Alector strengthens board with three appointments including Facebook CFO David Wehner
Facebook’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) David Wehner has joined the board of San Francisco-based biotech Alector, a company that hopes to harness the immune system in the fight against neurodegeneration.
Georgetown and Stanford University graduate Wehner will join the privately held biotech’s board of directors along with Dr Richard Scheller, Chief Scientific Officer of 23andMe, and Louis J. Lavigne, Jr, the former Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Genentech.
Wehner brings to the role extensive financial and operative experience having acted as the CFO of games developer Zynga, and as managing director at investment bank Allen & Company, prior to joining Facebook in 2011.
“David, Richard and Lou bring extensive technical and operational expertise to our team, as we continue our progress towards becoming a fully integrated biotechnology company,” said Dr Arnon Rosenthal, president and chief executive officer of Alector.
“We look forward to leveraging their insights in drug development, strategic financial management, business operations and corporate growth strategies in order to accelerate transformative medicines with the goal of curing neurodegenerative diseases”
While ambitious, Alector’s mission is clear: “To develop therapies that empower the immune system to cure neurodegeneration.” However the company have taken a unique approach to curing neurodegenerative diseases in particular Alzheimer’s, which affects 5 million Americans.
Instead of focusing on the build-up of amyloid plaques, which have been pointed to as the cause of neurodegeneration, Alector hopes to stimulate the immune system in an attempt to clear the harmful proteins responsible for diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
The company is currently working with pharma giant AbbVie on two potential treatments for the deadly neurodegenerative disease.
It has been speculated that the appointment of two new CFO’s is in preparation for an upcoming public offering. The company is of now backed by the Dementia Discovery Fund and has seen investment from major pharma firms including Eli Lilly and Merck.