October 23, 2023 – Life sciences recruiting specialist Coulter Partners has recruited Jose Lora as chief scientific officer and Heather Hirsch as SVP of translational science and cancer biology of hC Bioscience. “It was our pleasure to work with Coulter Partners and we thank the team for their professionalism and outstanding support in making these appointments, both of which are critical to our continued success,” said Leslie Williams, president and CEO of hC Bioscience.
Dr. Lora has ushered numerous candidates from target identification to IND. In his career, he has worked across a broad range of therapeutic areas, including oncology, rare disease and ophthalmology, and has expertise in multiple therapeutic modalities, including proteins, gene therapies and small molecules. Prior to hC Bioscience, Dr. Lora served as chief scientific officer at Intergalactic Therapeutics and at enGene, a clinical-stage non-viral gene therapy company. Prior to that, he held senior research positions at Synlogic, Constellation, GlaxoSmithKline, Roche, and Millennium.
Dr. Lora will play a pivotal role in helping to shape the company’s strategic direction around its innovative portfolio of therapeutic tRNAs and advancing their lead candidates into the clinic. Among his priorities is the focus on bringing the company’s lead oncology candidate into the clinic. Additionally, Mr. Lora will oversee the company’s pipeline, direct therapeutic applications across cancer and inherited diseases, and expand the platform to address missense and frame-shift mutations.
“Jose’s experience across multiple therapeutic areas and technologies make him a valuable addition to our team,” said Ms. Williams. “He brings a proven track record in translational research and will be instrumental in bringing about a new class of treatments with therapeutic tRNA.”
Dr. Hirsch will join a growing team of scientists and brings a wealth of experience and expertise, having served most recently as the vice president of clinical translational sciences at IMV Inc. In her previous roles at IMV Inc., Jounce and Merck, she played a pivotal role in the development of groundbreaking therapies, demonstrating her ability to drive clinical translation from the laboratory to the patient’s bedside.
In her new role, Dr. Hirsch will lead hC Bioscience’s efforts to bring the first tRNA therapies into the clinic. Through her understanding of tumor biology and translation, she will play a crucial role in advancing hC Bioscience’s lead platform, targeting tumor suppressor genes with nonsense mutations or PTCs.
“We welcome Heather to hC Bioscience and look forward to her contributions as we advance our therapies to the clinic,” said Ms. Williams. “Dr. Hirsch’s proven track record of driving clinical translation aligns with our goal to develop effective treatments that are able to target multiple gene mutations implicated in cancer and rare diseases.”
hC Bioscience is a Boston-based biotech company dedicated to advancing tRNA-based therapies, a new class of treatments that target disease-causing proteins at the level of translation. It was founded on technology out of Universities such as Iowa, Wisconsin, Rochester, and Chicago. The company secured $40 million in series A financing with investments from leading venture firms including ARCH Ventures, Takeda Ventures, 8VC, Taiho Ventures, Panacea Venture, and CureDuchene.
Coulter Partners is a board- and senior-level global executive search specialist focused exclusively on life sciences. The firm works closely with those at the cutting edge of innovation in the industry to understand their challenges. With an extensive global network and expertise gained over 25 years in the sector, Coulter Partners is a trusted leadership adviser in the pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical technology, diagnostics, health-tech, CRO, and services sectors. The firm also works closely with the global investor community, hiring for their own teams as well as building the boards and executive leadership teams of their portfolio companies. Coulter Partners’ team of 95 completes over 260 assignments a year working from 14 offices across the U.K., EMEA, the U.S., and APAC.
Ms. Coulter founded Coulter Partners in 2003 and has 25 years’ experience of board and C-level global search, building the leadership teams of early stage, mid-cap, and global multinationals in over 20 countries. Through appointing leadership, Ms. Coulter channels her judgment and expertise to impact patient benefit and assist those at the cutting edge of life science to achieve their goals.
Coulter Partner recently formed a partnership with the Institute of Neurodiversity (ION). As a global neurodiversity changemaking organization and community, ION looks to foster awareness, acceptance, and appreciation of neurodiversity. They work with organizations, governments, the third sector, educators, and policymakers to raise awareness and advocate for policies that support neurominority inclusion. “We believe that our partnership with ION will enhance our understanding and deepen our knowledge,” said Ms. Coulter. “This will enable us to better support neurominorities and advocate change, as well as have measurable impact on good governance and transparency.”
“ION’s expertise, global reach, and corporate network will help provide us with a deep understanding of how we can ensure our own behaviors are inclusive and we are better positioned to advise our clients and candidates, and better support our teams and the communities that we serve,” she said. “Their toolkits, events, multiple themed webinars, and access to key opinion leaders will further enhance our learnings.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; and Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media