Passage Bio Announces Key Executive Appointments
Chief Commercial Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Medical Officer to focus on driving company growth and advancing robust pipeline of transformative therapies for patients with CNS disorders
PHILADELPHIA, July 19, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Passage Bio, Inc. (Nasdaq: PASG), a clinical-stage genetic medicines company focused on developing transformative therapies for rare monogenic
central nervous system (CNS) disorders, today announced three key leadership appointments. These experienced executives will support the company’s growth and further enhance the company’s strong
clinical development capabilities in managing its robust pipeline.
Maria Törnsén joins Passage Bio as chief commercial officer, effective today. She reports to Passage Bio President and Chief Executive Officer Bruce Goldsmith, Ph.D., and is a member of the executive team. She is responsible for leading and building out the company’s commercial organization and strategy, including determining product positioning and paths to commercialization. Prior to joining Passage Bio, Ms. Törnsén, who has nearly 20 years of global commercial experience, was at Sarepta Therapeutics, where she was senior vice president, general manager, U.S.
Simona King will join Passage Bio as chief financial officer (CFO), effective August 23 She will report to Dr. Goldsmith and will be a member of the executive team. She will be responsible for finance, accounting, tax, treasury, investor relations functions and information technology. Ms. King, the former executive vice president and CFO at Tmunity Therapeutics, has more than 20 years of pharmaceutical and biotech strategic finance experience.
Mark Forman, M.D., Ph.D., will join Passage Bio as chief medical officer, effective July 30. He will report to the Chief Research & Development Officer Eliseo Salinas, M.D., MSc., and will be responsible for leading the company’s translational and clinical development efforts. Dr. Forman has nearly two decades of experience in translational research for neurological disorders, having served as head of translational medicine at Acadia and translational research for neuroscience at Merck. He will join Passage Bio from the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), where he oversaw the drug discovery and development portfolio.
“I’m thrilled that we are able to bring these highly experienced professionals to our company, enhancing our already talented leadership team,” Dr. Goldsmith said. “Passage Bio’s robust and expanding pipeline presents significant opportunity both in terms of clinical development and in commercial planning to ensure optimal patient adoption once our therapies are approved. I’m pleased that we have such strong leadership to expertly drive our company growth and advance our pipeline for patients.”
Ms. Törnsén has nearly 20 years of global commercial experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry, working in both rare and specialty therapeutic areas and across multiple geographic markets. As the U.S. general manager for Sarepta, she led the launch of its second and third products for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. She also led launch preparations for future gene therapies and double-digit year-over-year sales growth in 2019 and 2020. Ms. Törnsén joined Sarepta from Sanofi Genzyme, where she served as the global therapeutic head for rare neurological, metabolic and endocrine diseases with responsibility for both marketed and pipeline products. Before Sanofi Genzyme, she worked at Shire in marketing in rare diseases before moving to the neuroscience division. While at Shire, she relocated to the United States and led U.S. sales and marketing for the endocrine franchise. Before joining Shire, Ms. Törnsén was at Merck KGaA in Switzerland, where she held a number of marketing leadership roles in neurology. She began her industry career as a sales representative with Eli Lilly in Sweden, launching three products. She received her M.S. in International Business Administration from Lund University in Sweden.
Ms. King has more than 20 years’ strategic finance experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry, with both large and small companies. Her experience ranges from counseling executive teams on growth strategies to managing equity and debt financing to launching blockbuster products. She will join Passage Bio from Tmunity Therapeutics, where she served as CFO. Prior to that she was at Emergent BioSolutions as vice president of financial planning, analysis and assistant treasurer. Before Emergent, she worked for 19 years at Bristol-Myers Squibb, holding a number of finance roles of increasing responsibility across most functional aspects of the organization, including mergers and acquisitions, R&D, commercial and manufacturing, eventually leading the company’s global financial processes as executive director of corporate financial planning and analysis. Ms. King is a certified public accountant. She earned her B.A. at Kalamazoo College, and her MBA from Columbia Business School. She also has a diploma in African Studies from the University of Cape Town, where she attended as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar.
Dr. Forman led the ADDF Scientific Affairs team that oversees the drug discovery and drug development portfolio. Dr. Forman is a neuropathologist and neuroscientist who, prior to
joining ADDF, was vice president at Acadia Pharmaceuticals, where he was head of translational medicine, responsible for preclinical and early clinical development and contributed to development of
pimavanserin for the treatment of hallucinations and delusions associated with dementia-related psychosis. Dr. Forman also spent 12 years at Merck, where he was executive director and neuroscience
lead in translational medicine, responsible for the neuroscience portfolio in early clinical development, including contributions to the development of more than 20 novel therapeutics and multiple
New Drug Applications. Dr. Forman has been a member of scientific advisory board for Biomarkers and Treat FTD at the Association for Frontotemporal Dementia since 2012. Dr. Forman received his
Ph.D. at Rockefeller University, M.D. at Duke University and B.S. at Yale University.
About Passage Bio
At Passage Bio (Nasdaq: PASG), we are on a mission to provide life-transforming gene therapies for patients with rare, monogenic CNS diseases that replace their suffering with boundless possibility, all while building lasting relationships with the communities we serve. Based in Philadelphia, PA, our company has established a strategic collaboration and licensing agreement with the renowned University of Pennsylvania’s Gene Therapy Program to conduct our discovery and IND-enabling preclinical work. This provides our team with enhanced access to a broad portfolio of gene therapy candidates and future gene therapy innovations that we then pair with our deep clinical, regulatory, manufacturing and commercial expertise to rapidly advance our robust pipeline of optimized gene therapies into clinical testing. As we work with speed and tenacity, we are always mindful of patients who may be able to benefit from our therapies. More information is available at www.passagebio.com.
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of, and made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of, the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, but not limited to: our expectations about timing and execution of anticipated milestones, including initiation of clinical trials and the availability of clinical data from such trials; our expectations about our collaborators’ and partners’ ability to execute key initiatives; our expectations about the employment of key executives; our expectations about manufacturing plans and strategies; and the ability of our lead product candidates to treat their respective target monogenic CNS disorders. These forward-looking statements may be accompanied by such words as “aim,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “goal,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “potential,” “possible,” “will,” “would,” and other words and terms of similar meaning. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected in such statements, including: our ability to develop and obtain regulatory approval for our product candidates; the timing and results of preclinical studies and clinical trials; risks associated with clinical trials, including our ability to adequately manage clinical activities, unexpected concerns that may arise from additional data or analysis obtained during clinical trials, regulatory authorities may require additional information or further studies, or may fail to approve or may delay approval of our drug candidates; the occurrence of adverse safety events; the risk that positive results in a preclinical study or clinical trial may not be replicated in subsequent trials or success in early stage clinical trials may not be predictive of results in later stage clinical trials; failure to protect and enforce our intellectual property, and other proprietary rights; our dependence on collaborators and other third parties for the development and manufacture of product candidates and other aspects of our business, which are outside of our full control; risks associated with current and potential delays, work stoppages, or supply chain disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic; and the other risks and uncertainties that are described in the Risk Factors section in documents the company files from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and other reports as filed with the SEC. Passage Bio undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.
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