CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Tevard Biosciences, a privately-held biotechnology company pioneering tRNA-based gene therapies for rare and severe genetic diseases, today announced the appointment of Gopi Shanker, Ph.D., as Chief Scientific Officer and as a member of the company's executive leadership team. With more than 20 years of experience in industry and academic research, Dr. Shanker will be responsible for advancing Tevard's preclinical tRNA gene therapy programs into the clinic, for expanding the company's research into new therapeutic areas, and for directing the company's preclinical scientific programs and team.
Dr. Shanker joins Tevard from the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR), where he most recently served in the capacity of Head of Neuroscience with responsibility for strategic oversight of the entire neuroscience portfolio across psychiatric, neurodevelopmental and neurological disorders, and as a member of the neuroscience clinical development and commercial franchise leadership team. During his tenure at Novartis, Dr. Shanker advanced multiple therapeutic programs through late preclinical and clinical development, including the global regulatory approval of Aimovig®. Prior to this, he held leadership roles in drug discovery and early-stage clinical development at Novartis, where he was responsible for expanding Novartis' portfolio in psychiatry and developing a portfolio of gene therapy programs targeting neurodevelopmental disorders. Dr. Shanker was also instrumental in forming several key partnerships, including Novartis' recent acquisition of Cadent Therapeutics. Prior to joining Novartis, Dr. Shanker led multiple drug discovery programs at Amgen and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.
"Gopi brings deep expertise and an impressive track record in translating pioneering science into transformative new therapies," said Daniel E. Fischer, Co-founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Tevard Biosciences. "I'm thrilled to welcome Gopi to Tevard as we drive our innovative gene therapies into the clinic and expand our portfolio of new tRNA therapeutic programs for patients with rare and severe genetic disease."
"I look forward to working closely with Tevard's talented team and scientific advisors at such an exciting time in the development of the company's tRNA-based therapeutic programs. I share Tevard's passion and commitment to transforming the lives of patients with serious genetic disorders," said Dr. Shanker. "Tevard has developed truly innovative technology and I am excited to be part of advancing such impressive work in tRNA-based gene therapy into clinical development."
Dr. Shanker completed a Howard Hughes Medical Institute postdoctoral fellowship at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. He earned his Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore.
About Tevard Biosciences
Tevard Biosciences is a privately held biotechnology company pioneering tRNA-based gene therapies to cure rare and severe genetic diseases with limited treatment options. Tevard was founded by MIT Professor and Whitehead Institute Founding Member Harvey Lodish, Ph.D., with life science entrepreneurs and executives Daniel Fischer and Warren Lammert, fathers of children with Dravet syndrome. The company is developing and applying two novel tRNA-based gene therapy platforms with broad clinical applications, co-invented by Professor Lodish with Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Professor Jeff Coller, Ph.D. and University of Iowa Professor Chris Ahern, Ph.D., for Dravet syndrome and other rare diseases caused by haploinsufficiency and/or nonsense mutations that are not amenable to traditional gene therapy. For more information, please visit www.tevard.com.
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SOURCE Tevard Biosciences