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Promethera Strengthens its Management Team with Two Appointments

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Promethera Biosciences has announced two senior appointments. Dr Jürgen Beck has been appointed as VP Clinical and Medical Affairs and Patrick Stragier as VP Operations.

These appointments bring more than 45 combined years of experience in biopharmaceutical industry leadership to Promethera. They also bring a proven track record of success in cell therapy as well as wider areas of the medical affairs and clinical research, also including international, operational and managerial experience.

One of the initial tasks for Jürgen Beck will be to drive forward the clinical development of Promethera’s lead product HepaStem in its current target of inborn errors of liver metabolism. He will also expand the focus of HepaStem to a wider target of acquired liver diseases and will contribute to the expansion of the Promethera product pipeline in large indications.

Patrick Stragier will be responsible for developing the Promethera production and operations strategy. In the short term, he will be in charge of the production of HepaStem for ongoing clinical trials. In addition, he will be responsible for the strategy for scaling up production for later stage clinical trials, market needs and commercialization. Patrick will utilize his broad experience specifically in the cell therapy industry to contribute to the optimization of Promethera’s production processes. These will need to meet Promethera’s high industrial standards whilst maintaining affordable costs both for the patient and the community.

"Promethera has made these two key appointments to complete its management team. The appointments add a substantial skillset and expertise with both clinical development and operations/manufacturing,” said Dr John Tchelingerian, Chairman and CEO, Promethera. “Pushing forward the development of Promethera’s lead product HepaStem in its current indication UCD, as well as expanding the targets and markets for our product portfolio is now a key task for the company. Both Jürgen and Patrick have been specifically appointed by Promethera to use their expertise and international experience to achieve this.”

“I consider Promethera’s product portfolio, especially its lead product HepaStem, has the potential to change the landscape of treatment in those adult liver diseases with a high unmet medical need and poor prognosis such as Acute on Chronic Liver Failure (ACLF),” said Dr Jürgen Beck, VP Clinical and Medical Affairs. “As a result, I look forward to contributing to Promethera extending its clinical development beyond the diseases of inborn errors of liver metabolism. This could directly affect the improval of survival and improve the quality of life for patients with a range of conditions who currently have no or no satisfactory alternative treatment options.”

“This is a critical time for Promethera to develop manufacturing and industrialization processes. As the stem cell therapy industry is still developing, there are few manufacturing templates in existence for the sector. By uniquely targeting liver diseases, Promethera has to develop its own manufacturing rule book to enable long term continued supply of therapeutic cells at the highest quality standards in large amounts,” said Patrick Stragier, VP Operations. “It is an honour for me to be part of an innovative company whose mission is to improve the therapeutics efficacy and the quality of human life using advanced therapeutic medicinal products.”

Jürgen Beck has acquired more than 20 years of experience in medical affairs and clinical research in companies such as Boehringer Ingelheim, Synthélabo, Epigenomics and InterMune. He also spent 5 years in clinical neurology and psychiatry. Jürgen obtained a medical doctor degree from Heidelberg University and an MBA degree from Hagen University.

Patrick Stragier is a biochemist with more than 25 years of international operational and managerial experience. He has worked for biopharmaceutical companies such as Solvay, DSM-Biologics, Genzyme and Lonza. Since 2009, Patrick has been working as a consultant specializing in cell therapy. He is also the co-founder of MaSTherCell.