Clinical development leader will help advance Capsida’s breakthrough AAV gene therapies into the clinic

Company also names noted neuroscientist Rita Balice-Gordon, Ph.D., to board of directors

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., May 12, 2021 – Capsida Biotherapeutics Inc., a biotechnology company creating a new class of targeted gene therapies using its next-generation adeno-associated virus (AAV) engineering and cargo development platform, today announced the appointment of Swati Tole, M.D., as the Company’s first chief medical officer. Dr. Tole brings extensive drug development experience including senior-level leadership positions in the biotech industry across a wide spectrum of disease areas in adults and children including rheumatology, gastroenterology, hepatology, and infectious diseases.

“It is with great pleasure that we welcome Swati to our team,” said Robert Cuddihy, M.D., chief executive officer of Capsida. “She has an impressive and highly relevant track record in biologics and small molecule drug development which complements the existing team. Her deep clinical, scientific, and strategic expertise will be instrumental as we execute on our strategy of using our high-throughput AAV engineering platform to create a pipeline of groundbreaking gene therapies across a range of therapeutic areas for indications that are unreachable with current technologies, with initial focus on the central nervous system.”

Dr. Tole comes to Capsida from Genentech where she spent 13 years in roles of increasing responsibility, most recently as vice president of clinical development. In this position, Dr. Tole oversaw and advised teams working on several molecules across the gastroenterology and hepatology spaces. She earned her medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and an M.S. in health services research from Stanford University. Dr. Tole completed her residency in internal medicine and chief residency at UCSF, and her fellowship in health economics and outcomes research at Stanford University.

Dr. Tole said, “I’m thrilled to join Capsida and to be a part of the growth of such a transformative company. Capsida’s AAV platform, with its differentiated capsids and cargos, has the potential to solve many of the challenges in the field today. I look forward to helping bring these next-generation therapies to patients who so desperately need new options.”

Capsida also announced that it has named Rita Balice-Gordon, Ph.D., a noted neuroscience researcher and industry leader to its board of directors.

“We are excited to welcome Rita to our Board at this important time for Capsida. She is a recognized leader in neuroscience with a successful track record of discovering and developing innovative therapeutic programs through late-stage to treat pain, neurologic, psychiatric, and rare diseases. Rita’s expertise will be critical as we advance our clinical program,” added Dr. Cuddihy.

Dr. Balice-Gordon, Ph.D., has served as the chief scientific officer of Muna Therapeutics, a newly formed biotech company focused on developing novel therapeutics for patients with neurodegenerative diseases, since May 2020, and is an entrepreneur-in-residence at Novo Seeds since August 2020. Previously, she served in scientific roles of increasing responsibility at Sanofi, Inc., most recently as global head of rare and neurological diseases. Prior to joining Sanofi, she led the psychiatry and pain drug discovery portfolios as vice president in the neuroscience and pain research unit at Pfizer, Inc. Earlier in her career, Dr. Balice-Gordon was professor of neuroscience and chair of the neuroscience graduate group at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, where she currently holds an appointment as adjunct professor in the department of neuroscience.

Dr. Balice-Gordon has authored more than 100 scientific papers, received numerous accolades for her work in the field of neuroscience, and has chaired or served on many National Institutes of Health (NIH), national and international committees. She earned a Ph.D. in neurobiology from the University of Texas at Austin.

About Capsida Biotherapeutics

Capsida Biotherapeutics Inc. is developing tissue-targeted gene therapies using its biologically driven, high-throughput adeno-associated virus (AAV) engineering and proprietary cargo development platform. As a fully integrated gene therapy company, Capsida is combining its differentiated AAV engineering and screening capabilities with cargo development and state-of-the-art manufacturing to establish a proprietary pipeline of groundbreaking gene therapies across a range of therapeutic areas for indications that are unreachable with current technologies. The company’s leadership is backed by decades of successful biologics manufacturing experience and deep AAV biology expertise. Visit us at to learn more.

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