François Legault is appointed Chairman of the Board of Verlyx Pharma, a biopharmaceutical company developing products targeting liver diseases.

On March 3, 2015 Verlyx Pharma Inc. reported the appointment of François Legault as Chairman of the Board, effective immediately (Press release, Verlyx Pharma, MAR 3, 2015, View Source [SID:1234513486]). Mr. Legault, a seasoned biotechnology and industrial technologies executive, joins Verlyx with more than 25 years of experience in the biotechnology sector.

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"As we seek to move forward and establish the company as a frontrunner in the treatment of inflammatory liver diseases such as NASH (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis), we identified a remarkable leader who could bring vision, focus and a wealth of experience to maximize Verlyx’s potential," said Bernard Dorval, Acting Chairman of the Board. "The Board and shareholders are confident that François’ rich experience in the biotechnology sector, and in particular in the area of liver diseases, as well as his passion for leading high performing teams will help Verlyx establish itself as a leader in this field."

Mr. Legault was President, Chief Operating Officer and a cofounder of ViroChem Pharma Inc., a private biotechnology company which was acquired by Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Prior to that, he was a Senior Officer of BioChem Pharma Inc., another important biopharmaceutical company, from its inception until the company merged with Shire Pharmaceuticals Group plc.

"I am delighted to join Verlyx Pharma at a time when it is establishing its first-in-man clinical proof of concept with VLX103, focusing on the treatment of liver diseases," said François Legault, Verlyx’s new Chairman. "There are important unmet needs in this field which represent huge opportunities for the company’s portfolio of products. I am looking forward to working both with the Board and the management team led by Pierre Falardeau, President and Chief Executive Officer, as we advance our products toward commercialization."

Earlier today, Oncozyme Pharma had announced that it was changing its corporate name to Verlyx Pharma Inc. to reflect the corporation’s new focus on targeting inflammatory liver diseases. Verlyx Pharma, a privately held company, is dedicated to the discovery and development of drugs to treat liver disorders. The company’s lead product, VLX103, is a potent agent with hepatoprotective activity, specifically designed to target the liver and minimize non-targeted systemic exposure. Such properties give it an ideal profile for the treatment of liver diseases such as NASH and ASH (Free ASH Whitepaper) (alcoholic steatohepatitis). An increasing number of people are expected to be affected by liver diseases worldwide, and many analysts are calling NASH "the next big global epidemic".