Cocoon Biotech Appoints Dr. Annalisa Jenkins as Executive Chair of the Board
--Appointment Further Bolsters Strong Board Which Includes Drs. Colón and Tweed-Kent--
BOSTON, Dec. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Cocoon Biotech, Inc., a biotechnology company with a broad drug delivery platform and an initial focus in ophthalmology and osteoarthritis, today announced that the company has appointed Annalisa Jenkins, MBBS, FRCP to the position of executive chair of the board. Dr. Jenkins brings over 25 years of global experience in the life sciences industry and currently serves as chief executive officer of PlaqueTec Ltd. Dr. Jenkins joins Cocoon board members Ailis Tweed-Kent, M.D., chief executive officer of Cocoon, as well as Grace Colón, Ph.D., chief executive officer of InCarda Therapeutics.
Dr. Annalisa Jenkins joined PlaqueTec as CEO in November of this year. Prior to that, she was CEO of Dimension Therapeutics where she successfully financed the company through their IPO and oversaw worldwide research and development before its acquisition by Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical. Before that, she served as executive vice president, head of global research and development for Merck Serono and enjoyed a 15-year career at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) where she ultimately served as senior vice president and head of global medical affairs. During her tenure at BMS, she was instrumental in the development, approval and commercialization of products that spanned multiple therapeutic areas. Dr. Jenkins' career began as a medical officer with the British Royal Navy during the Gulf conflict where she attained the rank of surgeon lieutenant commander. Dr. Jenkins graduated in medicine from St. Bartholomew's Hospital London and trained in cardiovascular medicine in the UK's National Health Service (NSF). In addition to Cocoon, she serves as chair of the boards of Vium and Silence Therapeutics and is a director on the boards of PhESi, Oncosec, Ardelyx, iOx and Thrombolytic Science International (TSI), LLC. She acts as a committee member of the Science Board to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, serves on the board of the Center for Talent Innovation (UK), and is on the Advisory Panel of the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association.
Dr. Grace Colón joined the board of Cocoon in 2016. She also brings over 25 years of experience in biopharma, genomics, healthcare and industrial biotechnology and serves as the chief executive officer of InCarda Therapeutics, which is focused on a novel treatment for acute episodes of atrial fibrillation. She is also a senior advisor at New Science Ventures (where she was a Partner from 2014-2016) and serves on the boards of ProterixBio (Executive Chair; formerly CEO), Paradigm Diagnostics, and PerceptiMed. She is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University. Previously, she was founding president of the Industrial Products Division at Intrexon Corporation, where she established a new division focused on leveraging synthetic biology for bioindustrial applications such as biofuels and renewable chemicals. Prior to Intrexon, she was at Gilead as head of Clinical Operations; she also created and led both the Alliance Management and Commercial Strategic Planning groups. Prior to Gilead, she was vice president, corporate planning at Affymetrix and served as chief operating officer for the International Genomics Consortium. Earlier in her career she was a consultant with McKinsey & Co. and an engineer with Merck & Co. in France and in Rahway, NJ. Dr. Colón received her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she was an NSF Fellow. She also holds a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a Benjamin Franklin Scholar.
"We are pleased with the addition of Dr. Jenkins to our board of directors. The depth of global product development experience that Annalisa brings will be invaluable as we make our way to and through the clinic—ultimately delivering our product to the many patients who would benefit from better solutions," stated Ailis Tweed-Kent, M.D., chief executive officer of Cocoon Biotech. "Having Dr. Colón on the board has already proven beneficial to us, as she is a seasoned biotech executive who brings creative thinking, a well developed network and relevant experience having been involved with, and at the helm of, other biotech companies at our stage."
"I am excited to join the strong and enthusiastic leadership team of Cocoon, who is at the cusp of a tremendous amount of development and progress," stated Dr. Jenkins. "I believe in the potential of Cocoon's silk protein technology and look forward to helping translate that into successful products for ophthalmology and arthritis."
"It has been a pleasure to think, work and strategize with Ailis and the team on the company's corporate and R&D strategy," stated Dr. Colón. "Cocoon is a company which has a very strong foundational technology and a clear vision, and I look forward to continuing to work with this team to bring this exciting technology through clinical development and ultimately to patients in need."
About Cocoon Biotech, Inc.
Cocoon Biotech, Inc., was founded in 2013 to bring the freedom of living a healthy productive life to patients worldwide. Cocoon Biotech is developing a drug-delivery platform based on formulations of fibroin, a protein derived from the cocoon of the silkworm (Bombyx mori). Recent advances in our understanding of fibroin biochemistry have allowed expansion of the versatility of the material into alternate physical formats such as hydrogels and implants loaded with active drug substances. Cocoon is leveraging silk fibroin as a novel biomaterial for the stability and delivery of therapeutics across human health and animal health. Cocoon's first products are silk fibroin formulated with small molecules that target pain and inflammation in ophthalmology and osteoarthritis indications.
Some statements in this press release are not historical facts and constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are based on current expectations of the company's management. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual future results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. The company does not undertake to update forward-looking statements to reflect a change in its views, events or circumstances that occur after the date of this release.
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