Thomas Neff, the founder, CEO, and chairman of FibroGen (NASDAQ: FGEN), has passed away. The San Francisco-based biotech did not disclose any details other than to say Neff’s death over the weekend was unexpected. Board member James Schoeneck has been named interim CEO while the company searches for Neff’s permanent successor.
Neff founded FibroGen in 1993. The company’s lead drug, roxadustat, is being prepared for FDA review as a treatment for anemia. The oral drug was approved in China late last year and is currently under review in Japan. Another Fibrogen drug, pamrevlumab, is in Phase 3 testing for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and pancreatic cancer, and in Phase 2 in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Schoeneck has been a member of FibroGen’s board for nine years. His experience also includes executive roles at Depomed and Centocor.