AavantiBio, a gene therapy company focused on transforming the lives of patients with rare genetic diseases, today announced the appointment of Jessie Hanrahan, Ph.D. as Chief Regulatory Officer. Dr. Hanrahan is the fifth senior executive to be named to the leadership team at AavantiBio in recent months. She will oversee global regulatory affairs for AavantiBio’s diversified pipeline of gene therapy programs targeting rare diseases with significant unmet medical need.
Dr. Hanrahan brings to AavantiBio nearly 15 years of experience in the biotech industry and a strong track record of achievements and leadership in global regulatory affairs and drug development. Most recently, she was Vice President of Regulatory Science at bluebird bio, Inc. (NASDAQ: BLUE), where she was responsible for the global regulatory strategy for the severe genetic disease franchise. While at bluebird bio, Dr. Hanrahan worked to obtain numerous global regulatory designations from the FDA and EMA, played a critical role in the Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) submission and approval of Zynteglo, the first gene therapy product for transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia patients, and the submission of an MAA for eli-cel, a therapy to treat cerebral adrenal leukodystrophy. She also made significant contributions toward building the company’s regulatory department.
"Jessie brings to AavantiBio robust global regulatory and development expertise along with a proven track record of contributing to the development of innovative drug products. We are thrilled to welcome her to what we believe is a best-in-class leadership team," said Bo Cumbo, President and Chief Executive Officer of AavantiBio. "With Jessie and the rest of the executive team in place, we are well-positioned to execute on our vision to leverage the transformative science of gene transfer therapy and other technologies to deliver the next generation of life-changing medicines for patients and families affected with rare, devastating diseases."
Prior to bluebird bio, Dr. Hanrahan held positions of increasing responsibility at Genzyme Corp. (now Sanofi Genzyme) where she worked across the oncology, multiple sclerosis and rare disease therapeutic areas, and managed regulatory activities spanning pre-investigational through New Drug Applications and post approval efforts. She played a key role in the approval of Lemtrada, an infusion therapy for relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis, in North America and Europe, and was involved in the global approval of Mozobil, a medication for patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Earlier in her career, Dr. Hanrahan worked at Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE: BSX) as a medical writer supporting communications needs for clinical trials and registries in global markets. She received her Ph.D., M.S. and M.Ph. degrees from Yale University in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, and holds a B.A. in Biology and History from Mount Holyoke College.
"Regulatory science plays a vital role in advancing innovative therapies that bring hope to patients and families suffering with rare diseases," said Hanrahan, who will report to Mr. Cumbo. "I am excited to help build a strong, strategic regulatory function to support AavantiBio’s important patient-centric mission."
Since launching in October 2020 with $107 million in Series A funding from Perceptive Advisors, Bain Capital Life Sciences, RA Capital Management, AavantiBio has made significant progress building out the company’s strategic and operational capabilities. Over the last several months, AavantiBio has announced the appointments of Douglas J. Swirsky as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, Ty Howton as Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel, Christopher Wright, M.D., Ph.D., as Chief Medical Officer, and Paul Herzich as Chief Technology Officer.
About AavantiBio, Inc.
AavantiBio is a gene therapy company backed by a premier syndicate of life sciences investors including Perceptive Advisors, Bain Capital Life Sciences, and RA Capital Management, who led the company’s recent $107 million Series A financing. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, AavantiBio is advancing a diversified gene therapy pipeline in areas of high unmet medical need, including a lead program in Friedreich’s Ataxia (FA), a rare inherited genetic disease that causes cardiac and central nervous system dysfunction. The company benefits from strategic partnerships with the University of Florida’s renowned Powell Gene Therapy Center and the MDA Care Center at UF Health where AavantiBio’s co-founders and renowned gene therapy researchers Barry Byrne, M.D., Ph.D. and Manuela Corti, P.T., Ph.D. maintain their research and clinical practices. Learn more at www.aavantibio.com.
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