Metagenomi Appoints Christine Foster, Ph.D., as CBO, and Alan H. Cohen, M.D., as CMO & SVP of Monogenic Diseases
EMERYVILLE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Metagenomi, a genetic medicines company with a versatile portfolio of next-generation gene editing tools, today announced the appointment of Christine Foster, PhD, as Chief Business Officer and Alan H. Cohen, MD, as Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Monogenic Diseases.
Dr. Foster joins Metagenomi from Intellia Therapeutics, where she served as Senior Vice President of Business Development. As Chief Business Officer at Metagenomi, she will oversee all facets of new business ventures, partnerships and collaborations, and licensing deals. Dr. Cohen joins Metagenomi from Eidos Therapeutics, a BridgeBio company, where he focused primarily on the transthyretin amyloidosis heart failure program, while serving as Vice President of Global Medical Affairs. As Chief Medical Officer at Metagenomi, he will support the Company’s emerging novel in vivo clinical development programs in monogenic diseases, such as hemophilia A (HemA) and cystic fibrosis (CF).
“Dr. Foster and Dr. Cohen bring their world class talent and expertise to Metagenomi at a crucial phase of our growth. They significantly expand our business and clinical development activities,” said Brian C. Thomas, PhD, CEO and Founder of Metagenomi. “I am thrilled to be joined by Christine and Alan as they represent key additions to our leadership team at Metagenomi, and underscore the strong momentum we have built advancing our platform of novel gene editing systems into the clinic.”
Dr. Foster has more than 30 years of pharmaceutical industry experience both in biotech and large pharma. In her previous role at Intellia, she built the business development and alliance management teams and accelerated Intellia’s external partnering efforts. Dr. Foster played a critical role in the execution of multiple key transactions, including: expanding a collaboration with Regeneron; securing rights from Novartis to certain CAR-T therapeutics; establishing novel, co-development and co-commercialization relationships with Onk Therapeutics, SparingVision, Kyverna Therapeutics, and Avencell; and guiding the recent acquisition of Rewrite Therapeutics by Intellia. She has led business development, alliance management, and corporate development activities through key phases of growth at multiple companies, including Acceleron Pharma, Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Teva Pharmaceuticals, Wyeth (now Pfizer) and GlaxoSmithKline. Dr. Foster holds a PhD in pharmacology from the University of Oxford and held postdoctoral fellowships at Brandeis University in neuroscience and at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in cardiovascular diseases.
“I am very excited to join Metagenomi, whose differentiated gene editing platform is supported by a unique business strategy, highlighting strong synergistic collaborations with its wholly-owned toolbox of novel gene editing technologies to enable the advancement of genetic medicines for diseases with high unmet medical needs,” Dr. Foster said. “Metagenomi’s mission is precisely aligned with my own: to broaden access to safe and curative therapies for the benefit of patients.”
Dr. Cohen is a veteran in clinical development for metabolic and rare diseases and a board-certified pulmonologist and pediatric subspecialist. His research and drug development career have included leadership positions at both biotech and pharmaceutical companies, including BridgeBio/Eidos Therapeutics, Bayer, Eddingpharm (as CMO), Intermune (acquired by Roche/Genentech), Boehringer Ingelheim and Jazz Pharmaceuticals (as CMO). He is the author of over 100 peer reviewed articles, abstracts, platform presentations, and book chapters in his areas of interest and expertise, including CF, microbiology and cardiopulmonary disorders. He has remained clinically active in direct patient care for the majority of his more than 30-year medical career, most recently serving as adjunct clinical and teaching faculty at Stanford University School of Medicine in the Department of Pediatric Pulmonology. Dr. Cohen received his MD from New York Medical College, before completing his residency and fellowship at the University of Colorado / National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Diseases.
“I’m very pleased and highly energized to be joining a company with the scientific rigor and expertise that Metagenomi exhibits,” said Dr. Cohen. “Metagenomi’s expansive gene editing tool set has the potential to play a fundamental role in modern therapeutics and open up treatment options for severely underserved patient populations, many of whom I’ve cared for over the years despite a paucity of therapeutic options. I am genuinely excited to be part of this revolutionary and innovative approach to treatment. I look forward to guiding Metagenomi’s in vivo therapeutic pipeline strategy and programs into clinical trials, serving a wide range of children and adults.”
This announcement follows Metagenomi's successful closing of a $175M Series B round in January and showcases its momentum in executing on business objectives. These appointments will accelerate the Company’s therapeutic pipeline towards the clinic and broaden its strategic business development initiatives, while Metagenomi is building out manufacturing, automation and AI infrastructure, and expanding its differentiated toolbox of next-generation gene editing systems.
Metagenomi is a gene editing company committed to developing potentially curative therapeutics by leveraging a proprietary toolbox of next-generation gene editing systems to accurately edit DNA where current technologies cannot. Our metagenomics-powered discovery platform and analytical expertise reveal novel cellular machinery sourced from otherwise unknown organisms. We adapt and forge these naturally evolved systems into powerful gene editing systems that are ultra-small, extremely efficient, highly specific and have a decreased risk of immune response. These systems fuel our pipeline of novel medicines and can be leveraged by partners. Our goal is to revolutionize gene editing for the benefit of patients around the world. For more information, please visit https://metagenomi.co/.