San Diego, CA, August 5, 2015 — Poseida Therapeutics, Inc. (Poseida), a privately-held human therapeutics spinout of Transposagen Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (Transposagen), announces the appointment of Lars Ekman, M.D., Ph.D. and Nishan de Silva, M.D. to the Company’s Board of Directors. Dr. Ekman joins the Board as the Company’s Chairman, and Dr. de Silva is appointed President.
“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Ekman and Dr. de Silva to our Board of Directors. Dr. Ekman brings a wealth of valuable drug development and industry experience to Poseida through his prior leadership roles in R&D at several global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies where he was responsible for numerous NDA filings, as well as his positions as a venture capitalist and Board member for other prominent biotech companies,” stated Eric Ostertag, M.D. Ph.D., CEO of Poseida. “Dr. de Silva has previously served on the Board of Directors of three public companies and several private companies, including as a member of Transposagen’s Board of Directors for several years. Drs. Ekman and de Silva are valuable assets to the Poseida Board of Directors and I look forward to working with them to rapidly advance our lead therapeutics.”
Dr. Ekman has more than 28 years’ experience in senior executive, scientific, and clinical functions. He is Chairman of the Amarin Corporation, PLC, (NASDAQ: AMRN), the Prothena Corporation, PLC, (NASDAQ: PRTA), and Sophiris Bio, Inc., (NASDAQ: SPHS) and he also serves on the Board of Directors of Spark Therapeutics, Inc., (NASDAQ: ONCE). Dr. Ekman currently serves as Executive Partner at Sofinnova Ventures. Prior to joining Sofinnova, he held the position of President of Research and Development at Elan. Dr. Ekman joined Elan in January 2001, and he is credited with advancing Elan’s pipeline during this period. Prior to joining Elan, he was EVP, Research and Development at Schwarz Pharma AG beginning in 1997. From 1984 to 1997, Dr. Ekman was employed in a variety of senior scientific and clinical functions at Pharmacia, now Pfizer.
Dr. Ekman is a board-certified surgeon with a Ph.D. in Experimental Biology and has held several clinical and academic positions in both the United States and Europe.
Dr. de Silva, Poseida’s President and Chief Operating Officer, has more than 15 years of experience across biotechnology, biopharmaceutical venture capital and healthcare management consulting companies. Most recently he served as Vice President, Finance and Strategy and Chief Financial Officer at Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: LGND), a $2 billion market capitalization, profitable biotechnology company. He was previously a Principal at the private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC, where he was responsible for identifying and sourcing late-stage biopharmaceutical investment opportunities. Prior to that, he worked at the Sprout Group, a venture capital firm, and was an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company.
Dr. de Silva holds a B.A. in Biology from Harvard University, an M.D. from The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School.
About Poseida Therapeutics
Poseida is a therapeutics-focused biotechnology company using best-in-class gene editing technologies to develop novel, life-saving therapies, including gene therapy for orphan liver diseases and immuno-oncology therapeutics for several types of cancer. Poseida owns several industry-leading gene editing technologies, including the piggyBacTM DNA Modification System, XTNTM TALEN and NextGENTM CRISPR site-specific nucleases, and Footprint-FreeTM Gene Editing (FFGE). FFGE is the cleanest gene editing technology that is commercially available, allowing for surgically-precise changes of as little as a single nucleotide in any genome without unwanted mutations and with the ability to select for otherwise rare events.