Affinia Therapeutics Announces Appointment of Elliott Sigal, M.D., Ph.D. to the Company’s Board of Directors
WALTHAM, Mass., June 08, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Affinia Therapeutics, an innovative gene therapy company with a platform for rationally designed adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors and gene therapies, announced today the appointment of Elliott Sigal, M.D., Ph.D., to the company’s Board of Directors. Dr. Sigal has more than 25 years of leadership experience in the biopharmaceutical industry and is the former Chief Scientific Officer and President of R&D for Bristol Myers Squibb.
“As a trailblazer in the biopharmaceutical industry, Dr. Sigal has demonstrated a track record of bringing transformative medicines to patients,” said Rick Modi, Chief Executive Officer at Affinia Therapeutics. “We look forward to the counsel he will provide to advance our platform and investigational product candidates toward the clinic and the patients who need them most.”
Dr. Sigal is a former member of the Board of Directors of Spark Therapeutics. During his tenure from 2014 to 2019, the company’s lead product, LUXTURNA® was approved as the first AAV gene therapy in the United States. The company was acquired by Roche in 2019.
Prior to Spark Therapeutics, Dr. Sigal was an Executive Vice President and Director of Bristol Myers Squibb. While at BMS, he led the team that established BMS at the forefront of immuno-oncology which is revolutionizing the treatment of cancer and brought fourteen new medicines to market for patients with devastating diseases in areas including oncology, hematology, cardiovascular disease, hepatitis, rheumatoid arthritis and neuropsychiatry. Dr. Sigal was instrumental in increasing R&D productivity and developing the company’s strategy in biologics. In 2012, he was named the best R&D chief in the pharmaceutical industry by Scrip Intelligence.
“Affinia Therapeutics is setting a new standard in gene therapy,” said Dr. Elliott Sigal. “I am pleased to join the company’s board at such an exciting time as they pioneer and design vectors and genetic medicines to transform the applicability of gene therapies for patients in need.”
Dr. Sigal received his medical degree from the University of Chicago in 1981 and trained in Internal Medicine and Pulmonary Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He also holds a Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. Dr. Sigal currently serves as a senior advisor to the healthcare team of New Enterprise Associates and consults for select biotechnology companies including Amgen. He is co-chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of Amgen and is a member of the Scientific Steering Committee of the Sean Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the biotechnology companies Adaptimmune and Surface Oncology. Dr. Sigal joined BMS in 1997 and held roles in both discovery and development before ascending to Chief Scientific Officer and President of R&D. Positions prior to BMS included a faculty appointment at UCSF, senior executive roles at Syntex/Roche and CEO of the genomics firm, Mercator Genetics.
Dr. Sigal joins Affinia Therapeutics’ board which includes Dave Grayzel, M.D., Partner, Atlas Venture; Ed Mathers, General Partner, New Enterprise Associates; Luk Vandenberghe, Ph.D., Associate Professor at Mass. Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School; Rick Modi, Chief Executive Officer, Affinia Therapeutics; Robert Weisskoff, Ph.D., Partner, F-Prime Capital; and Sean Nolan, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Affinia Therapeutics.
About Affinia Therapeutics
At Affinia Therapeutics, our purpose is to develop gene therapies that can have a transformative impact on people affected by devastating genetic diseases. Our proprietary platform enables us to methodically engineer novel AAV vectors and gene therapies that have remarkable tissue targeting and other properties. We are building world-class capabilities to discover, develop, manufacture and commercialize gene therapy products with an initial focus on muscle and central nervous system (CNS) diseases with significant unmet need. www.affiniatx.com.
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