Conatus Pharmaceuticals Appoints David T. Hagerty as Executive Vice President, Clinical Development

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 1, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq:CNAT), a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of novel medicines to treat liver disease, today announced the appointment of David T. Hagerty, M.D., as Executive Vice President, Clinical Development, with oversight responsibility for the company's medical activities including Clinical Development, Clinical Operations, Regulatory Affairs, Biostatistics, Quality Assurance and Drug Safety.

"David brings a breadth of highly relevant drug development experience to the Conatus team," said Steven J. Mento, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Conatus, "covering the range from drug discovery through clinical development to regulatory approval and commercialization. His balanced perspective, reflecting advancement from operational to strategic roles through a variety of institutions, should be especially helpful as we prioritize the development of emricasan for multiple potential liver disease indications."

Dr. Hagerty has been an independent consultant in clinical development since April 2013. He served as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Ardea Biosciences from 2011 to 2013. He previously served as a Vice President of Immunology and Rheumatology Clinical Research at Biogen Idec Inc. from 2006 to 2011, where he led the clinical development of rituximab for rheumatoid arthritis and lupus with joint development partner Genentech. Previously, Dr. Hagerty advanced through several management roles at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute from 1997 through 2006, most recently as Executive Director of Immunology Global Clinical Research and medical lead for the abatacept clinical development program. His earlier career included faculty and laboratory research duties at Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Hagerty served for five years in the Medical Corps of the United States Navy, and was recalled to Active Duty in Operation Desert Storm. Dr. Hagerty received an M.D. degree from St. Louis University of Medicine and a B.S. degree from the University of Notre Dame. He is Board Certified in internal medicine and nephrology and has been United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) certified as a transplant physician.

About Conatus Pharmaceuticals

Conatus is a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of novel medicines to treat liver disease. Conatus is developing its lead compound, emricasan, for the treatment of patients with chronic liver disease and acute exacerbations of chronic liver disease. Emricasan is a first-in-class, orally active caspase protease inhibitor designed to reduce the activity of enzymes that mediate inflammation and cell death, or apoptosis. Conatus believes that by reducing the activity of these enzymes, emricasan has the potential to interrupt the disease progression across the spectrum of liver disease. For additional information, please visit

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this press release are forward-looking statements, including statements regarding emricasan's potential to interrupt the disease progression across the spectrum of liver disease. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as "may," "will," "should," "expect," "plan," "anticipate," "could," "intend," "target," "project," "contemplates," "believes," "estimates," "predicts," "potential" or "continue" or the negative of these terms or other similar expressions. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including: the potential for competing products to limit the clinical trial enrollment in clinical trials, the company's ability to successfully enroll patients in and complete clinical trials; the company's reliance on third parties to conduct its clinical trials, including the enrollment of patients, and manufacture its clinical drug supplies of emricasan; potential adverse side effects or other safety risks associated with emricasan that could delay or preclude its approval; results of future clinical trials of emricasan; the company's ability to obtain additional financing in order to complete the development and commercialization of emricasan; and those risks described in the company's prior press releases and in the periodic reports it files with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The events and circumstances reflected in the company's forward-looking statements may not be achieved or occur and actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Except as required by applicable law, the company does not plan to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements contained herein, whether as a result of any new information, future events, changed circumstances or otherwise.

CONTACT: INVESTORS Alan Engbring, Conatus Pharmaceuticals (858) 376-2637, MEDIA Mariesa Kemble, Sam Brown Inc. (608) 850-4745, mariesakemble@sambrown.comSource:Conatus Pharmaceuticals