Fibrocor Therapeutics appoints William P. Newsome III as CEO and Piet Wigerinck as Chief Scientific Advisor

  • Seasoned biopharmaceutical executive to lead Fibrocor as it aims to reshape the future of fibrosis treatment
  • Fibrocor is currently advancing three drug candidates for fibrotic diseases into the clinic

Toronto, Canada – 25 October 2023 – Fibrocor Therapeutics Inc. (‘Fibrocor’ or ‘the Company’), a privately held developer of novel therapeutics to treat fibrosis, today announces the appointment of William P. Newsome III as President and Chief Executive Officer and Piet Wigerinck as Chief Scientific Advisor.

William P. Newsome III was one of the co-founders of Fibrocor when he was at Evotec and has remained closely involved with the Company as a Non-Executive Director since 2018.

Piet is a highly experienced drug hunter, having taken four drugs (PrezistaTM, OlysioTM, JyselecaTM and RekambysTM) to market.

Fibrosis – the scarring of organ tissue – is thought to be a factor in almost half of all deaths in the industrialised world. However, there are very limited treatment options for associated diseases. Fibrocor focuses on rare fibrotic indications, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), genetic kidney disorders, Chronic Allograph Nephropathy and Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, a type of chronic bile duct disease which often leads to liver failure. The Company is seeking to advance two drug candidates with a focus on rare indications into the clinic – two exquisitely specific kinase inhibitor small molecules (FIB992 and FIB991). Fibrocor is planning for FIB992 to enter Phase I trials next year, with FIB991 going into the clinic in 2025.

William P. Newsome III
William P. Newsome III

William P. Newsome III said, “This is a critical moment for Fibrocor, as the Company accelerates the development of its first-in-class fibrosis programs. Through our collaboration with renowned research institutions, we have leveraged their collective expertise, together with one of the largest patient-derived clinically annotated biorepositories of fibrotic tissue, into a robust pipeline of drug candidates aimed at reshaping the future of fibrosis treatment. I look forward to leading what I already know to be an exceptionally talented team. We are taking a paradigm-shifting approach by tackling fibrosis through the lens of human disease progression, targeting key drivers of fibrosis.”

Commenting on the appointment of Piet Wigerinck as Chief Scientific Advisor, William Newsome III said: “Piet’s extensive experience, network and proven drug development track record make him the ideal person to guide our programs into the clinic. He is also very familiar with our programs from his time at Galapagos and his joining Fibrocor is a reflection of his confidence in our science, target rationale and the potential of our pipeline.”

Piet Wigerinck
Piet Wigerinck

Newly appointed Chief Scientific Advisor of Fibrocor Piet Wigerinck noted, “As CSO of Galapagos, I was very impressed by the quality of the targets delivered by Fibrocor. It allowed my teams to generate strong in vivo data even in the most stringent fibrosis models. Moving these projects into the clinic will be a pleasure.”

In 2019, the Company entered into a partnership deal with Belgium-based Galapagos NV to develop the two small molecule assets, both highly selective kinase inhibitors. When Galapagos decided to reorganize its portfolio in 2022, both programs were returned unencumbered.