Longtime industry executive Peter Anastasiou appointed Chief Executive Officer
Capsida co-founders Nicholas Flytzanis, Ph.D., promoted to Chief Scientific Officer and Nick Goeden, Ph.D., promoted to Chief Technology Officer
Company’s proprietary technology allows for targeted non-invasive gene therapy for the brain and body, while limiting collateral impact on non-targeted areas
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., December 7, 2021 – Capsida Biotherapeutics Inc., an industry-leading gene therapy platform company creating a new class of targeted, non-invasive gene therapies for patients with debilitating and life-threatening genetic disorders, today announced the appointment of Peter Anastasiou as the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the promotions of Capsida co-founders Nicholas Flytzanis, Ph.D., to Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) and Nick Goeden, Ph.D., to Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
Gene therapy is still in its infancy and has yet to achieve its full potential. First-generation gene therapies have been challenged by safety issues due to their inability to target cells and organs without also penetrating non-targeted cells and organs, especially the liver. Capsida’s proprietary, targeted, non-invasive gene therapy technology allows more selective targeting of specific tissues and cells, overcoming many of the problems associated with first-generation gene therapies, specifically off-target cell and organ activity. In addition, it allows the gene therapy to be delivered non-invasively through intravenous (IV) administration. The company’s already strong leadership team is poised to actualize the promise of gene therapy with the addition of Mr. Anastasiou and the promotions of Drs. Flytzanis and Goeden.
“I can’t imagine a more exciting time to join this organization,” said Mr. Anastasiou. “Capsida is enabling gene therapy to become what the industry, physicians, and patients have been dreaming it will be. Our patent-protected technology allows the targeting of cells and organs while limiting the negative impact on non-targeted areas, and can be applied across multiple therapeutic areas. Another important benefit of our technology is that we are able to deliver the gene therapy non-invasively through IV administration. I’m honored to lead this talented team to achieve Capsida’s potential and to improve and even save patients’ lives.”
Mr. Anastasiou joins Capsida from Lundbeck, where he was an executive vice president and a member of the executive committee, reporting to the CEO. As the president of Lundbeck’s U.S. and Canadian business operations, Mr. Anastasiou has built organizations from the ground up. He brings significant leadership experience managing diverse organizations and bringing them together to achieve common goals. He led as many as 1,200 employees and achieved net revenues of $1.5 billion. During his 12-year tenure at Lundbeck, Mr. Anastasiou held several progressive leadership positions, playing a pivotal role in developing and launching multiple products and building the company’s cross-functional capabilities. Mr. Anastasiou serves on the Board of PhRMA and the global advisory board for the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association. Mr. Anastasiou begins his new role with Capsida on January 3.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Peter as Capsida’s new CEO,” said Beth Seidenberg, M.D., founding managing director at Westlake Village BioPartners, one of the company’s lead investors, and Capsida board member. “Peter has deep industry expertise, a broad network, and significant public company experience, which will be valuable as Capsida grows. In addition, his strong track record of success demonstrates he is a visionary leader who will be able to deliver on the promise of targeted non-invasive gene therapy to help underserved patients and achieve business success.”
“During his tenure at Lundbeck, Peter has created significant shareholder value, creating and leading organizations and successful blockbuster product launches,” said Clare Ozawa, Ph.D., managing director at Versant Ventures, one of Capsida’s lead investors, and Capsida board member. “Under Peter’s leadership, we will continue to build Capsida as the industry’s leading targeted, non-invasive gene therapy company with the ability to transform the lives of patients with life-threatening genetic disorders.”
Prior to Lundbeck, Mr. Anastasiou held management roles at Neuronetics, Inc., Bristol-Meyers Squibb Company, and Eli Lilly and Company. He holds an MBA from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, and a B.A. in economics and management from Albion College.
Capsida co-founders Nicholas Flytzanis, Ph.D., promoted to CSO and Nick Goeden, Ph.D., promoted to CTO
In addition to Mr. Anastasiou’s appointment, Capsida announced that Dr. Flytzanis has been promoted to CSO and Dr. Goeden has been promoted to CTO.
“The promotions of Drs. Flytzanis and Goeden are in recognition of the significant contributions they have made since co-founding Capsida in 2019,” said Mr. Anastasiou. “Their steadfast commitment to delivering on the promise of Capsida’s differentiated, non-invasive gene therapy platform has been a key driver behind many of the company’s early achievements.”
“Drs. Flytzanis’ and Goeden’s strong scientific and technical expertise and know-how have already delivered results in the startup of Capsida based on Caltech’s basic research on targeted non-invasive gene delivery to the brain,” said Capsida co-founder Viviana Gradinaru, Ph.D. “Their promotions are timely as Capsida enters the phase of delivering from the lab and for the patients.”
Prior to co-founding Capsida, Dr. Flytzanis served as scientific director of the CLOVER research center at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), leading an interdisciplinary team to develop and disseminate emerging technologies focused on the cross-section of neurological research and gene therapy. His research spans the fields of tissue clearing and imaging, optogenetics and rodent behavior, and adeno-associated virus (AAV) engineering and gene therapy, with collaborations across multiple institutions. During his Ph.D., Dr. Flytzanis applied protein engineering and directed evolution across biological modalities, with a focus on developing AAVs as therapeutic tools for neurological disease.
Dr. Flytzanis holds a Ph.D. in biology from Caltech and a B.S. in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Prior to co-founding Capsida, Dr. Goeden led a team developing the novel adeno-associated virus (AAV) engineering technology underlying Capsida’s biologically driven gene therapy platform. During his tenure as a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Gradinaru’s lab at Caltech, he developed high-throughput methods for screening combinatorial libraries to explore the AAV fitness landscape and engineered novel AAVs with high efficiency and specificity for the rodent and primate brain. During his Ph.D., Dr. Goeden developed a novel organ bioreactor to study real-time metabolomics in diseased states, exploring the relationship between gene expression and the pathophysiology of neurodevelopmental disorders.
Dr. Goeden holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from The University of Southern California and a B.S. in biology from Caltech.
About Capsida Biotherapeutics
Capsida Biotherapeutics Inc. is an industry-leading gene therapy platform company creating a new class of targeted, non-invasive gene therapies for patients with debilitating and life-threatening genetic disorders. Capsida’s technology allows for the targeted penetration of cells and organs, while limiting collateral impact on non-targeted cells and organs, especially the liver. This technology allows for the delivery of the gene therapy in a non-invasive way through intravenous administration. Capsida’s technology is protected by a growing intellectual property portfolio which includes more than 30 patent applications and one issued U.S. patent 11,149,256. The company is exploring using the technology across a broad range of life-threatening genetic disorders. Its initial pipeline consists of multiple neurologic disease programs. The company has strategic collaborations with AbbVie and CRISPR, which provide independent validation of Capsida’s technology and capabilities. Capsida is a multi-functional and fully integrated biotechnology company with proprietary adeno-associated virus (AAV) engineering, multi-modality cargo development and optimization, translational biology, process development and state-of-the-art manufacturing, and broad clinical development experience. Capsida’s biologically driven, high-throughput AAV engineering and cargo optimization platform originated from groundbreaking research in the laboratory of Viviana Gradinaru, Ph.D., a neuroscience professor at the California Institute of Technology. Visit us at www.capsida.com to learn more.
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