Assembly Bio Announces Key Promotions to Leadership Team

August 03, 2021

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Aug. 03, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --  Assembly Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: ASMB), a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing innovative therapeutics targeting hepatitis B virus (HBV), today announced the promotions of Jason Okazaki to chief operating officer and Michael Samar to chief financial officer. Mr. Okazaki joined Assembly Bio in 2020 as chief legal and business officer responsible for leading and executing strategic collaborations and transactions. Since joining Assembly Bio in 2017, Mr. Samar has led the company’s financial and business operations, serving most recently as senior vice president of finance and business operations.

“Jason and Michael are highly skilled in their respective professions and as business leaders; together, they have brought to bear their years of industry experience to positively impact Assembly Bio’s business, finance and operations and ensure we are well-positioned to meet our long-term objectives,” said John McHutchison, AO, MD, chief executive officer and president of Assembly Bio. “Their expert counsel and strategic guidance have been invaluable and they have made important contributions to our growth. I’m thrilled to recognize their leadership with these promotions and look forward to our continued work together as we pursue finite and curative therapies for HBV.”

Mr. Okazaki joined Assembly Bio with 20 years of business and legal experience including 14 years with Gilead Sciences where he was senior vice president, legal and assistant secretary. He led a global legal team supporting operations in the United States, Asia and Latin America, and advised on corporate governance and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reporting matters. Mr. Okazaki also led the structuring and legal execution of all acquisitions, strategic collaborations, and licensing deals. Previously, he was an associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in the firm’s mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance practices. Mr. Okazaki earned a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and a Juris Doctor (JD) degree from UC Hastings College of the Law. He is a member of the State Bars of California and New York.

Mr. Samar has more than 20 years of experience at companies across the life sciences leading finance and business operations and supporting transactions such as IPOs, financings, and M&A. Previously, he was vice president of finance at Acorda Therapeutics (formerly Biotie Therapies). Earlier in his career, Mr. Samar served as director, financial planning and analysis at Onyx Pharmaceuticals; senior finance director, global planning and analysis at Agennix (formerly GPC Biotech); and held financial roles of increasing responsibility at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development. He earned an MBA from Villanova University and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Bryant University.

About Assembly Biosciences
Assembly Bio is a clinical-stage biotechnology company committed to bringing finite and curative therapies to the 270 million people living with hepatitis B virus (HBV) worldwide. A pioneer in the development of a new class of potent, oral core inhibitor drug candidates, Assembly Bio’s approach aims to break the complex viral replication cycle of HBV to free patients from a lifetime of therapy. Assembly Bio’s strategy toward cure includes a leading portfolio of more potent, next-generation core inhibitors, proof-of-concept combination studies and a research program focused on the discovery of novel HBV targets. For more information, visit

Forward-Looking Statements
The information in this press release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to materially differ. These risks and uncertainties include: Assembly Bio’s ability to initiate and complete clinical studies involving its therapeutic product candidates, including studies contemplated by Assembly Bio’s clinical collaboration agreements, in the currently anticipated timeframes; safety and efficacy data from clinical studies may not warrant further development of Assembly Bio’s product candidates; clinical and nonclinical data presented at conferences may not differentiate Assembly Bio’s product candidates from other companies’ candidates; continued development and commercialization of Assembly Bio’s product candidates, if successful, in the China territory will be dependent on, and subject to, Assembly Bio’s collaboration agreement governing its activity in the China territory; Assembly Bio’s ability to maintain financial resources necessary to continue its clinical studies and fund business operations; any impact that the COVID-19 pandemic may have on Assembly Bio’s business and operations, including initiation and continuation of its clinical studies or timing of discussions with regulatory authorities; and other risks identified from time to time in Assembly Bio’s reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC). You are urged to consider statements that include the words may, will, would, could, should, might, believes, hopes, estimates, projects, potential, expects, plans, anticipates, intends, continues, forecast, designed, goal or the negative of those words or other comparable words to be uncertain and forward-looking. Assembly Bio intends such forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions contained in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. More information about Assembly Bio’s risks and uncertainties are more fully detailed under the heading “Risk Factors” in Assembly Bio’s filings with the SEC, including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K. Except as required by law, Assembly Bio assumes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


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Lauren Glaser
Senior Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Affairs
(415) 521-3828

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Audra Friis 
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