Voyager Therapeutics Announces Appointment of Beth Shafer as Chief Business Officer

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Aug. 07, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --Voyager Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: VYGR), a biotechnology company dedicated to breaking through barriers in gene therapy and neurology, today announced the appointment of Beth Shafer, Ph.D., M.A., M.Phil., as Chief Business Officer (CBO). Shafer is a seasoned healthcare executive with more than 15 years of experience in corporate and business development at prominent biopharmaceutical companies, as well as deep knowledge in neurology. She most recently served as Vice President and Head of R&D Business Development, Gastrointestinal & Inflammation, Neuroscience, Drug Discovery Sciences, Externalizations at Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd.

“Voyager’s TRACER™ capsid platform and neurology programs continue to attract significant interest from third parties,” said Alfred W. Sandrock, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Voyager. “Beth has extensive experience in business development and strategic planning, and we look forward to the valuable insights she will bring both in optimizing the opportunities in front of us today and in helping Voyager to maximize value creation for patients and for shareholders into the future.”

In her most recent role at Takeda, Shafer was responsible for leading business development groups and activities in several core areas, including neuroscience, gastroenterology, drug discovery sciences, and R&D pipeline externalizations. Notably, she secured licenses and collaborations that grew Takeda’s neuroscience pipeline from a small molecule psychiatry focus into a rare neurology diversified multi-modality portfolio. She previously held multiple corporate and business development roles of increasing responsibility during her tenures at Takeda, Novartis and Roche. Prior to joining Takeda, Shafer served as Head, Ophthalmology and Disease Area X Business Development & Licensing at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, where she helped drive and shape the organization’s portfolio and research strategies by creating and executing on external partnership solutions. Prior to that role, she served as Director, Business Development & Licensing at Roche, where she built the business development process for the External Development Group and led cross-functional pharmaceutical project and deal teams for several therapeutic areas, serving integral roles from strategy to deal execution. Shafer received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from University of California, San Diego, her M.Phil. and M.A from Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, and her B.A. from Rutgers University.

“I am thrilled to have this opportunity to join the Voyager team and combine my deep focus in neuroscience with my passion for scientific innovations, including disruptive modalities with the potential to bring transformative benefit to patients,” said Shafer. “I look forward to helping the team leverage business development and strategy to achieve its mission of advancing life-changing genetic medicines for neurological diseases.”

About Voyager Therapeutics
Voyager Therapeutics (Nasdaq: VYGR) is a biotechnology company dedicated to breaking through barriers in gene therapy and neurology. The potential of both disciplines has been constrained by delivery challenges; Voyager is leveraging cutting-edge expertise in capsid discovery and deep neuropharmacology capabilities to address these constraints. Voyager’s TRACER AAV capsid discovery platform has generated novel capsids with high target delivery and blood-brain barrier penetration at low doses, potentially addressing the narrow therapeutic window associated with conventional gene therapy delivery vectors. This platform is fueling alliances with Pfizer Inc., Novartis Pharma AG, Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc., and Sangamo Therapeutics, Inc., as well as multiple programs in Voyager’s own pipeline. Voyager’s pipeline includes wholly-owned and collaborative preclinical programs in Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, and other diseases of the central nervous system, with a focus on validated targets and biomarkers to enable a path to rapid potential proof-of-biology. For more information, visit

Voyager Therapeutics® is a registered trademark, and TRACER™ is a trademark, of Voyager Therapeutics, Inc. 

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements for the purposes of the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and other federal securities laws. The use of words such as “will,” “intend,” “future,” “potential,” or “continue,” and other similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements.

For example, all statements Voyager makes regarding the contributions Shafer may make in her role with respect to optimizing business opportunities for Voyager, and Voyager helping to maximize value creation for patients and shareholders, are forward-looking.

All forward-looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions by Voyager’s management that, although Voyager believes such forward-looking statements to be reasonable, are inherently uncertain. All forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those that Voyager expected. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, the ability of Voyager to optimize its business opportunities and maximize value creation for patients and shareholders; the continued development by Voyager of its platform technology and pipeline programs and the timing thereof; and the sufficiency of Voyager’s cash resources to fund its operations and corporate objectives.

These statements are also subject to a number of material risks and uncertainties that are described in Voyager’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as updated by its subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All information in this press release is as of the date of this press release, and any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it was made. Voyager undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise this information or any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.


Andrew Funderburk  

Peg Rusconi

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