accruing a deep bench of drug development expertise on its board as it prepares for the clinic. In March 2021, Verge announced the appointment of former Chief Medical Officer of Sage, Steve Kanes, M.D., Ph.D., to its Board, followed shortly by seasoned biotech CEO Andrew Allen, M.D., PhD., in September 2021. Verge’s lead program, a novel lipid kinase inhibitor for the treatment of ALS, will enter the clinic later this year. The target, PIKfyve, was identified by using Verge’s proprietary ‘all-in human’ platform.

“I have seen first-hand that one of the greatest challenges in drug discovery is deciphering biological complexity. I believe that the most promising treatments for neurological diseases in the next decade will come from using human data and next-generation technologies to drive the selection of better targets, ” said Dr. Sandrock. “After getting to know Verge over the last four years and watching all of the remarkable scientific progress they have made, I am convinced that they are leading the way in tech-enabled drug discovery. I am excited to leverage my experience to help them realize this transformative approach to biopharmaceutical R&D.”

Robert Scannevin, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer at Verge Genomics, added, “I had the privilege of working with Al for almost a decade and know him to be an inspiring leader and tireless advocate for patients with neurodegenerative diseases. His bold drug discovery and development vision meshes perfectly with Verge’s innovative platform, and his experience will further augment our efforts.”

Prior to joining Biogen, Dr. Sandrock was Assistant Professor of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital. He received his M.D. at Harvard Medical School, and Ph.D. in Neurobiology at Harvard University.

About Verge Genomics

Verge uses AI and human data to develop better drugs faster for large unmet diseases. Verge has built an end-to-end drug discovery and development platform, featuring one of the field’s largest and most comprehensive proprietary patient genomics datasets in neuroscience. Verge applies machine learning to reveal new targets from human datasets and develops drugs with greater probabilities of success using its human-centric biology and chemistry platforms.

Verge is the first AI-enabled drug discovery company to internally develop a clinical candidate from a novel target discovered from its platform. Verge has further demonstrated the power of its platform by delivering a broad preclinical and discovery pipeline spanning diverse therapeutic areas, with its first program, a PIKfyve inhibitor for the treatment of ALS, expected to enter the clinic in 2022. The company is led by experienced drug developers and computational biologists with a shared belief that technology has created a new opportunity to deliver life-changing medicines more efficiently.

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Adam Silverstein

Scient PR

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