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Syntimmune brings in new CEO from Biogen

Published on: 04/01/18

Syntimmune has revealed that it has brought in a new CEO to begin the new year, with the appointment of Jean-Paul Kress. He leaves behind his position as EVP, President International and Head of Global Therapeutic Operations at Biogen, after only eight months in the position, to take the helm.

Kress replaces David de Graaf, who has stepped down from the CEO position and resigned from the board of directors. de Graaf had previously been a venture partner at Apply Tree Partners, a VC firm that had recently injected $50 million into the biotech in a Series B financing round.

The money is expected to be used to develop its lead compound through trials; SYNT001 is a monoclonal antibody with high and specific affinity for FcRn that disrupts the interaction between IgG and FcRn. It is Syntimunne’s hope that the candidate will be able to treat a variety of autoimmune diseases, such as within haematology and dermatology.

Kress comes to the position with a host of experience at different pharma companies. Prior to his position at Biogen, he also held positions at Sanofi, as Head of North America, and CEO of Sanofi Pasteur, as well as experience at Gilead and Abbott.

“Jean-Paul possesses decades of experience bringing to market therapies based on breakthrough science,” stated Burt Adelman, Syntimmune’s lead independent director and advisor to the company. “We are very pleased to welcome this industry veteran at the helm of Syntimmune. We believe Jean-Paul’s leadership brings vision and expertise that will be transformational as the company matures toward becoming a late-stage development organization and continues to rapidly advance therapies targeting FcRn biology to patients.”

Beyond its lead candidate, the biotech also has SYNT002 and SYNT003 in its pipeline that will target exo- and endotoxins, and cancer respectively – though they are still in the research stage.

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