Italy, Milan, 30 July 2020: Genespire, a gene therapy company developing transformative therapies for genetic diseases, today announces the appointment of Jörn Aldag as Chairman of the Board.
Jörn Aldag brings 23 years of corporate and leadership experience in the life sciences industry from numerous, highly relevant roles, including as the CEO of gene therapy pioneer uniQure N.V. Since 2016 he is the CEO of HOOKIPA Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ: HOOK), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing a new class of immunotherapeutics targeting infectious diseases and cancer based on its proprietary arenavirus platform. During his time at HOOKIPA, he has led the Company through significant growth, including the progression of several programs into clinical development, successfully completing numerous private financings, and a listing on NASDAQ in 2019, raising in total close to $200 million in proceeds. In addition to leading HOOKIPA, Jörn Aldag serves as a board member of Idorsia Pharmaceuticals Ltd, a biopharmaceutical company specialized in the discovery and development of small molecules to provide innovative therapeutic opportunities.
Prior to joining HOOKIPA, Jörn was CEO of uniQure N.V. (NASDAQ: QURE), where he led the company to obtaining the first regulatory approval of a gene therapy in Europe. Under his leadership, uniQure raised around $200 million in proceeds, and closed a multi-billion-dollar collaboration in cardiovascular gene therapy.
Previously, Jörn Aldag was President and CEO of Evotec AG, Chairman of the Board of Molecular Partners AG and co-founder of G7 Therapeutics AG, later sold to Heptares Therapeutics.
Commenting on his new appointment as Chairman of Genespire, Jörn Aldag said: “Gene therapy is coming of age. As Genespire’s Chairman I will support Julia Berretta and her team in transforming two exceptional next generation gene therapy platforms into a pipeline of products. Genespire is built around novel gene editing and lenti-viral technologies, which we will use to develop life changing therapies to individuals affected by severe metabolic and immunodeficiency disorders.”
Julia Berretta, Chief Executive Officer of Genespire, commented: “At Genespire we are committed to building an outstanding team. I am delighted to welcome Jörn Aldag to Genespire as Chairman. He brings a wealth of experience from across the life sciences sector which will be invaluable as we grow our team and drive the development of transformative therapeutic solutions for people suffering from genetic diseases.”
Sofinnova Partners’ Managing Partner, Graziano Seghezzi, added: “Jörn’s stature and authority in the gene therapy domain is well known. He is one of the most accomplished entrepreneurs in the industry and has successfully mentored numerous high-performing biotech CEOs in achieving strategic and operational excellence. His appointment adds to the outstanding caliber of the
Genespire team and positions the company for continued success.”
In May, Genespire and SR-Tiget announced a strategic alliance for the development of transformative gene therapies for genetic diseases (the full press release can be accessed here).
Most recently, in June, Genespire and the San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy announced publication in Nature Biotechnology on enhanced gene editing technique in hematopoietic stem cells (the full press release can be accessed here).
Genespire is a biotechnology company focused on the development of transformative gene therapies for patients affected by genetic diseases, particularly primary immunodeficiencies and inherited metabolic diseases. Based in Milan, Italy, Genespire was founded in March 2020 by the gene therapy pioneer Prof. Luigi Naldini and Dr. Alessio Cantore, Fondazione Telethon and Ospedale San Raffaele. Genespire is a spin-out of SR-Tiget, a world leading cell and gene therapy research institute and is backed by Sofinnova Partners. Find out more about us at www.genespire.com.