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CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 23, 2019-- Axcella Health Inc. (Nasdaq: AXLA), a biotechnology company pioneering the research and development of novel multifactorial interventions using novel compositions of endogenous metabolic modulators to address dysregulated metabolism and support health, today announced that Catherine A. Sohn, Pharm.D. has been appointed to its Board of Directors. In addition, the Company announced that Christopher A. Viehbacher is stepping down after serving as a Board member since 2015.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Sohn to our Board. She has over thirty years of global experience in the biopharmaceutical and consumer healthcare sectors and strong leadership and public company board experience, which will be instrumental to the continued advancement of our pipeline and execution of our strategy,” said David Epstein, Chairman of Axcella’s Board of Directors.

Dr. Sohn held a series of leadership positions in strategic product and business development and commercial operating roles at GlaxoSmithKline plc and its predecessor companies, SmithKline Beecham and SK&F, most recently as Senior Vice President until 2010. She currently serves on the board of directors of Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc, a public commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company, Rubius Therapeutics, Inc., a public clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company and Landec Corporation, a public company with two divisions, a contract development and manufacturing organization and a natural food company. Dr. Sohn also is Chairman of BioEclipse Therapeutics, a private clinical stage biotechnology company. As an independent Director, Dr. Sohn has served as Chair of Nominating / Corporate Governance and Compensations Committees and as a member on Audit Committees. She previously served on the board of Neuralstem, Inc., a public biopharmaceutical company until 2017. Dr. Sohn received a Pharm.D. from the University of California, San Francisco, a certificate in professional development from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and is a NACD (National Association of Corporate Directors) Board Leadership Fellow.

“I am pleased to be joining the Board at an important time in Axcella’s evolution and to be working with Axcella’s experienced management team. I am excited by the Company’s current clinical studies and the potential of its platform.” said Dr. Sohn.

David Epstein made comments on Mr. Viehbacher’s departure from the board, “We sincerely thank Chris for the numerous contributions he made to Axcella and the role he has played in guiding the Company over the past four years.” Mr. Viehbacher said, “I am proud of Axcella’s pioneering work with endogenous metabolic modulators and its progress towards potentially establishing them as products to address complex diseases and support health.”

About Endogenous Metabolic Modulators

Endogenous metabolic modulators, or EMMs, are a broad family of molecules, including amino acids, which fundamentally impact and regulate human metabolism. Our AXA Candidates are anchored by EMMs that have a history of safe use as food. We believe that, unlike conventional targeted interventions currently used to address dysregulated metabolism, EMM compositions have the potential to directly and simultaneously support and modulate multiple metabolic pathways implicated both in complex diseases and overall health.

About Axcella Health

Axcella is designing and developing AXA Candidates, compositions of endogenous metabolic modulators, or EMMs, engineered in distinct ratios, designed to target and maximize the fundamental role that EMMs play in regulating multiple metabolic functions. Axcella’s AXA Candidates are generated from its proprietary, human-focused AXA Development Platform. Axcella believes its expertise and capabilities in EMMs position it to become a preeminent biotechnology company reprogramming metabolism to address a diverse set of complex diseases and support health. Axcella’s AXA Development Platform has already produced a pipeline of product candidates in programs targeting liver, muscle and blood. Axcella was founded by Flagship Pioneering. For more information, visit

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Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended, including, without limitation, statements regarding the therapeutic potential of our AXA Candidates and our strategy, business plans and focus. The words “may,” “will,” “could,” “would,” “should,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “project,” “potential,” “continue,” “target” and similar words and expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words or expressions. Any forward-looking statements in this press release are based on management’s current expectations and beliefs and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and important factors that may cause actual events or results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by any forward-looking statements contained in this press release, including, without limitation, those related to the clinical development and potential of our AXA Candidates, the potential impact on the Company of the board changes announced in this press release, the Axcella team’s ability to build a leading endogenous metabolic modulator company and to advance its pipeline and other risks identified in our SEC filings, including our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the second quarter of 2019, and subsequent filings with the SEC. We caution you not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. We disclaim any obligation to publicly update or revise any such statements to reflect any change in expectations or in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statements may be based, or that may affect the likelihood that actual results will differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release represent our views only as of the date hereof and should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any subsequent date. We explicitly disclaim any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

Company Contact
Alison Williams
(857) 320-2204

Investor Contact
Lauren Stival
(212) 698-8646