NightstaRx Ltd (“Nightstar”), a biopharmaceutical company specialising in developing gene therapies for inherited retinal dystrophies, today announced that Senthil Sundaram has joined the company as Chief Financial Officer.
Adds finance and strategy expertise to strong ophthalmology-focused leadership team
Mr. Sundaram brings over 17 years of investment banking and strategic operations experience and will lead Nightstar’s corporate finance, corporate development and approach to broader strategic business relationships. In his new role, Mr. Sundaram will report directly to Nightstar’s Chief Executive Officer, David Fellows, from the company’s U.S. headquarters in Lexington, Mass.
"We are delighted to have Senthil join the Nightstar team," said David Fellows. "Senthil comes to us after the recent initiation of the clinical trial for our second gene therapy candidate for X-linked retinitis pigmentosa, which has generated significant interest from ophthalmologists and patients. His depth of experience and leadership will be invaluable as we continue to build Nightstar into the leading company maintaining and restoring sight in patients with inherited retinal dystrophies."
"Nightstar is a unique combination of strong science, world-class researchers and stellar management," said Mr. Sundaram. "I have family and friends who have been impacted by debilitating ophthalmic disorders. The opportunity to work at a company that has the potential to significantly alter the course of progressive blindness with a single treatment is highly attractive. I am excited to join this leading gene therapy company and help in the effort to make Nightstar's therapies a reality for patients."
Prior to joining Nightstar, Mr. Sundaram was the Vice President and Head of Business and Corporate Development at Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he was responsible for a wide range of activities including business development, strategy, financial analysis, investor relations and capital raising. While at Intercept, he was highly ranked on the Institutional Investor Magazine’s survey for the Biotechnology All-America Executive Team. Prior to joining Intercept, Mr. Sundaram spent 13 years in the healthcare investment banking groups at Lehman Brothers/Barclays, Citigroup and Lazard. His transaction experience includes mergers & acquisitions, initial public offerings and other equity and debt financings in the biopharmaceuticals sector with an aggregate transaction value in excess of $115 billion. Mr. Sundaram is a graduate of Brown University, where he obtained degrees in Computer Engineering and Economics.
Nightstar is a leading ophthalmology company focused on the development of gene therapies for inherited retinal dystrophies. Nightstar’s lead programme, AAV-REP1, is a retinal gene therapy for choroideremia, a rare, inherited cause of progressive blindness that affects around one in 50,000 people. The results from a successful Phase 1/2 trial of AAV-REP1 were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2016, and the programme is advancing toward a pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial in Europe, the U.S. and Canada. Nightstar’s second programme, AAV-RPGR, is being evaluated in the first Phase 1/2 gene therapy clinical trial to treat patients with X-Linked retinitis pigmentosa. In addition to these two programmes, Nightstar FINAL FOR DISTRIBUTION is evaluating several other ocular gene therapy product candidates for entry into clinical trials. The Company was founded in 2014 by leading ophthalmology researchers at the University of Oxford. Nightstar’s lead investors are Syncona Ltd, a publicly listed life sciences investment company originally founded as an evergreen venture capital subsidiary of the Wellcome trust, and NEA, a global venture capital firm focused on helping entrepreneurs build transformational businesses across multiple stages, sectors, and geographies. For more information about Nightstar or our clinical trials, please visit www.nightstarx.com.
Alicia Davis, THRUST IR