BRISBANE, Calif., May 04, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Vera Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: VERA), a late-stage biotechnology company focused on developing and commercializing transformative treatments for patients with serious immunological disease, today announced the appointment of Kerry Cooper, M.D., to the role of Senior Vice President, Medical Affairs, where he will report to Chief Medical Officer Celia Lin and be responsible for overseeing medical affairs strategy and scientific communications.
Dr. Cooper brings nearly 40 years of experience in nephrology across a variety of senior positions within industry, clinical practice and academia. He has led medical affairs strategies for drug development programs in chronic kidney disease (CKD), hyperparathyroidism, hyperkalemia and other renal conditions. Over twelve years, he served in leadership roles in medical affairs at several leading pharmaceutical companies, including AstraZeneca and Amgen, where he served as Global Medical Affairs Leader for Nephrology. He joins Vera from ProKidney, where he led the development of the medical affairs function.
“We are very excited to welcome Dr. Cooper to the Vera team as a deeply experienced nephrologist and expert in kidney diseases and with his established leadership launching new therapies for patients with kidney disease. His experience will be invaluable as we advance atacicept into our pivotal Phase 3 trial in IgA nephropathy patients,” said Chief Executive Office Marshall Fordyce.
“I am thrilled about this opportunity to join Vera at an incredibly exciting time for the company and for patients with IgA nephropathy. Results from atacicept’s randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, Phase 2 clinical trial in IgAN patients provide strong support for atacicept as a potential disease-modifying therapy, and de-risks the Phase 3 trial. I look forward to building a world-class medical affairs function in partnership with Vera’s leadership team that will support the continued development and future commercialization of atacicept, and potentially other best in class therapies,” said Kerry Cooper, M.D. “I have seen firsthand the tremendous impact developing innovative therapies in nephrology can have on patients’ lives, and I look forward to pursuing that mission with Vera.”
Dr. Cooper received his medical degree from Yale University and completed his residency and fellowship in nephrology at Yale’s New Haven Hospital. He previously served as an Associate Professor of Medicine at Yale University earlier in his career before transitioning to clinical practice and later industry roles. He has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and has presented at national and international conferences.
Vera Therapeutics is a late clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing treatments for serious immunological diseases. Vera’s mission is to advance treatments that target the source of immunologic diseases in order to change the standard of care for patients. Vera’s lead product candidate is atacicept, a fusion protein self-administered as a subcutaneous injection once weekly that blocks both B lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS) and a proliferation inducing ligand (APRIL), which stimulate B cells and plasma cells to produce autoantibodies contributing to certain autoimmune diseases, including IgA nephropathy (IgAN), also known as Berger’s disease, and lupus nephritis. In addition, Vera is evaluating additional diseases where the reduction of autoantibodies by atacicept may prove medically useful. Vera is also developing MAU868, a monoclonal antibody designed to neutralize infection with BK Virus, a polyomavirus that can have devastating consequences in certain settings such as kidney transplant. For more information, please visit www.veratx.com.
Statements contained in this press release regarding matters, events or results that may occur in the future are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements include statements regarding, among other things, Vera’s plans to advance atacicept into pivotal Phase 3 development and the design and management of such trial, expectations regarding de-risking the Phase 3 trial, as well as atacicept’s potential to be a transformational treatment for patients with IgAN and a best-in-class therapy. Because such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Words such as “advance,” “anticipate,” “could,” “expect,” “look,” “will,” “potential,” “plan,” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon Vera’s current expectations and involve assumptions that may never materialize or may prove to be incorrect. Actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements as a result of various risks and uncertainties, which include, without limitation, risks related to the regulatory approval process, results of earlier clinical trials may not be obtained in later clinical trials, risks and uncertainties associated with Vera’s business in general, the impact of macroeconomic and geopolitical events, including the COVID-19 pandemic, and the other risks described in Vera’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date on which they were made and are based on management’s assumptions and estimates as of such date. Vera undertakes no obligation to update such statements to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the date on which they were made, except as required by law.
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