Seasoned biotech executive is former Founder, COO and CSO of Momenta Pharmaceuticals
SCHLIEREN, Switzerland and BOSTON, May 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- GlycoEra AG announced today the appointment of Ganesh V. Kaundinya, Ph.D. as President and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Kaundinya has been a member of the GlycoEra AG Board of Directors since the company's inception in 2020, helping the team define corporate strategy and raise Series A capital of more than $49 million (CHF 45 million). Based on his deep industry expertise, Dr. Kaundinya will lead GlycoEra's efforts to build a high-value pipeline of novel therapeutics using its proprietary glycoengineering platform, known as CustomGlycan. Under his leadership, the company will broaden its footprint by establishing a presence in Boston and continuing to grow its team in Zurich.
"I have been very impressed with the GlycoEra team's accomplishments and am delighted to join them to build the next stage of the company," said Dr. Kaundinya. "Glycans and glycan binding proteins play a critical role in human biology, including mediating cell-cell interactions, trafficking biomolecules for enhanced exposure or for degradation, and as receptors or co-receptors regulating immune cell biology. Our glycoengineering platform enables custom design and development of biologics that leverage these natural glycan receptors and pathways, with broad potential therapeutic applications across autoimmune diseases, oncology, neurology, allergy and infectious diseases."
Dr. Kaundinya brings extensive management, business development and scientific leadership experience to GlycoEra. Previously, he was Founder, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Scientific Officer of Momenta Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by Johnson & Johnson for $6.5 billion in 2020. Under his guidance, Momenta developed a portfolio of complex generics, biosimilars and novel biologic products that included carbohydrates, complex peptides, glycoproteins, antibodies and Fc fusion proteins, for therapeutic indications in cardiovascular, autoimmune diseases and oncology. Dr. Kaundinya led the teams that discovered and developed multiple products at Momenta for launch in collaboration with Sandoz Pharmaceuticals (Novartis), and forged high-value alliances with Sandoz, Baxter/Baxalta (now Shire), Mylan and CSL.
"We are delighted with the appointment of Dr. Kaundinya to the role of President and CEO because he brings critical experience in biopharmaceutical company building and operation to GlycoEra just as the company establishes itself in Boston and continues to grow its research team in Zurich," said Graziano Seghezzi, Managing Partner at Sofinnova Partners and a member of GlycoEra's Board of Directors.
"We are very excited about the potential of the CustomGlycan platform to enable understanding of glycan roles in biology and develop therapeutic products," said Monique Schiersing, Senior Investment Director at Roche Venture Fund and a member of GlycoEra's Board of Directors. "Dr. Kaundinya brings the perfect combination of business and scientific leadership to guide GlycoEra through the process of building the right team to translate this powerful glycoengineering platform into a high-value pipeline of product candidates."
Prior to founding Momenta, Dr. Kaundinya was Director, Bioinformatics Consortium for Glycomics, at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and was part of the research faculty at MIT, where he led a team of researchers, along with Dr. Robert Langer, to study and invent novel sequencing technology for complex sugars.
Dr. Kaundinya joins a leadership team comprised of seasoned biotechnology executives, including Amir Faridmoayer, Ph.D., Chief Technology Officer, and Dominique Sirena, Ph.D., Chief Manufacturing Officer. He succeeds Veronica Gambillara Fonck, Ph.D., a GlycoEra co-founder who served as CEO since the company's inception.
GlycoEra is backed by an international investor syndicate of renowned US and European life science investors including 5AM Ventures, Sofinnova Partners, and Roche Venture Fund, which co-led a $49 million (CHF 45 million) Series A financing round in October 2021.
About GlycoEra AG
GlycoEra AG is a biotechnology company building a high-value pipeline of medicines based on deep expertise in glycobiology. GlycoEra's innovative CustomGlycan platform unlocks the power of glycan-mediated biology to enable the design, engineering and development of novel biologics for a broad range of indications. GlycoEra is advancing a range of assets towards human clinical studies. The company raised more than $49 million (CHF 45 million) in a 2021 Series A financing round co-led by 5AM Ventures, Sofinnova Partners, and Roche Venture fund. GlycoEra is based in Schlieren, Switzerland and Boston, Mass., USA. For further information, please visit www.glycoera.com.
SOURCE GlycoEra AG