SAN DIEGO, Aug. 31, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:CNAT), a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of novel medicines to treat liver disease, today announced the appointment of Keith W. Marshall, Ph.D., M.B.A., as Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. "We are pleased to welcome Keith to the Conatus senior management team," said Steven J. Mento, Ph.D., co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Conatus, "and to round out the team's capabilities with his highly relevant blend of knowledge and perspective. He has over fifteen years of experience in finance, operations and business advisory roles rooted in a solid scientific and financial education. "As an agent on private placements for private biotechnology companies, and an advisor to both buyers and sellers in biotechnology and pharmaceutical company transactions," added Dr. Mento, "Keith has developed a broad understanding of structuring and negotiating deals and a purposeful understanding of product and technology positioning. As a CFO of both a biotechnology company and a boutique advisory firm, he has managed a broad range of business initiatives and established relationships across the professional investment community. As a medical researcher for ten years in both academia and industry and author of multiple peer-reviewed publications, he has established the scientific depth to help guide the company in its product development pursuits. We look forward to Keith's anticipated contributions as we focus on completing our four ongoing Phase 2b emricasan clinical trials and expanding our pipeline." Dr. Marshall has been Chief Financial Officer and Head of Corporate Development since 2015 at Torque Therapeutics, where his responsibilities included finance, operations, human resources, corporate strategy and business development. He served as Managing Director and Advisor in Healthcare Investment Banking from 2012 to 2014 at GCA Savvian Advisors, where he provided strategic counsel to healthcare companies, and continued from 2014 to 2015 at TAG Healthcare Advisors under an alliance with GCA Savvian. Dr. Marshall was Managing Director from 2011 to 2012 at Sagent Advisors; Managing Director, Co-founder, and Chief Financial Officer from 2008 to 2011 at Montgomery, Marshall Healthcare Partners; Managing Director of Healthcare Investment Banking from 2003 to 2008 at Montgomery & Co.; and Associate in Healthcare Investment Banking from 2001 to 2003 at JPMorgan H&Q with additional responsibilities at JPMorgan Partners.