Allena Pharmaceuticals Appoints Richard D. Katz, M.D. as Chief Financial Officer


NEWTON, Mass., Feb. 02, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Allena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALNA), a late-stage, biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing and commercializing first-in-class, oral enzyme therapeutics to treat patients with rare and severe metabolic and kidney disorders, today announced the appointment of Richard D. Katz, M.D., as Chief Financial Officer (CFO), effective immediately. Dr. Katz succeeds Edward Wholihan, whose planned departure was announced by the Company in November 2020.

“Rich is a terrific addition to Allena. He is a strategic leader with deep experience guiding corporate and business strategy for public biotechnology companies, and a proven track record of building well-funded, sustainable organizations,” said Louis Brenner, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Allena Pharmaceuticals. “Rich’s integrated perspective as a physician and seasoned financial professional will bring great value as we continue to invest in our growing pipeline of oral enzyme therapeutics, with the goal of advancing reloxaliase from pivotal Phase 3 trials to commercialization, while also devoting increased resources to ALLN-346 and our next wave of therapeutic candidates.”

Dr. Katz brings more than 20 years of experience in healthcare finance and corporate development to Allena. Most recently, he served as CFO at Liquidia Technologies, Inc., a late-stage clinical biopharmaceutical company. Prior to Liquidia, Dr. Katz served as CFO at several biopharmaceutical companies, including Argos Therapeutics, Viamet Pharmaceuticals and Icagen, Inc. At Icagen, Dr. Katz played a key role in facilitating the company’s initial public offering and subsequent financings, the formation of several strategic collaborations and the company’s sale to Pfizer. Dr. Katz began his career as a vice president in the healthcare investment banking group at Goldman, Sachs & Company, where he executed a broad range of transactions, including equity and debt financings, mergers and acquisitions and corporate restructurings. He holds his B.A. from Harvard University, his M.D. from Stanford University School of Medicine and his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

“I am thrilled to join Allena, especially at this exciting time for the company,” said Richard Katz, M.D. “Based on the scientific and clinical data presented to-date, I believe that reloxaliase has the potential to provide a first-in-class medicine for people with enteric hyperoxaluria, a substantial population for whom current treatment options are extremely limited, and that ALLN-346 may address the unmet needs of patients living with both hyperuricemia and chronic kidney disease. I am excited to work with the team to advance these programs through clinical studies and toward successful launches. Moreover, I believe the company’s proprietary enzyme technology could fuel a broader pipeline of novel, orally delivered medicines and I look forward to working with my new colleagues to harness its full potential to address a range of rare and severe metabolic and kidney disorders.”

In connection with Dr. Katz joining Allena, Allena’s Board of Directors approved, effective as of February 1, 2021, the grant of a non-qualified stock option awarded to purchase 400,000 shares of its common stock to Dr. Katz under the Allena Pharmaceuticals 2021 Inducement Equity Plan. The stock option will be granted as an inducement material to Dr. Katz becoming an employee of Allena in accordance with Nasdaq Listing Rule 5635(c)(4). The option will have an exercise price equal to $1.67, which was the closing price of Allena’s common stock on The Nasdaq Global Select Market on February 1, 2021. The option will vest over a 4-year period, with 25% of the shares vesting after 12 months and the remaining shares vesting monthly over the following 36-months, subject to Dr. Katz’s continued employment with Allena on such vesting dates. The option is subject to the terms and conditions of the Inducement Plan and the terms and conditions of a stock option agreement covering the grant.

About Allena Pharmaceuticals
Allena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a late-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing and commercializing first-in-class, oral enzyme therapeutics to treat patients with rare and severe metabolic and kidney disorders. Allena’s lead product candidate, reloxaliase, is currently being evaluated in a pivotal Phase 3 clinical program for the treatment of enteric hyperoxaluria, a metabolic disorder characterized by markedly elevated urinary oxalate levels and commonly associated with kidney stones, chronic kidney disease and other serious kidney disorders. Allena is also developing ALLN-346 for the treatment of hyperuricemia in the setting of gout and advanced chronic kidney disease, with Phase 1b multiple-ascending dose and Phase 2 proof-of-concept studies planned for 2021.

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