Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

Date of Report (Date of earliest event reported): September 4, 2019



Aileron Therapeutics, Inc.

(Exact Name of Company as Specified in Charter)




Delaware   001-38130   13-4196017

(State or Other Jurisdiction

of Incorporation)



File Number)


(IRS Employer

Identification No.)


490 Arsenal Way, Suite 210

Watertown, MA

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)   (Zip Code)

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (617) 995-0900

Not applicable

(Former Name or Former Address, if Changed Since Last Report)



Check the appropriate box below if the Form 8-K filing is intended to simultaneously satisfy the filing obligation of the registrant under any of the following provisions (see General Instruction A.2. below):


Written communications pursuant to Rule 425 under the Securities Act (17 CFR 230.425)


Soliciting material pursuant to Rule 14a-12 under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.14a-12)


Pre-commencement communications pursuant to Rule 14d-2(b) under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.14d-2(b))


Pre-commencement communications pursuant to Rule 13e-4(c) under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.13e-4(c))

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:


Title of each class


Trading Symbol


Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock, $0.001 par value per share   ALRN   Nasdaq Global Market

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is an emerging growth company as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act of 1933 (§230.405 of this chapter) or Rule 12b-2 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (§240.12b-2 of this chapter).

Emerging growth company  ☒

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  ☒




Item 5.02

Departure of Directors or Certain Officers; Election of Directors; Appointment of Certain Officers; Compensatory Arrangements of Certain Officers

Aileron Therapeutics, Inc. (the “Company”), announced that on September 4, 2019 Donald V. Dougherty, the Company’s Chief Financial Officer, had indicated his intent to leave the Company, effective September 13, 2019. Rick Wanstall, the Company’s Vice President, Finance and Operations and principal accounting officer, will serve as the Company’s principal financial officer upon Mr. Dougherty’s departure.

Mr. Wanstall, age 51, has served as the Company’s principal accounting officer since March 27, 2019 and has served as the Company’s Vice President, Finance and Operations since July 2018. From July 2014 to July 2018, Mr. Wanstall served as Vice President, Finance at Moderna Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on drug discovery and drug development based on messenger RNA. Prior to Moderna, Mr. Wanstall served as Senior Vice President, Global Finance at Stream Global Services, Inc., a multinational business process outsourcing company, from May 2010 to July 2014. Previously, Mr. Wanstall served in management roles in finance, accounting and SEC reporting for several technology and financial services companies. Mr. Wanstall began his career at Coopers & Lybrand, LLC. Mr. Wanstall received a B.A. from Salem State College, and a M.B.A. from Babson College.

Mr. Wanstall was not appointed as principal financial officer pursuant to any arrangement or understanding between him and any other person. There are no family relationships between Mr. Wanstall and any director, executive officer or any person nominated or chosen by us to become a director or executive officer.

A copy of the Company’s press release announcing Mr. Dougherty’s departure is furnished, but not filed, as Exhibit 99.1 to this Current Report on Form 8-K.

Mr. Dougherty and the Company have agreed to enter into a separation agreement in connection with his departure from the Company. Under the separation agreement, the Company will provide Mr. Dougherty with (i) six months of salary continuation payments, payable in equal installments in accordance with the Company’s regular payroll practices, in an aggregate amount equal to six (6) months of Mr. Dougherty’s base salary, and (ii) payment on Mr. Dougherty’s behalf of the monthly premiums for group health and/or dental insurance coverage under COBRA until the earlier of the date that is six (6) months after the effective date of the separation agreement or the date on which Mr. Dougherty becomes eligible to receive group health insurance coverage through another employer. The separation agreement will also contain mutual releases, subject to customary exceptions, and covenants not to solicit or disparage and to cooperate with the Company. The foregoing summary of the principal terms of the separation agreement does not purport to be complete and is qualified in its entirety by reference to the complete text of the separation agreement, a copy of which will be attached as an exhibit to the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the three months ending September 30, 2019.


Item 9.01.

Financial Statements and Exhibits.

(d)    Exhibits:





99.1    Press Release dated September 9, 2019*



The information contained in Exhibit 99.1 attached hereto relating to Item 5.02 shall be deemed to be furnished, and not filed.


Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned hereunto duly authorized.



Aileron Therapeutics, Inc.

