BOSTON and LONDON, June 29, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Orchard Therapeutics, a leading commercial-stage biotech company dedicated to transforming the lives of patients with rare diseases through innovative gene therapies, today announced the appointment of Jim Geraghty as chairman of its board of directors. Ben Auspitz, a partner at F-Prime Capital, who served as Orchard's chairman since 2016, will transition from his current role on the board.
"Orchard is privileged to have Jim join its board of directors at this crucial phase in the company's lifecycle, given his unique experience and insights in building a global organization over the long-term," said Ben Auspitz. "At Genzyme, Jim played an important role in the company's transformation from a start-up with a strong technology base in the 1980s to a leading global rare disease company. Orchard has the potential to undergo a similar transformation as a leader of the gene therapy revolution and will greatly benefit from Jim's experience."
Jim Geraghty is an industry leader with over 30 years of strategic experience including more than 20 years as a senior executive at biotechnology companies developing and commercializing innovative therapies. Over his career, Jim served as senior vice president, North America strategy and business development at Sanofi, and previously as senior vice president international development at Genzyme, president of Genzyme Europe, and founding president and CEO of Genzyme Transgenics. Mr. Geraghty is chairman for the boards of Idera, Pieris and Juniper Pharmaceuticals, and is a member of the board of Voyager Therapeutics. He was most recently an entrepreneur in residence at Third Rock Ventures. Mr. Geraghty started his career in healthcare strategy consulting at Bain. A graduate of Yale Law School, Mr. Geraghty also holds a Master of Science degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Georgetown University.
Jim Geraghty commented, "I am excited to be joining Orchard Therapeutics, an emerging leader in gene therapy for rare diseases. The company's autologous ex vivo gene therapy technology is poised to change the practice of medicine across many indications, and I look forward to working with the executive team and other board members to help Orchard build a leadership position in the research, development and commercialization of gene therapies."
Mark Rothera, Orchard's president and CEO stated, "We are delighted to welcome Jim as chair of our board of directors. Jim's advice and leadership will be invaluable as we continue to make progress towards being a global, fully integrated company transforming the lives of patients with rare diseases through gene therapy. I would also like to thank Ben for his commitment and guidance since the company's formation. His insights have been a key ingredient of our success during our formative years and through our previous financing rounds."
Orchard Therapeutics is a leading global fully integrated commercial-stage biotech company dedicated to transforming the lives of patients with rare diseases through innovative gene therapies.
Evolved from over 20 years of academic research, Orchard has developed a unique expertise in the manufacturing, preclinical and clinical development of gene therapies for rare diseases. To date, more than 130 patients have been treated with autologous ex vivo gene therapy across five different disease areas, with evidence of sustained clinical effects up to 17 years post treatment in some patients. The company's most advanced clinical program, OTL-101 for ADA-SCID (adenosine deaminase severe combined immunodeficiency), is expected to progress to a BLA (biological license application) with the FDA in 2018.
Orchard's portfolio of autologous ex vivo gene therapy programs include Strimvelis, the first autologous ex vivo gene therapy approved by the EMA in 2016, three programs in advanced registrational studies in MLD (metachromatic leukodystrophy), WAS (Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome) and ADA-SCID (adenosine deaminase severe combined immunodeficiency), other clinical programs in X-CGD (X-linked chronic granulomatous disease) and beta-thalassemia, as well as an extensive preclinical pipeline.
The company is partnered with world-leading institutions in gene therapy, including University College London, Great Ormond Street Hospital, the University of Manchester and Central Manchester University Hospitals, the University of California Los Angeles, Boston Children's Hospital, and Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy/Ospedale San Raffaele.
Orchard is privately held with offices in the UK and the US, including London, San Francisco and Boston. The company raised $110 million in a Series B in December 2017, was named a Fierce 15 Company by FierceBiotech in 2016 and was awarded a $19 million grant from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).
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