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Rhythm Pharmaceuticals Appoints Dana Washburn, M.D., as Senior Vice President of Clinical Development

BOSTON, Oct. 06, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: RYTM), a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on transforming the lives of patients and their families living with hyperphagia and severe obesity caused by rare melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) pathway diseases, today announced the appointment of Dana Washburn, M.D., as Senior Vice President of Clinical Development and as a member of the Company’s Executive Leadership Team, effective September 26, 2022. As SVP of Clinical Development, Dr. Washburn will lead the Company’s robust clinical development program, clinical operations, and data management.

“Dr. Washburn is a collaborative, resourceful leader who brings proven experience in achieving clinical milestones, and he will play a critical role as we advance the development of setmelanotide through several Phase 2 and Phase 3 trials to treat patients with rare MC4R pathway diseases,” said David Meeker, M.D., Chair, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rhythm. “We are pleased to welcome him to our senior management team and look forward to building continued momentum in our clinical development effort.”

Dr. Washburn brings more than 20 years of experience in biopharmaceuticals and medical devices as a physician executive. Most recently, he was Executive Director and Global Medicine Leader at Alexion Pharmaceuticals, which became AstraZeneca Rare Disease following its July 2021 acquisition. Prior to that, Dr. Washburn was Chief Medical Officer at Lyra Therapeutics, Vice President and Head of Global Medical Services for Parexel International, and CMO of Lantheus Medical Imaging. Earlier in his career, he was a cardiologist at the Framingham Heart Center, and he also served as Assistant Director of the Cardiovascular Hemodynamic and Imaging Laboratory at Tufts Medical Center. Dr. Washburn holds a medical degree from the University of Massachusetts.

“I am excited to be joining Rhythm at such a transformative time as the Company advances setmelanotide towards a Phase 3 trial in hypothalamic obesity in addition to the ongoing EMANATE, DAYBREAK, pediatrics and weekly formulation trials,” said Dr. Washburn. “With U.S. and European regulatory approvals in hand, the Rhythm team continues to achieve substantial progress in its mission of transforming the lives of patients and their families living with hyperphagia and severe obesity caused by MC4R pathway diseases.”

About Rhythm Pharmaceuticals
Rhythm is a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to transforming the lives of patients and their families living with hyperphagia and severe obesity caused by rare melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) pathway diseases. Rhythm’s precision medicine, setmelanotide, is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for chronic weight management in adult and pediatric patients 6 years of age and older with monogenic or syndromic obesity due to pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC), proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 1 (PCSK1) or leptin receptor (LEPR) deficiency confirmed by genetic testing, or patients with a clinical diagnosis of Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS). The European Commission (EC) has authorized setmelanotide for the treatment of obesity and the control of hunger associated with genetically confirmed BBS or genetically confirmed loss-of-function biallelic POMC, including PCSK1, deficiency or biallelic LEPR deficiency in adults and children 6 years of age and above. The UK’s Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) authorized setmelanotide for the treatment of obesity and the control of hunger associated with genetically confirmed loss-of-function biallelic POMC, including PCSK1, deficiency or biallelic LEPR deficiency in adults and children 6 years of age and above. Additionally, Rhythm is advancing a broad clinical development program for setmelanotide in other rare genetic diseases of obesity and is leveraging the Rhythm Engine and the largest known obesity DNA database -- now with approximately 45,000 sequencing samples -- to improve the understanding, diagnosis and care of people living with severe obesity due to certain genetic deficiencies. Rhythm’s headquarters is in Boston, MA.

IMCIVREE® (setmelanotide) Indication
In the United States, IMCIVREE is indicated for chronic weight management in adult and pediatric patients 6 years of age and older with monogenic or syndromic obesity due to:

  • Pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC), proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 1 (PCSK1) or leptin receptor (LEPR) deficiency as determined by an FDA-approved test demonstrating variants in POMC, PCSK1 or LEPR genes that are interpreted as pathogenic, likely pathogenic, or of uncertain significance (VUS)
  • Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS)

Limitations of Use
IMCIVREE is not indicated for the treatment of patients with the following conditions as IMCIVREE would not be expected to be effective:

  • Obesity due to suspected POMC, PCSK1 or LEPR deficiency with POMC, PCSK1 or LEPR variants classified as benign or likely benign
  • Other types of obesity not related to POMC, PCSK1 or LEPR deficiency, or BBS, including obesity associated with other genetic syndromes and general (polygenic) obesity

WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

Disturbance in Sexual Arousal: Spontaneous penile erections in males and sexual adverse reactions in females have occurred. Inform patients that these events may occur and instruct patients who have an erection lasting longer than 4 hours to seek emergency medical attention.

Depression and Suicidal Ideation: Depression and suicidal ideation have occurred. Monitor patients for new onset or worsening depression or suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Consider discontinuing IMCIVREE if patients experience suicidal thoughts or behaviors, or clinically significant or persistent depression symptoms occur.

Skin Pigmentation and Darkening of Pre-existing Nevi: Generalized increased skin pigmentation and darkening of pre-existing nevi have occurred. Perform a full body skin examination prior to initiation and periodically during treatment to monitor pre-existing and new pigmentary lesions.

Risk of Serious Adverse Reactions Due to Benzyl Alcohol Preservative in Neonates and Low Birth Weight Infants: IMCIVREE is not approved for use in neonates or infants. Serious and fatal adverse reactions including “gasping syndrome” can occur in neonates and low birth weight infants treated with benzyl alcohol-preserved drugs.

ADVERSE REACTIONS

  • The most common adverse reactions (incidence ≥20%) included skin hyperpigmentation, injection site reactions, nausea, headache, diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, depression, and spontaneous penile erection.

USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS
Treatment with IMCIVREE is not recommended when breastfeeding. Discontinue IMCIVREE when pregnancy is recognized unless the benefits of therapy outweigh the potential risks to the fetus.

To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact Rhythm Pharmaceuticals at 833-789-6337 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.

Please see the full Prescribing Information for additional Important Safety Information.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements contained in this press release that do not relate to matters of historical fact should be considered forward-looking statements, including without limitation statements regarding the potential, safety, efficacy, and regulatory and clinical progress, potential regulatory submissions, approvals and timing thereof of setmelanotide, impact of management changes, and our business strategy and plans, including regarding commercialization of IMCIVREE. Statements using word such as “expect”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “may”, “will” and similar terms are also forward-looking statements. Such statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, our ability to enroll patients in clinical trials, the design and outcome of clinical trials, the impact of competition, the ability to achieve or obtain necessary regulatory approvals, risks associated with data analysis and reporting, our ability to successfully commercialize setmelanotide, our liquidity and expenses, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business and operations, including our preclinical studies, clinical trials and commercialization prospects, and general economic conditions, and the other important factors discussed under the caption “Risk Factors” in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the three months ended June 30, 2022 and our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligations to make any revisions to the forward-looking statements contained in this release or to update them to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this release, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.

Corporate Contact:
David Connolly
Head of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
857-264-4280
dconnolly@rhythmtx.com 

Investor Contact:
Hannah Deresiewicz
Stern Investor Relations, Inc.
212-362-1200
hannah.deresiewicz@sternir.com 

Media Contact:
Adam Daley
Berry & Company Public Relations
212-253-8881
adaley@berrypr.com 


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