– USA, CA – Assembly Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: ASMB), a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing innovative therapeutics targeting hepatitis B virus, today announced the appointment of 2020 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, Dr. Michael Houghton to its board of directors.
Dr. Houghton was awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with two other research scientists in recognition of their discovery of the hepatitis C virus in 1989.
“I am thrilled to welcome Mike to the Assembly Bio Board of Directors, and I am confident that we will benefit significantly from his strong scientific acumen, expertise and thought leadership in virology, and deep knowledge of the research and drug development process,” said Board chairman, William Ringo, . “Mike’s strategic insights will be tremendous assets to the company, and we are eager to benefit from his profound and measurable success in the field.”
Dr. Houghton will also serve as a member of Assembly Bio’s Science and Technology Committee.
“For more than 30 years, I’ve witnessed Mike’s perseverance and unwavering drive to solve complex scientific challenges related to viral hepatitis. By pushing the limits of technologies available at the time, he and his team not only cloned, identified, and discovered the hepatitis C virus, they also developed critical blood screening tools to prevent the transfusion of infected blood and transmission of hepatitis C, which allowed us to unravel the natural history of this disease,” said CEO, Dr. John McHutchison. “Mike’s groundbreaking work paved the way for new therapies and, ultimately, a cure, and I’m honored to have him serve on our board. His counsel and experience will be invaluable as we pursue approaches directed toward finite and curative therapy for HBV – a disease where Mike has a long-standing scientific interest and which has not seen significant therapeutic innovation in more than two decades.”
About Dr. Mike Houghton
Dr. Houghton is currently director of the Li Ka Shing Applied Virology Institute at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, AB Canada. Since joining the University in 2010 as Canada Excellence Chair in Virology, he has served as a Li Ka Shing Professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. Previously, he was CSO at Epiphany Biosciences and VP of hepatitis C and virology research at Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics. Earlier in his career, Dr. Houghton spent 24 years in hepatitis C and virology research at Chiron Corporation, where he held director and vice-president level roles of increasing responsibility. He began his career as a senior research investigator working on human interferon genetics at Searle Research Laboratories in Buckinghamshire, England.
Dr. Houghton earned a BSc in biological sciences from the University of East Anglia, and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from King’s College, University of London. Over the course of his career, he has been the recipient of 17 prestigious awards, including the Lasker Award and, most recently, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. In addition to 85 patents, Dr. Houghton’s research has been published extensively in leading, peer-reviewed scientific journals. In 2021, Dr. Houghton was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for medicine services.
“I am excited about the potential for Assembly Bio’s novel pipeline to target finite and curative therapies for HBV, where significant progress is needed to improve the current treatment paradigm for the more than 250 million individuals worldwide living with the disease,” said Dr. Houghton. “I believe that the world-class team at Assembly Bio is well-positioned to advance these programs and deliver significant therapeutic innovations to the field and patients.”
About Assembly Biosciences
Assembly Bio is a clinical-stage biotechnology company committed to bringing finite and curative therapies to the 270 million people living with the hepatitis B virus worldwide. A pioneer in the development of a new class of potent, oral core inhibitor drug candidates, Assembly Bio’s approach aims to break the complex viral replication cycle of HBV to free patients from a lifetime of therapy. Assembly Bio’s strategy toward cure includes a leading portfolio of more potent, next-generation core inhibitors, proof-of-concept combination studies, and a research program focused on the discovery of novel HBV targets.
For more information: https://www.assemblybio.com/
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