Bill Hinshaw, President and CEO of Axcella Therapeutics, discusses the initiation of a pioneering Phase 2a clinical trial in long COVID, investigating AXA1125 as a potential treatment for the debilitating symptoms of this disease, in particular, chronic fatigue and muscle weakness. Hinshaw talks about the current lack of therapeutics for long COVID patients, the growing evidence about COVID-19’s impact on mitochondrial function, details of the Phase 2b trial of AXA1125 in long COVID, and Axcella’s scientific approach to treating complex diseases using Endogenous Metabolic Modulator (EMM) compositions.
Mr. Hinshaw joined Axcella as CEO in May 2018. He is the former Executive Vice President of U.S. Oncology at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, having served 15 years with the organization. Mr. Hinshaw led all aspects of this >$6B organization, heading up more than a dozen product launches, including Tasigna ®, Gleevec ®, and Kymriah ®; the integration of the GSK oncology portfolio; innovative medical, commercial, and market access models; and a patient-centric focus on education and support programs. He also played a key role on the Global Oncology Executive Committee, including leading key strategic programs to maximize the portfolio and pipeline development. Mr. Hinshaw was formerly the Head of the Northern and Central Europe Region for Novartis Oncology where he was responsible for leading all functions across 33 countries. Prior to that role, Mr. Hinshaw was the head of Group Emerging Markets, which included all divisions of Novartis in 50 countries worldwide. Prior to his role as EVP, Mr. Hinshaw held a number of lead roles for Novartis, including Head of the Hematology Business Franchise, which achieved >20% overall growth each year under Mr. Hinshaw’s leadership. He also was the Global Head of Infectious Disease and Transplantation and Immunology (IDTI) based out of Basel, Switzerland, with responsibility for all functions of the organization, including commercial, development, BD&L, and strategy for the Business Unit. Other Novartis positions held by Mr. Hinshaw included Global Head of Infectious Disease Marketing and IDTI Development and Business Development & Licensing; Business Franchise Head, Infectious Disease; and Head of Infectious Disease Marketing. Mr. Hinshaw started his career at Schering Plough, where over the course of 12 years, he held a series of roles of increasing responsibility in the sales and marketing functions in both primary care and specialty business units, including market research, new products and in-line brand management, and sales positions at the representative, district, regional, and national levels. He also led the U.S. Oncology Unit where he was responsible for sales, marketing and business development. Mr. Hinshaw holds a B.S. in Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin.