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Protagonist Therapeutics Names Samuel Saks, M.D., as Chief Development Officer

NEWARK, Calif., May 24, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Protagonist Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: PTGX) today announced the appointment of Samuel Saks, M.D., as Chief Development Officer. In this newly-created role, Dr. Saks will provide strategic oversight of the Company's research and clinical development programs.

"We are very pleased to have Dr. Saks contribute his extensive industry experience to the company," commented Dinesh Patel, Chief Executive Officer of Protagonist Therapeutics. "His involvement will add to the depth of our research organization and assist in more effective clinical development of potentially transformative peptide-based drugs that have been discovered through our proprietary technology platform."

Dr. Saks served as Chief Development Officer and board member at Auspex Pharmaceuticals, until the time of its acquisition by Teva Pharmaceuticals. Before his tenure at Auspex Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Saks was a co-founder of Jazz Pharmaceuticals, where he also served as Chief Executive Officer for six years. Earlier in his career, Dr. Saks held positions as company group chairman of ALZA Corporation and member of the Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Operating Committee. Dr. Saks has also held leadership and management positions at Schering-Plough, Xoma and Genentech. Dr. Saks currently serves on the boards of directors of PDL BioPharma, TONIX Pharmaceuticals, Velocity Pharmaceutical Development and NuMedii. Dr. Saks received a B.S. in Biology and his M.D. from the University of Illinois

"Protagonist has a portfolio of well differentiated clinical development stage assets that present multiple choices to address unmet medical needs in diverse disease areas," added Dr. Saks. "I'm eager to help realize the full potential of these innovative drugs that will hopefully lead to improved and superior patient care in the coming years."

About Protagonist Therapeutics

Protagonist Therapeutics is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company that utilizes a proprietary technology platform to discover and develop novel peptide-based drugs to transform existing treatment paradigms for patients with significant unmet medical needs. PTG-100 is an oral alpha-4-beta-7 integrin antagonist peptide that is under evaluation for potential treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases. The company's interleukin-23 receptor antagonist peptide, PTG-200, is currently in a Phase 1 clinical trial in healthy volunteers to support a Phase 2 study in Crohn's disease. The IL-12/23 pathway blockade is an approach that has been validated through an FDA-approved injectable antibody drug. The company has entered into a worldwide license and collaboration agreement with Janssen Biotech for the clinical development of PTG-200. Protagonist has also applied its innovative peptide platform outside of the GI disease areas and is developing an injectable hepcidin mimetic, PTG-300, for the potential treatment of anemia and iron overload related to rare blood diseases with an initial focus on beta-thalassemia. The Company has completed a Phase 1 clinical trial with PTG-300, which established pharmacodynamic-based clinical proof-of-concept in normal healthy volunteers. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted Orphan Drug Designation to PTG-300 for beta-thalassemia.

Protagonist is headquartered in Newark, California, with pre-clinical and clinical staff in California and discovery operations in both California and Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. For further information, please visit


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