Date: September 9, 2019



  /s/ Manuel C. Alves Aivado, M.D., Ph.D.
      Manuel C. Alves Aivado, M.D., Ph.D.
      President and Chief Executive Officer

Exhibit 99.1

Aileron Therapeutics Announces Management Change

Watertown, Mass., September 9, 2019 — Aileron Therapeutics (NASDAQ: ALRN), the clinical-stage leader in the field of stabilized cell-permeating peptides to treat cancer and other diseases, today announced that Don Dougherty, its current Chief Financial Officer, will be leaving Aileron effective September 13, 2019. All financial responsibilities are being transitioned to Richard Wanstall, who has served as the Company’s Vice President of Finance and Operations and principal accounting officer since 2018. Prior to joining Aileron, Mr. Wanstall held roles as Vice President, Finance at Moderna Therapeutics, Inc.; Senior Vice President, Global Finance at Stream Global Services, Inc.; and management roles in finance, accounting and SEC reporting for several other technology and financial services companies.

“During this past year, we have built a strong leadership team with the hiring of Vojislav (Vojo) Vukovic, MD, PhD as Chief Medical Officer, Kathryn Gregory, MBA as Chief Business Officer, and the promotion of Allen Annis, PhD, as Senior Vice President of Research. These executives have proven track records in their respective careers, have greatly contributed to our company, and will be critical to the clinical development of ALRN-6924 as a combination agent in MDM2-amplified cancers and as a myelopreservative agent,” said Dr. Manuel Aivado, CEO & President of Aileron. “We have an exciting year ahead with significant data readouts in the second half of 2019 and first half of 2020. As previously announced, on September 28th, we will present an interim analysis in patients from our combination trial of ALRN-6924 and palbociclib (Ibrance) for the treatment of MDM2-amplified cancers at the Annual Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology in Barcelona. In addition, we are on track to begin enrolling patients in a Phase 1b/2 trial to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of ALRN-6924 as a myelopreservative drug for small cell lung cancer patients receiving 2nd line chemotherapy with topotecan in September 2019. We expect to report clinical proof of concept data from all patients (30-40) from the Phase 1b portion of this trial in the second quarter of 2020.”

“The Board and I would like to thank Don for his contributions and service to Aileron during the last couple of years. Since he joined us in June 2017, Aileron has successfully completed its IPO and completed a follow-on offering to support the ongoing development of our pipeline of clinical trial programs in MDM2-amplified cancers and myelopreservation,” said Dr. Manuel Aivado, CEO & President of Aileron.

About ALRN-6924

ALRN-6924 is a first-in-class, stabilized cell-permeating alpha-helical peptide that mimics the p53 tumor suppressor protein to disrupt its interactions with both its endogenous inhibitors, MDMX and MDM2. ALRN-6924 is currently being evaluated in multiple clinical trials for the treatment of a variety of cancers, including cancers with MDM2-amplified tumors. For information about Aileron’s clinical trials, please visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.

About Aileron

Aileron is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company advancing a proprietary platform of cell-permeating alpha-helical peptides that address the most important intracellular targets in oncology and other therapeutic areas. The stabilized helical structure of our peptides allows the design of cell-permeating therapeutic agents with large molecular surfaces for optimal target binding properties, resulting in drug candidates like ALRN-6924. Our current focus is to improve the standard of care for patients with cancer by developing safe and effective therapies that leverage our proprietary peptide platform. For more information, visit www.aileronrx.com, and for more information about our clinical trials please visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this press release about Aileron’s future expectations, plans and prospects, as well as any other statements regarding matters that are not historical facts, may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the Company’s strategy and clinical development plans. The words “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “target,” “would” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including whether Aileron’s cash resources will be sufficient to fund its continuing operations for the periods and/or trials anticipated; whether results obtained in preclinical studies and clinical trials will be indicative of results obtained in future clinical trials; whether Aileron’s product candidates will advance through the clinical trial process on a timely basis, or at all; whether the results of such trials will warrant submission for approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration or equivalent foreign regulatory agencies; whether Aileron’s product candidates will receive approval from regulatory agencies on a timely basis or at all; whether, if product candidates obtain approval, they will be successfully distributed and marketed; and other factors discussed in the “Risk Factors” section of Aileron’s quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the period ended June 30, 2019, filed on August 6, 2019, and risks described in other filings that Aileron may make with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date hereof, and Aileron specifically disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether because of new information, future events or otherwise.


Aileron Therapeutics

Rick Wanstall, VP Finance & Operations



Hans C. Vitzthum

LifeSci Advisors, LLC.