Genespire Strengthens Management Team with Two Key Appointments
Dr. Julianne Smith appointed Chief Development Officer
Dr. Smaragda Angelidou appointed as Head of CMC
Italy, Milan, 5 May 2021: Genespire, a gene therapy company developing durable and transformative therapies for genetic diseases, today announces the appointments of Dr. Julianne Smith as Chief Development Officer and Dr. Smaragda Angelidou as Head of CMC. Dr. Smith and Dr. Angelidou bring extensive industrial experience in the development of cell and gene therapies as well as deep scientific knowledge in this area.
Dr. Julia Berretta, Chief Executive Officer of Genespire, commented: “I am delighted to welcome Julianne and Smaragda to the growing Genespire team. They both bring deep scientific and development expertise from pioneering companies that have made a significant contribution to the rich gene therapy landscape we have today. The addition of such experienced and highly-regarded individuals, strengthens Genespire’s ability to achieve its mission of developing transformative and durable gene therapies for patients affected by debilitating and life-threatening genetic diseases.”
As Chief Development Officer Dr. Smith will be responsible for leading and delivering product development and pipeline strategy, and overseeing translational research within Genespire. In her position, Dr. Smith will also work hand-in-hand with gene therapy pioneer Pr. Luigi Naldini, co-founder of Genespire and Director of SR-Tiget, to progress the Company’s programs towards the clinic.
Dr. Smith is a senior leader in biotech and brings over 30 years of experience in scientific research, with 18 of those working within the biotech industry. She joins Genespire from Nasdaq-listed Cellectis, a global leader in gene editing and allogeneic CAR-T cells, where she held various senior roles, managing research teams responsible for the development of allogeneic CAR-T cell products, working on product portfolio prioritization and shaping development strategies. While at Cellectis, Dr. Smith also established and led the translational sciences department and interacted with regulatory authorities in both the US and Europe. Dr. Smith received her Bachelors degree in Biology from The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore and her PhD in Genetics and Development from Columbia University, New York and pursued her academic career as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Institut Curie, Paris.
“I am looking forward to joining such a ground-breaking and innovative company at a pivotal time in its growth and development,” Dr. Julianne Smith commented. “Genespire’s novel gene editing and lentiviral vector technologies are first-in-class and have the potential to bring life-altering treatments to patients, something I am proud and excited to be a part of.”
Dr. Angelidou is a CMC subject matter expert in the field of advanced therapies and will be responsible for developing and delivering Genespire’s CMC strategy and plans for the Company’s pipeline. She has extensive industry experience in cell and gene therapies, ranging from early stage development through to late stage development and commercialisation. She joins Genespire from Autolus, a clinical stage autologous CAR-T cell therapy company, where she was the Senior Director of Tech Transfer and Product Delivery projects and was responsible for defining and delivering individual and integrated CMC plans for multiple programs. Prior to joining Autolus, Dr. Angelidou spent a number of years at GlaxoSmithKline, where she held positions of increasing responsibility in Cell and Gene Therapy Product Development and Medicine and Process Delivery program leadership. In her roles, she worked on a range of cell and gene therapy programs at different stages of development and post-launch, including autologous TCR T-cell therapies for oncology indications and HSPC gene therapies for rare diseases, which notably included Strimvelis, the first ex vivo autologous gene therapy to be approved in Europe.
Dr. Angelidou holds a BSc in Human Genetics and a Masters in Molecular Medicine from the University College London and a PhD in Molecular Oncology from Imperial College London.
Dr. Smaragda Angelidou commented: “I am thrilled to join Julia and the growing Genespire team and feel privileged to contribute my knowledge and experience to develop therapies for such urgent and important medical needs.”
Jörn Aldag, Chairman of Genespire, concluded: “This is an exciting time for Julianne and Smaragda to be joining Genespire as we grow the business and accelerate our development candidates using our gene therapy and gene editing platforms. These appointments are testament to the strength of our science and technologies and the future promise they hold.”
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Consilium Strategic Communications
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Amber Fennell / Ashley Tapp
Genespire is a biotechnology company focused on the development of durable and transformative gene therapies for patients affected by genetic diseases, particularly inherited metabolic diseases and primary immunodeficiencies. 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.