Rare Daily Staff

Rare disease drug developer Acceleron Pharma said it named Robert Zeldin, who had been serving as chief medical officer of Ablynx, as its new CMO.

Zeldin replaces Matthew Sherman, who announced at the start of 2018 his plans to retire. Sherman will remain on staff until the anticipated mid-2018 release of topline phase 3 data from the BELIEVE trial of its lead experimental therapy luspatercept in beta-thalassemia patients. He is expected to serve in an advisory capacity to Acceleron for one year after that.

Zeldin joins Acceleron at a critical time for the company. It has advanced luspatercept in multiple hematologic indications. He brings more than two decades of clinical, regulatory, and industry experience to Acceleron.

“Robert has built an impressive career, holding a variety of leadership positions across clinical development, regulatory, and medical affairs functions,” said Habib Dable, CEO of Acceleron.

At Ablynx, Zeldin served as a member of the company’s executive committee and contributed to the development and implementation of the overall corporate strategy. He was responsible for the medical, regulatory, pharmacovigilance, clinical operations, biostatistics, and data management functions and led a team of 60.

He joined Ablynx from the French pharmaceutical firm Stallergenes, where he was senior vice president and head of global clinical development. Prior to that he held several positions of increasing responsibility at both Novartis Pharmaceuticals and Merck.

Prior to his work in industry, Zeldin served as a medical officer at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. He also spent several years in clinical practice treating patients with allergic, asthmatic, and immunologic disorders.

He holds a B.A. with honors from Johns Hopkins University and an M.D. from Tufts University School of Medicine. His postdoctoral training included residency in internal medicine at University Health Center of Pittsburgh and Fellowship in Allergy and Clinical Immunology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

July 6, 2018
Photo: Robert Zeldin, chief medical officer of Acceleron Pharma