Ensoma Appoints Cell and Gene Therapy Pioneer Emile Nuwaysir, Ph.D., as Chief Executive Officer
BOSTON, October 11, 2021 – Ensoma, a gene therapy company advancing the future of medicine through precision in vivo engineering of blood and immune cells, today announced the appointment of Emile Nuwaysir, Ph.D., as president, chief executive officer and member of the company’s board of directors. In conjunction with the CEO appointment, Paula Soteropoulos, executive chairman of Ensoma, will transition to the role of chairman of the board, and Kush M. Parmar, M.D., Ph.D., managing partner of 5AM ventures, will continue to serve as a member of the board.
“Since launching Ensoma earlier this year, we have assembled a talented and diverse group of academic, scientific and clinical experts, initiated a strategic partnership with Takeda and have made significant progress on our platform and initial programs. Now, we are thrilled to welcome Emile to lead the team as we advance our platform and expand our strategic focus across multiple therapeutic areas ranging from rare genetic diseases to complex diseases of the immune system, such as oncology and autoimmunity disorders,” said Ms. Soteropoulos. “With more than 20 years of industry experience, a deep understanding of the gene and cell therapy landscape and as an entrepreneur with a track record for building successful life science companies from the ground up, Emile will be a tremendous asset to Ensoma as we seek to fully realize the power and promise of our platform to precisely edit and modify a patient’s own specific cells with a one-time in vivo curative medicine. We look forward to beginning our next chapter under Emile’s leadership.”
Dr. Nuwaysir is currently the chairman of the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, an international advocacy organization comprised of 400+ member companies dedicated to advancing cell and gene medicines. He joins Ensoma from BlueRock Therapeutics, an independently operated subsidiary of Bayer Pharmaceuticals, where he was CEO and continues to serve as chairman of the company’s board of directors. As the CEO of BlueRock from inception, he helped build a platform company at the intersection of cellular and genetic medicine, develop a pipeline of first-in-class therapeutic programs, and managed the company’s acquisition and operation with Bayer. Prior to BlueRock, Dr. Nuwaysir served as president and chief operating officer of Cellular Dynamics International (CDI), A Fujifilm Company. He played a leading role in growing CDI and its stem cell therapy efforts from its inception, including its early efforts as a pre-revenue startup, to its successful IPO on Nasdaq and ultimate acquisition by Fujifilm. He was also president of Opsis Therapeutics Inc., CDI’s retinal cell therapy subsidiary. Before CDI, Dr. Nuwaysir was the first employee of NimbleGen Systems, serving as a member of the senior management team that built a successful company and orchestrated a dual-track IPO process leading to the company’s acquisition by Roche Diagnostics. After the acquisition of NimbleGen, Dr. Nuwaysir served as chief technical officer of the Roche NimbleGen subsidiary. Dr. Nuwaysir is also currently vice chairman of Invenra Inc., a multi-specifics antibody platform company he co-founded in 2011. He has held postdoctoral fellowships at the National Institutes of Health and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He holds a B.A. from the University of Delaware and a Ph.D. in molecular toxicology with a focus on oncology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“I am simply thrilled to join Ensoma. The company is poised to deliver on the full promise of genetic medicine, with the ability to precisely engineer the cells of the hematopoietic system through a single, simple, in vivo process,” said Dr. Nuwaysir. “The elegance of the platform, combined with its unprecedented payload capacity, will enable applications of genetic medicine that are simply undreamed of today. We will create an entire new class of smart immune cells with the power to provide cures for hundreds of genetic diseases, as well as complex diseases like cancer and autoimmunity. I look forward to joining the team and to the possibility of a brighter future for patients in need. I want to thank Paula and Kush for their vision and important commitment in launching the company and look forward to working with them in their continuing board roles.”
Ensoma believes the future of medicine lies within us. Our Engenious™ gene therapy platform is the first to precisely engineer any or all hematopoietic and immune cells with a one-time, off-the-shelf in vivo treatment. Engenious therapies have an unmatched capacity to deliver all modern genetic modification tools and set a new standard for versatile cell programming and control across a range of complex diseases. Ensoma is supported by top-tier investors, a strategic collaboration with Takeda and a passionate team committed to a bold, global vision for gene therapy. Ensoma is based in Boston. For more information, visit ensoma.com.
Katie Engleman, 1AB