SAN FRANCISCO, Sep 07, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- iPierian, Inc., announced today that it has appointed Nancy E. Stagliano, PhD as its Chief Executive Officer. The company's interim CEO, Peter Van Vlasselaer, PhD will become Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Nancy Stagliano joins iPierian after serving as CEO and co-founder of CytomX Therapeutics. She has an accomplished career as a biotech leader spanning all aspects of the industry, from discovery research and strategy to global medical affairs and corporate communications. She brings to iPierian a combination of business skills, based on her roles launching CytomX Therapeutics and Cynvenio Biosystems, along with deep expertise in drug discovery and development, including her role as a lead inventor on the patents for CytomX's Probody platform.
Nancy succeeds Peter Van Vlasselear who was hired as interim CEO of iPierian in April 2011 to enhance its research efforts and restructure the company, as well as to identify a new CEO. Under his direction, iPierian has prioritized the application of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and directed cell differentiation to drug discovery and development in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, ALS, and spinal muscular atrophy.
"Neurodegenerative diseases represent a significant unmet medical need. Unfortunately there are few experimental models that provide a robust understanding of the mechanistic biology behind neurodegeneration. The promise of making an impact in this therapeutic area using iPierian's iPSC drug discovery platform makes this opportunity a very special one for me," said Dr. Stagliano. "I am thrilled to have been asked to lead iPierian and I look forward to working with the Board and this accomplished group of scientists to take the organization to the next level."
"iPierian has a strong scientific foundation and a talented team with a clear strategy to develop new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases," said Dr. Van Vlasselaer. "I am committed to continue my involvement in the company while working closely with the Board, Nancy and the scientists. The company is well positioned to translate iPSC technology into a powerful tool for drug development and novel therapeutics."
"With a team that is focused on R&D, iPierian is poised to fully realize the power of iPSC technology as a tool to identify drug candidates for the underserved area of neurodegeneration. The Board is fully committed to the company's mission and the strong leadership team. Nancy's background as an entrepreneur coupled with her training in neuroscience and molecular target identification, positions the company well to accomplish this mission," said Dr. Beth Seidenberg of iPierian's Board. "In a short time, Peter has made a tremendous impact on the company and we are grateful for his leadership and his continued involvement as Executive Chairman of iPierian."
Nancy Stagliano joins iPierian after serving as CEO and co-founder of CytomX. Prior to that, Dr. Stagliano served as the COO of CytomX LLC, which launched CytomX Therapeutics as well as Cynvenio Biosystems. Before moving to California, Nancy joined the Cambridge, Massachusetts, biotechnology industry in the late '90s, where she worked for almost eight years at Millennium Pharmaceuticals and consulted to several local startups. Dr. Stagliano received her BS in Electrical Engineering and her MS in Biomedical Engineering, both from Drexel University in Philadelphia. She obtained her PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Miami, followed by three years as an independently-funded research fellow at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, where she studied mechanisms of brain injury after stroke.