New York City startup Syntimmune has recruited Biogen’s former head of global operations Jean-Paul Kress, to lead the company as president and CEO.
Kress is taking over the top job from David de Graaf, who’s been CEO since mid-2016 but who is now resigning from his position and the company’s board. Kress had a relatively short stint at Biogen, where he worked as executive vice president, president international, and head of global therapeutic operations from June 2017 until now. Before that, he was at Sanofi Genzyme as vice president and head of North America, where he played a key role in launching dupilumab, among other products.
Kress tells me he hopes his background in immunology — along with his experience in best-in-class specialty care companies in the space — will serve Syntimmune well.
The company made headlines last June when it raised a $50 million Series B to advance its autoimmune drug, SYNT001, in two rare diseases. Now equipped with funds and a notable chief executive, the company will advance two ongoing PhIb/IIa trials of SYNT001 in patients with pemphigus and warm autoimmune hemolytic anemia, as well as commencing clinical studies in additional indications.
Syntimmune, formed in 2013 based on the research of Laurence and Richard Blumberg, has raised $78 million in capital so far. Its leading light, SYNT001, is a monoclonal antibody that blocks the FcRn-IgG interaction and is being developed for the treatment of a broad variety of IgG-mediated autoimmune diseases.
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