Former bluebird CMO David Davidson Lands Exec Role at Tessera Therapeutics

David Davidson

David Davidson pictured above (Tessera)

David Davidson, the former chief medical officer (CMO) of bluebird bio, has taken on a new role. He will serve as chief medical and development officer at gene writing company Tessera Therapeutics.

Davidson is one of three new executives to join Cambridge, Mass.-based Tessera. Hari Pujar was named chief operating officer and Lin Guey was named senior vice president of the company’s Rare Diseases Program Strategy and Operations. The appointments come two months after Tessera scored $230 million in a Series B financing round to advance the company’s gene writing platform and accelerate development of multiple therapeutic programs.

Davidson served at bluebird for nearly 10 years. He was named CMO of bluebird in 2012. His departure from that company was announced last month during a tumultuous time for bluebird, which was dealing with a clinical hold on its sickle cell disease treatment and looking to split into two entities. Davidson is one of several executives who have departed bluebird in recent months.

Geoffrey von Maltzahn, founder and chief executive officer of Tessera Therapeutics, said Davidson, Pujar and Guey “bring a wealth of strategic leadership and deep expertise” to the company.

”Together and alongside our current senior leadership team, they will be instrumental in advancing Tessera’s mission to bring forth innovative and curative medicines that go beyond the limitations of current technologies,” von Maltzahn said in a statement.

Prior to his tenure at bluebird, Davidson led clinical research for a wide range of therapeutic programs at Genzyme and GelTex, spanning biologics, polymers and gene therapy.

“I have been privileged to lead the clinical development of gene therapy programs from inception through approval to deliver these transformative medicines to patients with life-threatening diseases. I am excited to join the team at Tessera Therapeutics to bring innovative gene writing therapies into the clinic,” Davidson said in a statement. “By harnessing the power of mobile genetic elements, Tessera’s Gene Writing platform is poised to realize the full potential of genetic medicine and make an unprecedented impact on human health. I am honored to help move this vision forward.”

Tessera’s gene writing technology is designed to “write therapeutic instructions” into the genome in order to treat a disease at its source. By changing any base pair to another, making small insertions or deletions, and writing entire genes into the genome, Tessera says gene writing unlocks the potential to cure genetic diseases and create life-changing therapeutics in cardiovascular, oncological, neurodegenerative and infectious diseases.

Pujar, Tessera’s new COO, has been an operating partner at Flagship Pioneering since October 2020. Pujar previously served as chief technology officer at Spark Therapeutics, and head of technical development and manufacturing at Moderna. Prior to that, Pujar spent 18 years at Merck developing and commercializing vaccines and biologics.

Pujar said the Tessera gene writing technology has the potential to address many of the limitations of current genetic medicine technologies.

Guey will oversee the execution of Tessera’s genetic medicine programs in rare diseases. Prior to joining Tessera, Guey served in senior leadership roles for Moderna, Xilio Therapeutics, Shire and Pfizer.

“With its pioneering and versatile Gene Writing technology, Tessera Therapeutics is at the very forefront of genetic medicine,” Guey said in a statement.

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