PepGen Strengthens Leadership Team with SVP of Chemistry, Manufacturing & Controls and VP of Finance Appointments
– Niels Svenstrup, Ph.D., will serve as Senior Vice President of Chemistry, Manufacturing & Controls
– David Pelissier, CPA, will serve as Vice President of Finance
– New leaders will support PepGen in establishing its U.S. presence, building its financial strategy and advancing its pipeline
BOSTON and OXFORD, United Kingdom, June 07, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — PepGen, Inc., a biotechnology company developing transformative oligonucleotide therapies for individuals living with neuromuscular and neurologic diseases, today announced that it has expanded its leadership team with two key appointments. Drug development expert Niels Svenstrup, Ph.D., will join the team as Senior Vice President of Chemistry, Manufacturing & Controls while experienced financial leader David Pelissier, CPA, will serve as Vice President of Finance.
PepGen is advancing a pipeline of Enhanced Delivery Oligonucleotide (EDO) therapies for neuromuscular and neurologic diseases, including Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1), while simultaneously building a team of dedicated industry leaders. While the company’s scientific founders are based in Oxford and Cambridge, UK, PepGen is establishing its U.S. presence in Boston’s biotech hub where Dr. Svenstrup and Mr. Pelissier will be based.
“I am thrilled to welcome Niels and David to the PepGen team, both of whom are respected life science experts with deep experience in the rare disease sector and, most importantly, share our team’s single-minded determination to create best-in-class solutions for people living with rare neuromuscular and neurologic disorders,” said James McArthur, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of PepGen. “I look forward to working alongside them both to advance our pipeline of oligonucleotide therapies toward the clinic, build a robust financial strategy and recruit a talented team of researchers and leaders in Boston.”
Dr. Svenstrup brings more than 20 years of experience in pharmaceutical research & development to PepGen, where he will oversee the R&D process of the company’s EDO platform. His work has resulted in the invention of numerous drug candidates, of which several are currently in clinical development. Prior to joining PepGen he served in a variety of life science leadership roles, most recently as Senior Vice President of Development at Cydan, Inc., where he managed chemistry, manufacturing and controls (CMC) operations and strategy and led efforts to identify and de-risk therapeutic candidates for rare diseases. He previously served as Director of Project Management and CMC at Ascendis Pharma, where he supervised both CMC operations and preclinical development of first-in-class products for rare endocrinology diseases. He also held positions at H. Lundbeck as Head of Department, Medicinal Chemistry and Bayer as Strategic Project Leader, Oncology and Virology. Prior to his move to Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Svenstrup conducted postdoctoral research at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. He holds a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry and a M.Sc. in Cell Biology and Chemistry,
Dr. Svenstrup added, “I’m delighted to join such a passionate team with strong academic foundations in their pursuit of solutions for patient communities who, despite ongoing progress in drug development, still have limited to no treatment options for their disease. PepGen’s EDO technology represents an innovative and highly promising opportunity to directly target the underlying biological cause of a variety of neuromuscular and neurological disorders with a new generation of medicines directly targeting the underlying genetic mutations in rare diseases. It is my hope that we can ultimately change the treatment outlook for people with DMD, DM1 and other rare genetic diseases with the next generations of PepGen´s EDO candidates.”
Mr. Pelissier will leverage his extensive experience leading the financial operations of life science companies in his new role at PepGen. Most recently, he served as Vice President, Controller of AVROBIO, Inc., a company developing gene therapies for lysosomal disorders, subsequent to his role as Senior Director, Controller at Ra Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where he led a myriad of financial activities including executing the acquisition of the company by UCB. Prior to joining Ra Pharmaceuticals, he served as Director of Technical Accounting and External Reporting at Charles River Laboratories, where he worked with internal and external stakeholders to supervise SEC filings and streamline financial processes. He began his career in public accounting, serving in various roles including Senior Manager at KPMG, LLP. Mr. Pelissier received his B.S. in Business Administration and his M.S. in Accounting from the University of New Hampshire’s Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics.
Mr. Pelissier added, “Bolstered by the $45 million Series A fundraising announced in late 2020, PepGen is well-positioned to grow, both scientifically and financially, in the coming years. The leadership team has done an excellent job establishing a strong foundation, and I am excited to join them as we expand the U.S.-based team while simultaneously building our suite of top-tier investors and financial platform.”
PepGen, Inc. is a biotechnology company focused on transforming the care of patients with neuromuscular diseases through the peptide-mediated delivery of nucleic acid therapeutics. Recognizing a deep need for a paradigm shift in genomic medicine, PepGen’s proprietary Enhanced Delivery Oligonucleotides (EDOs) strive to achieve clinical potential of these therapeutics by providing reliable, safe and efficacious delivery to critical disease targets. PepGen raised a $45 million Series A in December 2020 with RA Capital Management as the lead investor; Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI), CureDuchenne Ventures and the University of Oxford also participated in the round. The company was founded in 2018 with an initial seed investment from OSI. For more information, visit www.pepgen.com.