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CRISPR-Focused Excision BioTherapeutics Announces Business Advisory Board and Interim CBO

First members include industry veterans with backgrounds at Merck, Pfizer, Novartis, and more

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 03, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Excision BioTherapeutics Inc., a biotechnology company developing CRISPR-based therapeutics to cure viral infectious diseases, announced today the first appointees of its Business Advisory Board and its new Interim Chief Business Officer. This group of industry veterans will help steer the company to bring lifesaving, curative medications to patients in need, as well as to build one of the strongest companies in biotech.

“We are extremely fortunate to have the breadth of experience and knowledge in these first members of the Excision Business Advisory Board and Interim Chief Business Officer,” said Daniel Dornbusch, CEO at Excision BioTherapeutics. “At a critical time for the advancement of viral infectious disease therapies and treatments, the expertise of Dr. Annalisa Jenkins, Jeff Kindler, Michael Marks, and Paul Sekhri will be an invaluable part of our advancement. In addition, Dr. Michael Aberman will lead key roles in business development, strategy, and corporate development as the company’s new Interim Chief Business Officer.”

Dr. Annalisa Jenkins

Annalisa Jenkins, M.B.B.S., F.R.C.P. is a biopharma thought leader with over 25 years of industry experience. Dr. Jenkins has extensive experience in building biotechnology companies pursuing cures for the most challenging rare diseases to address global medical issues. She has consistently built and led teams advancing programs from scientific research through clinical development, regulatory approval, and into healthcare systems around the world. In addition, she is an advocate for diversity and inclusion, particularly for women in science.

Dr. Jenkins served as president and CEO of Dimension Therapeutics, a leading gene therapy company that she took public on the NASDAQ and subsequently sold to Ultragenyx. Before Dimension, she served as Head of Global Research and Development and Executive Vice President, Head of Global Research and Development at Merck Serono. Prior to Merck Serono, Dr. Jenkins spent over 15 years at Bristol Myers-Squibb in roles including Senior Vice President and Head of Global Medical Affairs. Earlier in her career, Dr. Jenkins was a medical officer in the British Royal Navy during the Gulf Conflict, achieving the rank of surgeon lieutenant commander. Dr. Jenkins is a board member of several growing companies, including Oncimmune, AVROBIO, COMPASS Pathways, AFFIMED, AOBiome, AgeX, ADOR Diagnostics, Conduit Connect, TrustedDoctor, Cocoon Biotech Inc. (Non-Executive Chair), Kuur Therapeutics (Non-Executive Chair). She also is a committee member of the Science Board to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, which advises FDA leadership on complex scientific and technical issues, board member at Faster Cures a center of The Milken Institute and Chair of The Court The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Dr. Jenkins was named the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association Woman of the Year in 2014, a prestigious award that honors exceptional leaders and role models in the healthcare industry.

Jeff Kindler

Jeff Kindler has decades of experience building and advising companies of all sizes and brings a unique combination of practical experience at the highest levels in business, healthcare, and venture capital. He’s worked with numerous VC-backed companies in biopharmaceuticals and adjacent sectors, providing strategic counsel on new investment opportunities in healthcare.  

Kindler currently serves as CEO of Centrexion Therapeutics, a Boston-based biotech company he co-founded, which is developing non-opioid treatments for pain, and has one of the largest pipelines of potential such treatments in the industry. He is also a current Operating Partner at ARTIS Ventures. Kindler has served as Chairman and CEO of Pfizer, the world's largest research-based biopharmaceutical company, and prior to that he held senior executive positions at McDonald's and General Electric Company. He also served as a member of President Obama’s Management Advisory Board.

Michael Marks

As manufacturing and production challenges the gene therapy field, Michael Marks is one of the world’s top leaders in growing companies, scaling manufacturing, and leading rapidly growing organizations to global success.

Marks is the Founding Managing Partner at WRVI Capital, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm which invests in transformational technology companies globally. A seasoned investor, executive operator, and founder, Marks was a Founding Partner of Riverwood Capital, a Menlo Park-based private equity firm, and also a Partner and Senior Advisor at KKR & Co. Before KKR, he spent 13 years as CEO of Flex Ltd. (formerly Flextronics International Ltd.) and built the company into one of the largest technology companies in the world, increasing annualized revenues from approximately $93 million to approximately $25 billion, while establishing operations in over 35 countries and integrating over 100 acquisitions. During his time as Chairman, he helped Flextronics grow to annualized revenues of $36 billion.

Marks has been named one of the top ten most influential executives in Silicon Valley history by Electronic Business Magazine and was their CEO of the Year for 2003. He is a director of Berkeley Lights (Chairman), Bossa Nova Robotics (Chairman), The Melt, Enjoy, Maui Greens, White Rabbit, Smartfrog/Canary, and Finicast. He was previously a director of SanDisk Corporation (former Chairman), Katerra (former Chairman), Schlumberger Limited, GoPro, and many others.

Paul Sekhri

With decades of experience leading life sciences companies, Paul Sekhri brings unparalleled industry knowledge to the Excision Board of Advisors. Currently the president and CEO of eGenesis, Sekhri has been a director on more than 24 private and public company boards.

He was previously president and CEO of Lycera Corp., and prior to that he served as group Executive Vice President, Global Business Development, and Chief Strategy Officer for Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries, Ltd. Previously he was Operating Partner and head of the Biotechnology Operating Group at TPG Biotech, Founder, President and CEO of Cerimon, and President and Chief Business Officer of ARIAD Pharmaceuticals. He has also held various senior positions at Novartis AG.

In addition, Excision is proud to announce the addition of its new Interim Chief Business Officer, Michael Aberman.

Dr. Michael Aberman

Michael Aberman, M.D., M.B.A. is the newly appointed Interim Chief Business Officer at Excision. Previously he was president and Chief Executive Officer of Quentis Therapeutics and before Quentis, Dr. Aberman spent over seven years at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals as the Senior Vice President of Investor Relations and Strategy. In that role, Dr. Aberman was a member of the senior management team and was responsible for the investor relations, corporate communications, business development, and corporate strategy functions at Regeneron. Prior to joining Regeneron, Dr. Aberman spent six years as a Wall Street research analyst covering the biotechnology industry at Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley. Before moving to Wall Street, Dr. Aberman was Director of Business Development at Antigenics, Inc., an oncology-focused biotechnology company. Dr. Aberman received his B.A. from Cornell University and his medical degree from the University of Toronto. He completed his residency training at New York Presbyterian Hospital and received an M.B.A. from The Wharton School of Business.

We are extremely pleased to welcome each of these distinguished and accomplished executives to help accelerate Excision’s future success.

This announcement was originally released in GlobeNewswire here: