SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Feb. 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Encoded Therapeutics, Inc. (Encoded), a precision gene therapy company, today announced the appointment of Salvador Rico, M.D., Ph.D., as chief medical officer and the promotion of Martin Moorhead, Ph.D., to chief technology officer. Dr. Rico joins Encoded from Audentes Therapeutics, where he led clinical development of the company's pipeline of gene therapies for neuromuscular disorders. In his three years at Encoded, Dr. Moorhead has guided the development of the company's technology platform for creating innovative AAV-based gene therapies. He previously led the development of clonoSEQ®, the FDA-approved next-generation sequencing assay for detecting minimal residual disease in lymphoid malignancies, at Adaptive Biotechnologies.
"Sal is an accomplished physician-scientist with deep experience advancing novel therapeutics through clinical development, and Martin is a strong leader who brings a genomics mindset to all aspects of gene therapy development," said Encoded co-founder and chief executive officer Kartik Ramamoorthi, Ph.D."With these appointments, we now have some of the most qualified gene therapy experts in the industry with a proven track record of delivering for patients in need. Their collective experience includes bringing multiple AAV-based gene therapies through clinical development, FDA filings, and approval. I am more confident than ever that our novel gene therapies can make a major impact on patients suffering from debilitating diseases, starting with Dravet Syndrome."
At Encoded, Dr. Rico will lead medical strategy and clinical development of ETX101, which is being developed for patients with SCN1A+ Dravet Syndrome. Dr. Moorhead will lead the technical team that enables Encoded's innovative research platform.
"I am delighted to join an organization that is so committed to transforming patients' lives with the development of next-generation gene therapies," said Dr. Rico. "I look forward to working closely with both the team at Encoded, and with the Dravet Syndrome community, to advance ETX101 through clinical development and ultimately, deliver it to patients in need."
"In building a technology platform that combines the power of genomics and computation with AAV-based gene therapy, Encoded is forging the path for the next generation of precision genetic medicines," said Dr. Moorhead. "I am very proud of what we have accomplished to date and am thrilled at the opportunity to help advance multiple programs for diseases where no treatment options currently exist."
New Leadership Team Appointments
Salvador Rico, M.D. Ph.D.: Dr. Rico brings over 15 years of clinical research experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining Encoded, he served as senior vice president of clinical development at Audentes Therapeutics, an innovator in neuromuscular gene therapies that was recently acquired by Astellas, Inc. While there, Dr. Rico led the clinical development of AT132, an AAV-based gene therapy for X-Linked Myotubular Myopathy, participated in the design, conduct, and analysis of Phase I-IV clinical trials in multiple therapeutic areas, and successfully contributed to the FDA approval of multiple drugs, biological products, and medical devices including the INTERCEPT Blood System®, Intermezzo®, Hibor®, Champix®, Prolia,® Kerydin®, and others. Prior to joining Audentes, he led the clinical development teams at Cerus Corporation and Transcept Pharmaceuticals and was an investigator at the Centre for Drug Research, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau in Barcelona, Spain. Dr. Rico earned his Doctor of Medicine and Surgery degree from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and holds an M.S. and a Ph.D. (Summa Cum Laude) in pharmacology from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. He did his postdoctoral training in clinical pharmacology and transfusion medicine at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and in pharmaceutical medicine at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona.
Martin Moorhead, Ph.D.: Dr. Moorhead is a seasoned biotechnology executive with expertise that spans biology, assay development, machine learning, algorithm and software development. Prior to joining Encoded, he served as senior vice president of research and development at Adaptive Biotechnologies, and before that, as vice president of computational biology and informatics at Sequenta, Inc. Earlier in his career, he held positions at Affymetrix, ParAllele Bioscience, Viaken, and Synomics. He earned his Ph.D. in elementary particle physics from the University of Oxford, holds an M.Sc. in computing from the Imperial College of London, and earned his B.Sc. in physics from the University of Manchester. He also completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Lawrence Berkeley National Library, where he developed machine learning algorithms for data analysis.
Encoded Therapeutics, Inc., is a biotechnology company developing precision gene therapies for a broad range of severe genetic disorders. Our mission is to realize the potential of genomics-driven precision medicine by overcoming key limitations of viral gene therapy. We focus on delivering life-changing advances that move away from disease management and towards lasting disease modification. We are advancing our lead asset, ETX101, for the treatment of SCN1A-positive Dravet Syndrome. For more information, please visit www.Encoded.com.