CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--eGenesis, a biotechnology company focused on transforming xenotransplantation into a lifesaving medical procedure, announced the appointment of Jodie Morrison to the position of chief executive officer and president.
“We are thrilled to welcome Jodie to our team at eGenesis,” said Luhan Yang, Ph.D., co-founder and chief scientific officer at eGenesis. “This is an exciting time for eGenesis as we just reached a critical advancement of our technology that was published in the journal Science, demonstrating the inactivation of porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV) in pigs to prevent cross-species viral transmission. Jodie’s extensive leadership and industry experience will be critical as we continue to strengthen our pre-clinical and clinical efforts, and progress to our next stage of development.”
Ms. Morrison brings over 20 years of strategic and operational experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Most recently she led Tokai Pharmaceuticals as president and chief executive officer. Ms. Morrison previously served as Tokai’s chief operating officer and head of clinical affairs. Before that, Ms. Morrison was the director of clinical operations and medical affairs at Dyax Corporation where she built and led the early clinical and medical operation teams for Kalbitor® in hereditary angioedema. Prior to joining Dyax, she held a clinical management position at Curis, Inc. Jodie began her career in biotech holding positions in both preclinical and clinical development at Diacrin, Inc., a first generation xenotransplantation company. Ms. Morrison currently serves on the board of directors of Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., Aileron Therapuetics and Novus Therapeutics.
“I am excited to be joining the eGenesis team to be part of a company that is leveraging groundbreaking gene editing technology to provide next generation xenotransplantion opportunities,” said Ms. Morrison. “My early experience with xenotransplantation provided me an opportunity to see its potential first hand. With eGenesis, I’m looking forward to bringing forward the next generation of this technology and working together to have a significant impact on the lives of patients in dire need.”
Ms. Morrison received a B.A. in neuroscience from Mount Holyoke College, her clinical research certification from the Boston University School of Medicine and business training through the Greater Boston Executive Program at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
“We are very pleased to welcome an accomplished industry leader like Jodie to the eGenesis team,” said Daniel Lynch, executive chairman at eGenesis. “Throughout her career, she has demonstrated a commitment to making a difference for patients and we believe she will be a terrific steward for the team working tirelessly to deliver cells, tissue and organs to the many thousands of those in need worldwide.”
Currently in the United States, there is a tremendous unmet demand for transplant organs with more than 118,000 people in need of a lifesaving organ transplant. Of those, more than 75,000 people are active waiting list candidates. The concept of cross-species transplantation, known as xenotransplantation, is the transfer of living cells, tissues or organs from one species to another. Due to the shortage of human organs, xenotransplantation emerged as an alternative potential option and its clinical potential is being explored with new technologies such as CRISPR Cas-9. Xenotransplantation is not new – the first serious attempts (then called heterotransplantation) first appeared in the scientific literature in 1905 and it has been explored with limited success over the last century.
About CRISPR Gene Editing Technology
CRISPR is a genome-editing tool that can selectively delete, modify or correct a disease causing abnormality in a specific DNA segment. CRISPR refers to Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats occurring in the genome of certain bacteria. CRISPR technology uses a protein-RNA complex composed of either the protein Cas-9 or Cpf1, each of which binds to a guide RNA (gRNA) molecule that has been designed to recognize a particular DNA sequence.
eGenesis is a biotechnology company focused on leveraging the advancements of gene editing technologies to deliver safe and effective human transplantable cells, tissues and organs to the hundreds of thousands of patients worldwide who are in dire need.