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PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 23, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Passage Bio, a genetic medicines company developing AAV-delivered gene therapies for the treatment of rare monogenic central nervous system diseases, today announced the appointments of Gary Romano, M.D., Ph.D, as chief medical officer and Edgar (Chip) Cale, J.D., as general counsel.
“Gary and Chip bring deep industry knowledge and drug development expertise that will be pivotal to Passage’s success as we move our lead programs into the clinic over the coming year,” said Dr. Stephen Squinto, co-founder and interim chief executive officer at Passage Bio. “I am confident that their expertise will aptly serve our mission to support patients suffering from rare monogenic CNS diseases, and I look forward to continuing to expand our team of esteemed leaders to support our rapid organizational growth.”
Dr. Gary Romano joins Passage Bio from Janssen R&D, where he was the head of clinical development for neurodegenerative disease and the deputy leader of the neurodegenerative disease therapeutic area. Before joining Janssen, he held positions at Merck Research Laboratories in the departments of clinical neuroscience and experimental medicine. Dr. Romano is the author of numerous textbook chapters and refereed articles in leading neuroscience and neurology journals and holds an adjunct clinical faculty position in the department of neurology at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. He has served as a member of the executive committee for the Innovative Medicines Initiative - European Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease clinical trial platform and as the industry co-chair of the Critical Path Institute/FDA sponsored Coalition Against Major Diseases. Dr. Romano is also a board member of the Philadelphia-based ALS Hope Foundation and Alpine Home Care, which provides support services to patients with neurodegenerative disease. He received his Ph.D from The Rockefeller University where his thesis focused on regulation of CNS gene expression, his M.D. from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and completed his post-graduate training in neurology and neuromuscular disease at the University of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Edgar (Chip) Cale joins Passage Bio with nearly 30 years of biotech and pharmaceutical legal experience. Chip joins from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), where he most recently served as senior vice president of legal corporate functions, heading up the multinational legal team that supported GSK's global business development activities and general corporate matters. During his 21 years at GSK, he led the legal support for GSK's most strategic transactions for the last 10 years, served as the general counsel of GSK’s vaccines unit and held a variety of roles supporting pharmaceutical R&D. Prior to GSK, Chip was a corporate and securities lawyer supporting emerging growth companies in the life science and technology industries at Venture Law Group and Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison. Chip received his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and his B.A. in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania.
About Passage Bio
Passage Bio is a privately-held fully integrated genetic medicines company with a mission to develop a portfolio of life-transforming AAV-delivered therapeutics for the treatment of rare monogenic central nervous system diseases. The company is based in Philadelphia, PA and has a research, collaboration and license agreement with the University of Pennsylvania and its Gene Therapy Program (GTP), as well as the Orphan Disease Center at Penn. The GTP conducts the IND-enabling preclinical work and Passage Bio conducts all clinical development, regulatory strategy and commercialization activities. The company has a development portfolio of six product candidates, with the option to license six more, with lead programs in GM1 gangliosidosis, frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and Krabbe disease, all of which are planned to be in the clinic in 2020. Since launching the company, Passage Bio has raised $225.5 million with investments from OrbiMed, Versant Ventures, Frazier Healthcare Partners, Access Biotechnology, Lily Asia Ventures, New Leaf Venture Partners, Vivo Capital, and Boxer Capital of Tavistock Group, among others.
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