SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO — March 14, 2019 — Pliant Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing treatments for fibrotic diseases, today announced the appointment of Smital Shah to its board of directors as an independent director.
“Ms. Shah has extensive experience building and managing emerging as well as fully integrated biotech companies, and is exceptionally skilled at strategic capital development for rapidly growing companies. The Pliant board and leadership team very much look forward to working with Ms. Shah as we advance our portfolio of promising therapeutics for fibrotic diseases,” said Bernard Coulie, M.D., Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Pliant.
Ms. Shah has a 17-year track record of leadership and management in the biopharmaceutical industry, as well as in investment banking, with particular experience in financial strategy, capital markets and business development. She is chief business and financial officer at rare disease company ProQR, which she joined as chief financial officer in 2014. Previously, Ms. Shah managed the multi-billion-dollar debt, cash and investment portfolios of Gilead Sciences. Prior to Gilead, she was an investment banker at Leerink Partners and JP Morgan where she helped raise over $1 billion in equity capital and over $7 billion in debt capital for emerging and established biotech companies and advised on M&A. Previously, Ms. Shah held various R&D roles at Johnson & Johnson. She earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering and an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley.
“Pliant sits squarely in my sweet spot of the type of company that can benefit from my financial and business development expertise. With its productive drug discovery engine, growing pipeline of differentiated product candidates, and an ambitious team focused on realizing the promise of addressing high-need disease indications, I am eager to help them achieve their long-term vision to transform the treatment of fibrotic diseases,” said Ms. Shah.
About Pliant Therapeutics
Pliant Therapeutics is a clinical stage biotechnology company targeting the key biological pathways driving fibrosis. Pliant has leveraged its powerful product discovery engine to develop a portfolio of novel therapeutics that seek to halt progression of multiple life-threatening fibrotic diseases. The company’s lead product candidate, PLN-74809, is a selective inhibitor of αvβ1 and αvβ6 integrin receptors that play a key role in multiple fibrotic pathways. PLN-74809 has received Orphan Designation from the FDA in both idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and primary sclerosing cholangitis, and is being studied in an ongoing Phase 1 clinical trial. Pliant’s second product candidate, PLN-1474, is a selective inhibitor of αvβ1, targeting late-stage liver fibrosis and is currently in IND-enabling studies. For more information, please visit www.pliantrx.com.