Tessera Therapeutics Strengthens Leadership Team to Advance ‘Gene Writing’ Platform & Accelerate Therapeutic Development
David Davidson, M.D. to Serve as Chief Medical and Development Officer; Hari Pujar, Ph.D. to Serve as Chief Operating Officer and Lin Guey, Ph.D. to Serve as Senior Vice President of Rare Diseases Program Strategy and Operations
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Tessera Therapeutics, a biotech company pioneering Gene Writing, announced today the appointment of David Davidson, M.D. as Chief Medical and Development Officer, Hari Pujar, Ph.D. as Chief Operating Officer, and Lin Guey, Ph.D. as Senior Vice President of Rare Diseases Program Strategy and Operations. The senior appointments come just two months after the company announced over $230 million in Series B fundraising in January and will be key to advancing the company’s Gene Writing platform and accelerating development of multiple therapeutic programs.
“David, Hari and Lin all bring a wealth of strategic leadership and deep expertise to Tessera at an exciting time in our growth,” said Dr. Geoffrey von Maltzahn, CEO and Co-Founder of Tessera. “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.”
Dr. Davidson brings over 20 years of expertise in clinical drug development focused on rare diseases and gene therapy to his new role as Tessera’s Chief Medical and Development Officer. For nearly a decade, Dr. Davidson served as Chief Medical Officer of bluebird bio, where he played a critical role in advancing a broad genetic medicine pipeline across blood disorders, rare diseases and oncology, successfully leading numerous genetic medicine programs into the clinic and delivering multiple first-in-class approvals for genetic medicines in the U.S. and Europe. Prior to bluebird, Dr. Davidson led clinical research for a wide range of therapeutic programs at Genzyme and GelTex, spanning biologics, polymers, and gene therapy. He completed a fellowship in infectious diseases at the Harvard Longwood Combined ID Program, his residency training in internal medicine, and an endocrinology research fellowship at the University of Chicago Hospitals. Dr. Davidson received his M.D. from New York University and B.A. from Columbia University.
“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,” said Dr. David Davidson. “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.”
Dr. Pujar, an Operating Partner at Flagship Pioneering since October 2020, will also serve as Tessera’s Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Pujar brings more than 20 years of drug development, manufacturing and commercialization experience spanning AAV gene therapy, mRNA vaccines and therapeutics, and traditional vaccines and biologics. Most recently, Dr. Pujar served as Chief Technology Officer at Spark Therapeutics, a pioneer in AAV gene therapy, and Head of Technical Development and Manufacturing at Moderna, where he led mRNA and lipid nanoparticle development and manufacturing. Previously, Dr. Pujar spent 18 years at Merck & Co., developing and commercializing vaccines and biologics. Dr. Pujar received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware and his M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.
“As medicine continues to move up the central dogma of molecular biology from proteins to mRNA to DNA, the opportunity to cure diseases will continue to expand. I’m excited to help shape Tessera Therapeutics, whose Gene Writing technology has the potential to address many of the limitations of current genetic medicine technologies,” said Dr. Hari Pujar.
Dr. Guey, Tessera’s Senior Vice President of Rare Diseases Program Strategy and Operations, will oversee the execution of Tessera’s genetic medicine programs in Rare Diseases. Dr. Guey brings over 13 years of drug development experience in program leadership, research and nonclinical development, pharmacogenomics and epidemiology. Prior to joining Tessera, Dr. Guey served in senior leadership roles for Moderna, Xilio Therapeutics, Shire, and Pfizer. Dr. Guey received her Ph.D. in Statistics and B.S. in Mathematics from Stony Brook University.
“With its pioneering and versatile Gene Writing technology, Tessera Therapeutics is at the very forefront of genetic medicine,” said Dr. Lin Guey. “I look forward to working with the Tessera team to find new ways to cure rare genetic diseases at their source.”
For more information on Tessera, including how Gene Writing works, partnership opportunities, and job openings, visit www.tesseratherapeutics.com.
About Tessera Therapeutics
Tessera Therapeutics is a life sciences company pioneering Gene Writing, a new biotechnology designed to offer scientists and clinicians the ability to write small and large therapeutic messages into the genome, thereby curing diseases at their source. Gene Writing holds the potential to become a new category in genetic medicine, building upon recent breakthroughs in gene therapy and gene editing while eliminating important limitations in their reach, utilization, and efficacy. Tessera Therapeutics was founded by Flagship Pioneering, a life sciences innovation enterprise that conceives, resources, and develops first-in-category companies to transform human health and sustainability.
About Flagship Pioneering
Flagship Pioneering conceives, creates, resources, and develops first-in-category life science platform companies to transform human health and sustainability. Since its launch in 2000, the firm has, through its Flagship Labs unit, applied its unique hypothesis-driven innovation process to originate and foster more than 100 scientific ventures, resulting in over $80 billion in aggregate value. To date, Flagship has deployed over $2.3 billion in capital toward the founding and growth of its pioneering companies alongside more than $19 billion of follow-on investments from other institutions. The current Flagship ecosystem comprises 41 transformative companies, including Axcella Health (NASDAQ: AXLA), Codiak BioSciences (NASDAQ: CDAK) Denali Therapeutics (NASDAQ: DNLI), Evelo Biosciences (NASDAQ: EVLO), Foghorn Therapeutics (NASDAQ: FHTX), Indigo Ag, Kaleido Biosciences (NASDAQ: KLDO), Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA), Rubius Therapeutics (NASDAQ: RUBY), Sana Biotechnology (NASDAQ: SANA), Seres Therapeutics (NASDAQ: MCRB), and Sigilon Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SGTX).
Source: Tessera Therapeutics