TxCell SA has announced the appointment of Stéphane Boissel as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). In addition, Dr. Miguel Forte, previously SVP Clinical and Regulatory, is promoted to Chief Operating Officer. Stéphane Boissel succeeds Damian Marron, who has resigned from the company to pursue other interests.
One of the main initial tasks for Stéphane will be to continue to strengthen the visibility of TxCell within the investment community, specifically in the US and the EU, and to continue to develop TxCell through its pipeline of products and partnerships. Specifically, Stéphane will continue to develop the exclusive worldwide license option agreement signed by Ferring International Center (SA) (Ferring) and TxCell in December 2013 for development of TxCell’s lead product Ovasave® for the treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD), including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
The agreement was enhanced with an assignment by Ferring to Trizell Holding SA (Trizell) (see release of January 2, 2015). Both companies are affiliates of the Dr Frederik Paulsen Foundation. It was further recently expanded to bring forward the phase III development and commercialization of TxCell’s lead product Ovasave and funding from Trizell, (see release of April 23, 2015). Ferring remains the intended final commercializing party for Ovasave in IBD.
Dr. Miguel Forte will focus directly on the development of the TxCell product portfolio and the supply chain. Ovasave, TxCell’s lead product, is currently in a phase IIb clinical trial for refractory Crohn’s disease (CATS29 study - see release of Dec 4, 2014). Top line results of this study are expected at the end of 2016 / early 2017. Miguel will also continue to develop Col-Treg, its second product candidate from its ASTrIA platform. Col-Treg is set to start a phase I/II proof of principle clinical study in autoimmune uveitis mid-2015.
“TxCell is now entering a next stage of development as a public company with a strong and enhanced partnership with a pharmaceutical firm. As a result, I am delighted to welcome Stéphane Boissel as CEO. Stéphane brings a wealth of experience and a solid track record both in private and listed biotech companies. The appointment of Stephen, combined with Dr. Miguel Forte in his new extended role as COO, means TxCell is ideally placed to advance to the next stage of development,” said François Meyer, Executive Chairman of the TxCell Board. “TxCell will continue to accelerate the development of its growing product candidates emerging from ASTrIA, its unique, proprietary cellular therapy platform of personalized T-cell immunotherapies to treat chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.”
“TxCell has made great steps in turning its cutting edge science and technology into a viable and recognized business and financial model,” said Stéphane Boissel. “I look forward to using my experience in public immunotherapy companies to ensure that TxCell’s innovative approach will be brought to patients with serious conditions who have few or no therapeutic options.”
Stéphane Boissel is a highly capable executive with strong experience in both investment banking and the biotech immunotherapy space. Prior to joining TxCell, Stéphane was CEO of Genclis, a molecular diagnostic company. He was previously EVP and CFO of Transgene SA (2010 to 2014). Mr. Boissel has also worked at Innate Pharma SA, firstly as CFO and then as EVP and CFO (2002 to 2010).
During his tenure at both Transgene and Innate Pharma, he led several rounds of private and public placement totaling more than EUR 150 million. He has also negotiated several major business deals in the US, EU and Asia. In the early part of his career, Stéphane joined the investment banking group Lazard, where he mostly worked in principal investment in France, Singapore and Hong Kong (1994 to 2002). He studied management and finance at the University of Lyon, France, graduated at Paris-Dauphine and obtained his MBA from the Chicago Booth Graduate Business School, US.
In addition to his role as COO of TxCell, Miguel Forte is also Chair of the Commercialization Committee for the International Society of Cellular Therapy, and a Fellow of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine of the RCP (UK). Appointed to TxCell as CMO in 2010, Miguel brought 17 years of broad pharmaceutical industry experience from UCB, Nabi Pharmaceuticals, Bristol-Myers Squibb and the European Medicines Agency.
“Finally, I also would like to thank Damian Marron for his period as CEO of TxCell. This includes transitioning TxCell from a private to a publically traded company. We all wish him well in his future endeavors,” said François Meyer.
“It has been a great privilege to be the CEO for TxCell. This includes bringing the company through the IPO, the signing and expansion of the Ferring agreement and driving forward the financing and the clinical development of the TxCell product portfolio,” said Damian Marron. “I wish Stéphane Boissel and the TxCell team continued success in the future.”