Kathy High (Spark via YouTube)

Spark co-founder Kathy High joins a long­time col­lab­o­ra­tor at AskBio, help­ing steer Bay­er's gene ther­a­py push

Kathy High has re-emerged in the gene ther­a­py space just as un­ex­pect­ed­ly as she left Spark Ther­a­peu­tics close to a year ago.

Her newest ti­tle will be pres­i­dent, ther­a­peu­tics at AskBio, the biotech “race horse” that Bay­er has just bought for $2 bil­lion cash to build a cell and gene ther­a­py unit around.

On the sur­face, the cir­cum­stances are not un­like Spark, which was get­ting ab­sorbed in­to Roche fol­low­ing a $4.3 bil­lion buy­out. High, 68, was cred­it­ed for both steer­ing Lux­tur­na to­ward an ap­proval for a rare in­her­it­ed eye dis­ease caused by mu­ta­tions in the RPE65 gene, set­ting up gene ther­a­py re­search in he­mo­phil­ia A and lead­ing a Phase I/II tri­al for he­mo­phil­ia B.

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