Freeline Therapeutics Holdings plc (Nasdaq: FRLN) (the “Company” or “Freeline”), a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing transformative adeno-associated virus (“AAV”) vector-mediated gene therapies for patients suffering from inherited systemic debilitating diseases, today announced the expansion of its executive leadership team with the appointment of Michael J. Parini to the newly-created role of President and Chief Operating Officer. This appointment complements the recent hires of Stephen P. Diamond, Jr. as Senior Vice President and General Counsel and David S. Arrington as Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications.
The Company also announced today that Brian M. Silver, Chief Financial Officer and Head of Corporate Development, has decided to leave Freeline to pursue a new opportunity. Silver will continue in his current role until April 30, 2021, to facilitate the smooth transition of his responsibilities. The Company has begun an external search for a Chief Financial Officer.
Michael Parini has been appointed to the role of President and Chief Operating Officer, effective March 15, 2021. Parini will be based in the US and will report to Chief Executive Officer Theresa Heggie, supporting her in executing the Company’s global strategy and overseeing critical business and operational functions. These functions include Program Management, Corporate Strategy, Business Development, Legal, Compliance, Investor Relations, Corporate Communications and Information Technology.
“Michael will play a critical role in continuing to develop our infrastructure, operational excellence and strategic focus to drive robust delivery of our mission to bring functional cures to patients,” said Heggie. “Together with other recent executive hires including Stephen and David, Michael will assist us in building the business capabilities for the next stages of growth including the development and commercialization of the Company’s proprietary pipeline.”
Parini brings more than 20 years of executive experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, including most recently at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, where he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative, Legal and Business Development Officer and as a member of the company’s Executive Committee. He also played a major operational role in establishing new structures and functions while recruiting world-class talent as Vertex built out its global infrastructure. Parini helped secure access deals in major European markets and successfully co-led the acquisition of leading gene editing and cell therapy companies and technologies.
“It’s an exciting time to join Freeline as the Company progresses its mission to bring first-in-class or best-in-class gene therapies to transform the lives of patients,” said Parini. “Freeline’s promising pipeline, which includes full global rights to four disclosed programs, its fully-integrated gene therapy platform, and its experienced leadership team will be the foundation of the Company’s transition into a commercial organization.”
Silver stated, “I am proud to have been part of the leadership team that helped transition Freeline from a privately-held company to a publicly-listed biotech with the potential to grow into a global leader in systemic gene therapy. I am excited that senior leaders from some of the most important companies in our sector are joining Freeline to help us deliver on our vision.”
Heggie added, “I would like to thank Brian for his leadership, sound financial judgment and significant contributions to Freeline over the past two and a half years, including helping to raise more than $300 million through both private financings and the Nasdaq IPO last year, which have built a strong financial foundation for Freeline.”