Berkeley, CA, October 19, 2021 – GeneTether Inc. (“GeneTether” or the “Company”), a Bay Area biotech company focused on developing technologies to increase the correction efficiency of targeted genome editing technologies, today announced the appointments of Roland Boivin as Chief Executive Officer, Jean M. Jen, CPA, CA, as Chief Financial Officer, and Peter Sampson, PhD, as Vice President, Research and Development. These appointments are intended to further position GeneTether to successfully execute the next stages of its growth strategy, as well as support its relationships with the investment community.
Appointment of Roland Boivin as CEO
Mr. Boivin brings nearly 25 years of public company leadership experience, with a focus on strategic operations, finance, business development, and general management. Most recently, he served as CFO at Medexus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (formerly Pediapharm Inc.), a TSX-listed company focused on innovative rare disease treatment solutions. Among his many accomplishments in that role, Mr. Boivin led the company’s 2013 reverse takeover transaction, helped manage its graduation from the TSXV to the TSX, and played an integral role in its transformative acquisition of two speciality pharma companies. Prior to joining Medexus, Mr. Boivin was CFO at TSXV-listed Golden Hope Mines Limited. Previously, he held a variety of progressive positions at 3M Canada, including leading the company’s Consumer Division as Business Unit Manager, and was member of its Executive Committee. Mr. Boivin holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from McGill University and an Executive MBA from Queen’s University.
Mr. Daren Graham, GeneTether’s Chairman, stated, “We are delighted to welcome Roland to our team. His extensive executive leadership, corporate governance and capital markets experience will be a tremendous asset to GeneTether as we continue to execute on our growth strategy.”
“It has been captivating to watch the scale, scope and speed with which GeneTether has successfully matured into a dynamic company within the gene editing space,” commented Mr. Boivin. “There is a unique opportunity to leverage the elegance and precision its proprietary platform to increase the efficiency of gene editing technologies, so that they can be more readily applied to treat human disease. I look forward to working with the team to develop and expand the product pipeline, accelerate growth, and enhance value for our shareholders.”
Mr. Boivin succeeds Har Grover, who will continue to support the Company in a consulting role until the end of 2021.
Appointment of Jean Jen as CFO
Ms. Jen has over 12 years of finance and accounting experience in the life sciences sector, having worked with businesses ranging from venture-backed start-ups to publicly traded companies. A highly sought-after consultant for early-stage biotechnology companies, she has held various senior level positions as an independent financial consultant. Most recently, she served as the Vice President of Finance at Anandia Laboratories, an award-winning cannabis science company that was acquired in 2018 by Aurora Cannabis Inc. in a deal valued at $115 million. While at Anandia, Ms. Jen was recognized as Accountancy Leader of the Year (Top 5 Nominee) by Women in Finance, Canada (2019). From 2013 to 2018, Ms. Jen held increasingly senior positions at Arbutus Biopharma Corp. (formerly Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp.), a Nasdaq-listed clinical-stage biopharma company focused on liposomal drug delivery and RNA interference. Previously, she spent nearly five years with KPMG’s advisory and audit practices, with a primary focus on publicly-listed companies. Ms. Jen holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University, as well as a Master in Professional Accounting from the University of Saskatchewan.
“We are also pleased to welcome Jean to GeneTether, where we expect she will make an immediate impact on our business during this transformative time,” said Mr. Graham. “Jean’s breadth of private and public company experience, combined with her strong track record of financial management success, make her exceptionally well-qualified to lead our finance function, and we are thrilled to have attracted a candidate of her calibre to this key position.”
Ms. Jen commented, “It is an exciting time to be joining GeneTether, and I look forward to working with my talented colleagues as the Company continues to build.”
Appointment of Dr. Peter Sampson as VP, R&D
Dr. Sampson has over 20 years of drug development experience, including discovery chemistry, CMC regulatory affairs and IP portfolio management. He joins GeneTether from Scientus Pharma Inc., where he served as the Director of Research and Development. Prior to Scientus, Dr. Sampson spent 10 years as a scientist in the Therapeutics Group at the University Health Network (“UHN”), North America’s largest health research organization. There, he was involved in discovery research and led the CMC development programs for UHN’s PLK4, TTK and HPK1 clinical candidates. Prior to UHN, he held various R&D leadership roles of increasing responsibility at Affinium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., GlycoDesign Inc. and Albany Molecular Research Inc. Dr. Sampson holds a BSc in Chemistry from St. Mary’s University, and MSc and PhD degrees in Organic Chemistry from the University of Waterloo. He is the co-author of 20 scientific publications and an inventor on over 20 patents.
“Peter is a talented scientist, with years of experience discovering and developing new medical technologies, as well helping to protect the significant market opportunities they represent,” said Geoffrey Sargent, PhD, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of GeneTether. “On behalf of everyone at GeneTether, I am pleased to welcome him to our team.”
GeneTether’s platform is designed to increase the efficiency of genome editing technologies, including CRISPR-Cas, TALENs, and ZFNs. The Company uses a proprietary method to conjugate, or “tether,” donor DNA templates to the genome editing complex, making the template readily available for use during the genome editing repair stage. Ex vivo studies have shown that combining our platform technology with CRISPR-Cas9 increases genome editing efficiency to more than 50%, compared with the efficiency of current CRISPR/Cas systems, which ranges from less than 1% to approximately 20%.
GeneTether is an EGB Ventures portfolio company. Founded by Bill Garner, MD, EGB Ventures is focused on forming new ventures around assets with a high potential for solving significant unmet medical needs. In addition to GeneTether, other EGB portfolio companies include Race Oncology (ASX: RAC), Tryp Therapeutics (CSE: TRYP, OTCQB: TRYPF), and Island Pharmaceuticals (ASX: ILA).
For more information, visit www.genetether.com.
Investor & Public Relations