Fulcrum Therapeutics announced a leadership change Wednesday morning, bringing back former CEO and founding president Robert J. Gould to serve as interim CEO.

The clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company stated that CEO Bryan Stuart has departed to pursue other opportunities. The clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company did not elaborate on Stuart’s exit any further in its press release announcing the change. 

Gould joined Fulcrum in 2016 as CEO and president, positions he held until March 2021, when Stuart took the helm. Before joining Fulcrum, Gould served as president and CEO of Epizyme from 2010 to 2015. He also served as director of novel therapeutics at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard from 2006 to 2010.

Gould is a Merck veteran, spending more than two decades at the company in a series of leadership positions. 

Fulcrum made the announcement of its CEO change during the release of its business update and release of its 2023 strategic outlook. This comes weeks after the company received a Fast Track Designation from the Food and Drug Administration for FTX-0658 in treating sickle cell disease. 

The company also completed enrollment in 6 mg and 2 mg dose cohorts for the Phase 1b trial of the drug, with enrollment ongoing in the 12 mg dose cohort.

“We are entering 2023 with a tremendous amount of momentum and expect it to be a productive year for our two clinical programs: FTX-6058 for SCD, and losmapimod for FSHD,” Gould said in a statement. “FTX-6058 is a potential best-in-class oral HbF inducer candidate that could address critical gaps in the SCD treatment landscape. We are excited by the levels of HbF induction in our initial doses and look forward to further broadening our understanding of its effect at a higher dose.”

Gould added that the company expects its Phase 3 REACH trial with losmapimod to complete enrollment during the second half of the year.

From a financial perspective, Fulcrum stated that it maintains its current cash runway guidance and expects its existing cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities to be sufficient to fund the company’s planned operating expenses and expenditures into late 2024.