Genetix Pharmaceuticals Appoints Mitchell Finer, Ph.D. as Chief Scientific Officer
Biotech Veteran to Lead Company's Gene Therapy Clinical Programs and Team Expansion
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mar 12, 2010 - Genetix Pharmaceuticals, a leading gene therapy company developing breakthrough treatments for severe genetic disorders, announced today the appointment of Mitchell Finer, Ph.D. as Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Finer brings over 20 years of biotech experience and is a pioneer in the field of gene therapy and regenerative medicine. At Genetix Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Finer will provide scientific leadership for the development platform capabilities and therapeutic approaches with the company's current technology platform, as well as focus on the long-term strategic scientific and clinical direction of the company.
"We are delighted to add Mitch to the team to lead R&D efforts as the company transitions from a research setting, expands its gene therapy platform capabilities and accelerates its clinical programs," said Nick Leschly, Interim President of Genetix Pharmaceuticals and Partner at Third Rock Ventures. "Mitch not only has the deep technical expertise in gene therapy science and drug development, but he also has what it takes to build an entrepreneurial and passionate organization committed to bringing breakthrough treatments to patients."
Prior to joining Genetix Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Finer was Senior Vice President of Product Development of Novocell Inc., developing stem cell based regenerative medicine therapies for the treatment of type I and II diabetes. In addition, he served as Managing Partner of the Life Science Practice at L2M Associates, where his insight helped guide companies on how best to establish and grow their clinical development programs for therapeutic areas such as proteins, antibodies, cell and gene therapeutics. Dr. Finer held two previous CEO positions, recently as the CEO of Intracel Holdings LLC and also President and CEO of Genteric Inc. In addition to general management at both companies, Dr. Finer successfully advanced a variety of product development programs, managed the R&D team and developed the long-term strategic scientific plan. Dr. Finer was also a founding employee of Cell Genesys, as Director of Molecular Biology and Vice President of Research, and also at Abgenix (now Amgen), where he helped shape the early stages of the companies. Dr. Finer was also Vice President of Research and Development at the Gencell Division of Aventis Pharma (now sanofi-aventis).
"Gene therapy has come a long way over the past few decades, and I'm very encouraged to see the recent published data in the field, showing significant progress in the clinic," said Dr. Finer. "Genetix has taken a leadership position in the field with its Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) and Thalassemia programs, and I'm looking forward to working with the team to accelerate these programs and fully explore the development of the company's gene therapy platform."
About Genetix Pharmaceuticals
Genetix Pharmaceuticals is a leading gene therapy company developing breakthrough treatments for severe genetic disorders. Its products treat the underlying cause of genetically based diseases by delivering corrective genes to the patient's own bone marrow, providing the potential for a one-time transformative treatment. Genetix's lead clinical product in development is Lenti-DTM for Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), also known as Lorenzo's Oil disease. The results of the ongoing ALD trial, based upon work conducted by the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), were named to Science magazine's "Scientific Breakthroughs of 2009." In addition to ALD, Genetix is conducting Phase I/II trials with its LentiGlobinTM product in beta-Thalassemia. To date, all patients receiving the full therapy with both products have shown disease arrest. In addition to Genetix's lead programs, the company's proprietary stem cell processing, GMP manufacturing and gene therapy vector technologies are applicable to treating other genetic diseases, opening the door to the development of additional therapeutics.