December 17, 2020 – Growing pressure to rapidly advance scientific discovery and expand market share in the face of COVID-19 is making the hunt for top talent more fierce than ever before. Recently, Caliber Associates placed Thomas Wickham as chief scientific officer of GentiBio, an emerging biotherapeutics company. The assignment was led by Steven P. Hochberg, the search firm’s founder and CEO.
Dr. Wickham brings over 25 years of experience in advancing drug platforms in a variety of therapeutic areas from discovery through clinical trials. Most recently, he served as senior vice president of research and development at Rubius Therapeutics, where he pioneered synthetic biology approaches using genetically engineered red cells for autoimmunity, immuno-oncology and rare disease applications. He helped build the company into a full discovery and preclinical organization leading to multiple product programs and two regulatory filings.
“Tom’s deep expertise in immunology and a diverse spectrum of drug and engineered cell therapy platforms will be invaluable to the company as we further the progress of our research programs and pursue moving our therapies into the clinic,” said Adel Nada, co-founder, president and CEO of GentiBio.
“Understanding the limitations in existing regulatory T cell-based therapeutics, I’m motivated by the innovative approach GentiBio is taking to successfully restore immune tolerance in the body,” said Dr. Wickham. “I look forward to bringing my expertise with advancing drug platforms to GentiBio as I truly believe regulatory T cell biology coupled with smart and fit-for-purpose receptor engineering has the potential to treat and cure many patients living with serious autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.”
Dr. Wickham has held senior roles at numerous leading biopharmaceutical companies, including as vice president of R&D at Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, senior director of preclinical pharmacology at EMD Lexigen (now Merck-Serono) and at GenVec Inc. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical/biomedical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, a doctorate in biochemical engineering from Cornell University, and pursued his postdoctoral training at the Scripps Research Institute in the department of immunology.
GentiBio Inc., is an early stage biotherapeutics company co-founded by pioneers in Treg biology and synthetic immunology to develop engineered regulatory T cells (EngTregs) programmed to treat autoimmune, alloimmune, autoinflammatory and allergic diseases. GentiBio’s proprietary autologous and allogeneic EngTregs platform integrates key complimentary technologies needed to successfully restore immune tolerance and overcome major limitations in existing regulatory T cell therapeutics. GentiBio is at the forefront of leveraging a unique therapeutic modality that can be used to address the fundamental cause of many diseases that result from overshooting and/or malfunctioning of the immune system.
Life Sciences Recruiters
Caliber Associates, founded in 1988, is focused exclusively on the life sciences sector. The firm’s leaders are highly experienced search professionals and biopharmaceutical executives who bring more than 70 years of industry experience. Caliber Associates has partnered with over 150 leading companies and has completed upwards of 700 searches, placing strategic leaders with broad therapeutic and functional reach. The firm has offices in San Diego, metro New York and Boston/Cambridge, MA.
Among the roles that the firm has recently filled include: chief business officer, Oncternal Therapeutics; chief medical officer, NextCure; and chief executive officer, Caraway Therapeutics.
Mr. Hochberg focuses on recruiting CEOs, board members, C-level and strategic teams for emerging life science companies and global biopharmaceutical companies. He has assembled a small team of highly experienced, results driven search professionals. Prior to his search career, he held strategic human resources roles with Rhône-Poulenc Rorer, FMC Corp. and Shell Oil Co.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media