Orchard Therapeutics Bolsters R&D and Technical Operations Leadership with New Executive Appointments
Gene therapy experts Fulvio Mavilio, Ph.D., and Nicoletta Loggia, Ph.D., join as chief scientific officer and chief technical officer, respectively
Neuroscience and rare disease leader Leslie Meltzer, Ph.D., promoted to chief medical officer
Appointments reinforce company’s strategic focus on innovation in the areas of discovery, clinical development and manufacturing
BOSTON and LONDON, Sept. 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Orchard Therapeutics (Nasdaq: ORTX), a global gene therapy leader, today announced the appointment of two gene therapy and industry experts, Fulvio Mavilio, Ph.D., and Nicoletta Loggia, Ph.D., to serve as chief scientific officer and chief technical officer, respectively. The company also announced the promotion of Leslie Meltzer, Ph.D., who has been serving as senior vice president of medical affairs, clinical operations and diagnostics, to chief medical officer. Together, Drs. Mavilio, Loggia and Meltzer will oversee strategically important functions as Orchard continues to advance its later-stage portfolio and expand its hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) gene therapy pipeline into larger indications.
“I have worked with many types of genetic medicine technology during my career and believe HSC gene therapy offers immense and distinct promise to correct the underlying cause of many severe diseases with a single treatment,” said Dr. Mavilio. “I am eager to begin working with this exceptional team to unlock the full potential of HSC gene therapy in new and larger indications.”
“I am excited to join Orchard at this vital juncture as we continue to invest in and scale our technical operations on a global level,” said Dr. Loggia. "I look forward to working closely with our CMC teams and CDMO network to put in place innovative and efficient manufacturing solutions that will meet the needs of patients and our organization now and into the future.”
“Since joining Orchard more than three years ago, I have been proud to help cultivate the clinical, medical and operational capabilities that support our deep pipeline of investigational and approved HSC gene therapies, including five clinical-stage programs,” said Dr. Meltzer. “I look forward to partnering with our development and commercial teams to ensure a seamless integration and advance our portfolio through key anticipated milestones.”
Drs. Loggia’s and Meltzer’s appointments are effective immediately. Dr. Mavilio has initially joined the company in a consulting capacity and will start full-time in January 2022.
About Fulvio Mavilio, Ph.D., chief scientific officer
He joins Orchard Therapeutics from Smart Immune where he serves as chief scientific officer. Previously, Dr. Mavilio was senior vice president of translational science at Audentes Therapeutics in San Francisco, where he was responsible for advancing the company’s pipeline from discovery to clinical development overseeing molecular biology, in vivo pharmacology, bioinformatics, and bioanalytics. Prior to joining Audentes, Dr. Mavilio was chief scientific officer of Genethon in Évry, France from 2012 to 2017 where he led the development of a robust pipeline of gene therapy programs for blood, liver, and neuromuscular diseases. Earlier in his career, he held various positions at the Center for Regenerative Medicine of the University of Modena, Molmed SpA, Genera SpA, and the San Raffaele-Telethon Institute of Gene Therapy in Milan, Italy.
Dr. Mavilio is a member of the European Molecular Biology Association, past member of the Board of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy and a member of the editorial board of many international journals in the fields of genetics, molecular biology and gene therapy. Dr. Mavilio earned a Ph.D. in medical genetics at the University of Rome School of Medicine and has published more than 200 articles in major international journals. He also serves as Professor of Molecular Biology at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Modena, Italy.
About Nicoletta Loggia, Ph.D., chief technical officer
She joins Orchard Therapeutics from Novartis, where she held positions of increasing responsibility since 2004, most recently serving as global head of cell and gene therapies. In this role, Dr. Loggia led multidisciplinary international teams responsible for the end-to-end technical development, manufacturing and project management of several gene and cell therapies modalities, including lentiviral, adeno-associated virus (AAV), stem and CAR-T cell processes, from concept to commercialization. She also oversaw the integration of the CAR-T teams and AveXis’ AAV technical capabilities into Novatis’ technical R&D. Previously, Dr. Loggia was global head of technical development novel biologic entities and cell and gene therapies where she was responsible for the early phase development of biologics and gene therapies. Her broad industry experience encompasses global leadership in the development and manufacturing of sterile drug products and devices and approvals of several commercial assets.
A medicinal chemist by training, Dr. Loggia began her career in the biopharmaceutical industry as a formulation scientist at Pfizer. She earned her Ph.D. in pharmaceutical technologies from the University of Pavia in Italy. She is a registered pharmacist and member of the UK Royal and Italian Pharmaceutical societies.
She joined Orchard Therapeutics from Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (prior to its merger with Akebia Therapeutics) where she was the vice president of medical affairs supporting Auryxia® (ferric citrate) for the treatment of chronic kidney disease. She previously served in various positions of increasing seniority in medical affairs at Biogen, where she led key elements of the U.S. launch and post-launch plan for Tecfidera® (dimethyl fumarate) for the treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis. In recognition of her success and contributions, Dr. Meltzer was promoted to leadership roles in Biogen’s multiple sclerosis and then its hemophilia franchises, comprising the company’s approved and investigational therapies. Dr. Meltzer began her career at Actelion (now part of Janssen) where she supported four approved and eight investigational therapies in a variety of therapeutic areas, including respiratory, cardiovascular, rheumatology, neurology and rare disease.
Dr. Meltzer earned her Ph.D. in neuroscience from Stanford University School of Medicine.
In 2018, the company acquired GSK’s rare disease gene therapy portfolio, which originated from a pioneering collaboration between GSK and the San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy in Milan, Italy. Today, Orchard has a deep pipeline spanning pre-clinical, clinical and commercial stage HSC gene therapies designed to address serious diseases where the burden is immense for patients, families and society and current treatment options are limited or do not exist.
Availability of Other Information About Orchard
Other risks and uncertainties faced by Orchard include those identified under the heading "Risk Factors" in Orchard’s quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2021, as filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as well as subsequent filings and reports filed with the SEC. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release reflect Orchard’s views as of the date hereof, and Orchard does not assume and specifically disclaims any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by law.
Editor’s note: Auryxia and Tecfidera are registered trademarks of Akebia Therapeutics, Inc. and Biogen Inc., respectively.
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