Goldfinch Bio Strengthens Leadership Team with Appointment of Jeff W. Jacobs, Ph.D. as Chief Scientific Officer
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – December 6, 2021 – Goldfinch Bio, a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing precision medicines for the treatment of kidney diseases, today announced the appointment of Jeff W. Jacobs, Ph.D. as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO). Dr. Jacobs, who most recently served as CSO of Ardelyx, Inc., brings to Goldfinch Bio over 25 years of experience leading drug discovery and development efforts across multiple therapeutic areas, including chronic kidney disease.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Jeff to the Goldfinch Bio team. With a proven track record spanning target identification through FDA approval, Jeff is ideally suited to provide strategic guidance for our biology and genetic research efforts as we aim to expand our precision medicine pipeline for people living with kidney disease,” said Anthony Johnson, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Goldfinch Bio. “We look forward to Jeff’s significant contributions heading into another year of continued growth and progress for Goldfinch Bio, including a planned interim data readout from TRACTION-2, the ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial of our lead precision kidney medicine candidate, in mid-2022.”
Dr. Jacobs commented, “I am incredibly excited to take on the role of CSO at Goldfinch Bio, as we pioneer precision medicines for the severely underserved kidney disease patient population. I am impressed by the novel science underpinning Goldfinch Bio’s clinical stage programs, as well as the research efforts underway derived from the company’s unique, internal product engine. I look forward to collaborating with Tony and the entire team devising strategies that maximize Goldfinch Bio’s extensive therapeutic opportunities to improve the health and lives of people living with kidney diseases.”
Goldfinch Bio’s lead clinical candidate, GFB-887, a novel podocyte-targeting small molecule inhibitor of TRPC5, is currently in Phase 2 study (TRACTION-2) for the treatment of FSGS and DN patients whose disease is characterized by overactivation of the TRPC5 pathway. The company is also conducting a Phase 1 study for its second clinical candidate, GFB-024, a peripherally restricted cannabinoid 1 (CB1) inverse agonist monoclonal antibody intended to treat patients with severe insulin resistant DN and CB1 pathway overactivation. Additionally, Goldfinch Bio leverages its product engine – composed of the KGA, and its podocyte and organoid platform – to identify and advance potential targets for therapeutic intervention. The KGA incorporates multi-omic and clinical data from thousands of people to identify molecular and environmental causes of kidney disease.
Since 2008, Dr. Jacobs served in roles of increasing responsibility at Ardelyx, most recently serving as CSO, where he was responsible for setting the strategic direction for that company’s research programs, including a focus on kidney and cardiorenal diseases. Prior to serving as CSO, Dr. Jacobs was Senior Vice President of Technical Operations at Ardelyx, providing leadership for both medicinal chemistry and CMC as well as Facilities and IT. He developed the discovery strategy for multiple therapeutic targets, leading to the filing of numerous patent applications. He also played a critical role in the discovery of tenapanor, Ardelyx’s first-in-class NHE3 inhibitor approved as ISBRELA® for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C). Dr. Jacobs was responsible for building the CMC team and supply chain / operations at Ardelyx. Previously, Dr. Jacobs served in several chemistry roles for Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., including Senior Director of Development Chemistry, where he led a large chemistry team in the discovery of novel therapeutics for diseases of the central nervous system, inflammation, cancer and antivirals. Prior to Sunesis, Dr. Jacobs held roles at Versicor, Inc. (which became Vicuron and was ultimately acquired by Pfizer) and Affymax/Glaxo-Wellcome, where he began his industry career.
Dr. Jacobs graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Chemistry from Gonzaga University. He received his Ph.D. in Bioorganic Chemistry from U.C. Berkeley where he started the catalytic antibody program in the laboratory of Professor Peter Schultz. He is a Damon-Runyon Fellow and an author and inventor on over 70 scientific papers and patents.
About Goldfinch Bio
Goldfinch Bio, Inc. is a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on delivering disease-modifying precision medicines that bring hope and renewed quality of life to people living with kidney diseases. We aspire to save kidneys and end dialysis. Our precision medicine product engine allows us to discover, validate and drug novel targets that may allow us to better treat subsets of patients, within a heterogeneous kidney disease, based on common characteristics. We have a robust pipeline of novel, precision medicine product candidates targeting kidney diseases with significant unmet need, including two clinical-stage assets. In 2020, Goldfinch Bio was named one of Fierce Biotech’s “Fierce 15” companies. Visit us at www.goldfinchbio.com to learn more.