Tenant Profile: Amicus Therapeutics
The following is a Q&A with John Crowley, Chairman and CEO of Amicus Therapeutics Inc.
(1 Cedar Brook Drive, Cranbury, NJ).
What does Amicus Therapeutics do?
Amicus Therapeutics is a biotechnology company at the forefront of advanced therapies that treat a range of devastating rare and orphan diseases. Our lead product candidate, migalastat, is a personalized medicine in late-stage development, designed to treat individuals with Fabry disease on the basis of their genetic diagnosis.
Zorblisa™ (SD-101), a product candidate in late-stage development, is a potential first-to-market therapy for the chronic, rare connective tissue disorder Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). We are also leveraging our biologics and Chaperone-Advanced Replacement Therapy (CHART™) platform technologies to develop next-generation ERT products for Fabry, Pompe and other lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs).
What prompted you to start Amicus?
I was involved in the development of first-generation therapies for lysosomal storage disorders, which have saved many lives but are not a cure. As a biotech CEO as well as the parent of two children with Pompe disease, I believe there is still a lot of work to be done to develop fundamentally different therapies that will truly transform and improve the lives of these patients. Many other companies in the rare disease space are looking to bring new therapies to the market for patients who don’t have any available treatments. At Amicus we are looking at the challenges with current treatments today and how we can leverage the strength of our science and internal R&D engines to develop next-generation medicines that address unmet needs.
How big is the team at the Cedar Brook office?
That’s a great question! Over the past year we have achieved many development and corporate milestones that have enabled us to raise additional capital to invest in our pipeline and expand our team. Right now we have 174 employees, a mix of FTEs and contractors/consultants. By the end of 2015 we will have doubled in size from where we were at the end of last year.
What sets your company apart?
We are a truly patient-centric company. Our entire company gets involved in patient advocacy. We bring our patient advisory boards into the process as we design our clinical trials, to give us the patient’s perspective on our development plans as well as our communications to the community. We also hold regular lunch and learns to invite patients and families to Amicus to share their stories and remind us why we come to work here every day.
What do you look for in candidates that want to join your team?
We look for people who are truly passionate about patients, who want to follow strong science and innovation to develop and commercialize fundamentally different medicines.
Why did you choose Cedar Brook to setup the company office?
It is centrally located to attract top talent from around the state of New Jersey as well as Pennsylvania.
What are you most excited about for the next 12 months?
We are poised to transform Amicus within the next 12 months as we await potential European regulatory approval of our personalized medicine for Fabry disease, begin the U.S. marketing submission process for our potential first-to-market treatment for Epidermolysis Bullosa, and expect to advance our next-generation therapy for Pompe disease into the clinic.