Paris, France-based microbiome engineering company Eligo Bioscience today announced the appointment of former GlaxoSmithKline R&D Executive, Edith M Hessel, PhD, as Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Hessel will be responsible for the strategic expansion of new therapeutic applications of Eligo’s platform technology and for the progression of Eligo’s pipeline to the clinic. Founding CSO David Bikard, PhD, and Head of the Synthetic Biology Group at the Pasteur Institute, will continue to bring to Eligo his extensive experience in phage biology, synthetic biology, and microbiology as Chief Technology Officer.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Edith to Eligo, expanding our leadership team as we enter the next phase of our growth”, stated Xavier Duportet, PhD, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Eligo Bioscience. “Edith brings terrific expertise in translating innovative technologies into new therapies, as well as a remarkable track record in leading strong scientific teams. She will be a critical driver of success for Eligo as we advance to the clinic and will bring deep insights to realizing the vast potential of precision microbiome engineering.”
Commenting on her appointment, Dr Hessel said “I am absolutely delighted to join Eligo’s superb team and look forward to working together to further develop an industry-leading pipeline of therapeutics for patients with unmet needs. It is becoming increasingly clear that the human microbiome plays an important role in health and disease, yet no technology currently exists that can engineer the function and composition of the microbiome with exquisite precision to offer effective new treatment options to patients. Eligo’s unprecedented platform has the potential to change this.”
Dr Hessel, a mucosal immunologist, has over 20 years’ experience in drug development, has successfully pioneered the development of novel target discovery platforms, and has advanced multiple therapeutics from inception to clinical proof of concept in both Biotech and Pharma. Prior to joining Eligo, Dr Hessel co-founded Mestag Therapeutics, a company backed by SV Health Investors, where as CSO she built the research team and oversaw the creation of Mestag’s lead program and target discovery platform. Prior to that, in her role as VP at GlaxoSmithKline, Dr Hessel conceived and built the Refractory Respiratory Inflammation Discovery Performance Unit, which developed innovative approaches to target discovery, adding multiple therapeutic target programs to GSK’s pipeline. Additionally, during her tenure at GSK, Dr Hessel oversaw the clinical development of nemiralisib, an inhaled PI3Kdelta inhibitor, from its early molecule stages through a Phase 2b dose ranging study in patients, and led the formation of multiple strategic commercial and academic partnerships.
Dr Hessel currently serves on the board of the Fraunhofer ITEM Institute and as Trustee for the British Society for Immunology. She received her PhD from Utrecht University, trained as a PostDoc at DNAX Research Institute, and has been awarded an Honorary Professorship at the University of Manchester in recognition of her scientific achievements.
About Eligo Bioscience
Eligo Bioscience is the world leader in microbiome gene therapy to address microbiome-associated diseases. Eligo was founded by scientists from The Rockefeller University, where CRISPR-based antimicrobials were invented, and by scientists from MIT. Eligo was named a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum in 2017. With venture capital funding from Khosla Ventures and Seventure Partners, is rapidly advancing its lead program into clinical development, with the first clinical trials on track to begin in 2022.
Through its novel technology platform and robust intellectual property positions, Eligo is poised to be a catalyst for the growth anticipated across the microbiome-associated diseases industry.
For more information about Eligo visit https://www.eligo.bio/.
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