Intergalactic Therapeutics Appoints Theresa G.H. Heah, M.D., M.B.A., as Chief Executive Officer
BOSTON, Jan. 6, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Intergalactic Therapeutics, a company focused on transforming medicine through non-viral gene therapy, announced today the appointment of Theresa G.H. Heah, M.D., M.B.A., as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Dr. Heah brings extensive experience in deal making, research, development, and commercialization of gene therapy and ophthalmic products on a global scale and will lead Intergalactic as it enters its next phase of growth, with an initial focus on ophthalmology.
Dr. Heah succeeds Michael Ehlers, M.D., Ph.D., as CEO of Intergalactic. Dr. Ehlers, who is Chief Scientific Officer of Apple Tree Partners (ATP) and a Venture Partner at the firm, was the founding CEO of Intergalactic Therapeutics and led its incubation. Dr. Ehlers will become Chair of Intergalactic's Board of Directors.
"Intergalactic was formed to overcome the limitations of viral-based gene therapy and develop a best-in-class non-viral alternative. Theresa's deep experience with gene therapies in ophthalmology across the full value chain of development and commercialization make her uniquely qualified to lead Intergalactic at this important stage in the company's growth," said Dr. Ehlers. "We're thrilled to welcome Theresa, and I look forward to working with her to advance Intergalactic's proprietary platform and deliver groundbreaking treatments to patients."
"Non-viral gene therapy is an exciting area that holds immense untapped potential," said Dr. Heah. "The transformational approach being advanced by Intergalactic has the promise to expand the gene therapy universe and bring meaningful change to patients in need. I'm honored to be joining this exceptional company and am looking forward to sharing new data soon that demonstrate the promise of Intergalactic's unique platform to address major unmet needs for patients with ophthalmological disorders and beyond."
Dr. Heah is an accomplished executive who brings over two decades of drug development and commercial experience, focused primarily in gene therapy and ophthalmology. She most recently served as President and Chief Medical Officer at Kriya Therapeutics, where she launched the ophthalmology division, Kriya Ophthalmology, and was responsible for building its AAV gene therapy portfolio strategy and supporting the company's Series C financing. Prior to joining Kriya, Dr. Heah served as Executive Vice President of Operations and Chief Medical Officer at AsclepiX Therapeutics, where she led the company's Series A financing and advancement of its pipeline products into the clinic. Dr. Heah also previously served as Chief Medical Officer at Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation (AGTC), working to develop gene therapies in ophthalmology and rare diseases. In addition, she has held several leadership positions with increasing responsibility in early-stage private companies (Fovea Pharmaceuticals) and publicly traded companies (Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Allergan, Bayer Healthcare, Sanofi). Dr. Heah earned her M.D. from Guy's, King's and St. Thomas' School of Medicine, King's College, University of London, and her Executive Master's in Business Administration from the European School of Management & Technology (ESMT), Berlin.
As Board Chair, Dr. Ehlers brings his deep scientific and business expertise to Intergalactic Therapeutics. Before joining ATP, Dr. Ehlers was head of R&D at Biogen and, prior to that, headed Neuroscience and Rare Disease R&D at Pfizer. At ATP, he has led investments in ATP portfolio companies including Ascidian Therapeutics, Aulos Bioscience, Intergalactic Therapeutics, and Replicate Bioscience. Dr. Ehlers earned a B.S. degree from the California Institute of Technology and holds M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
A current list of the Intergalactic's leadership team and Board of Directors can be viewed at https://intergalactictx.com/about/#leadership.
Intergalactic Therapeutics, an ATP company, is transforming medicine through non-viral gene therapy. Its proprietary integrated platform comprises three core pillars: versatile C3DNA technology (covalently closed and circular DNA); groundbreaking customized approaches to local therapeutic delivery using COMET pulsed electric field system; and a rapid, scalable, and cost-effective manufacturing process to make gene therapy safer and more accessible. With a diversified portfolio of potential new treatments for eye diseases and beyond, Intergalactic is dedicated to helping patients around the world by bringing non-viral gene therapies into reality. For more information, visit www.intergalactictx.com.
Founded in 1999, ATP is a leader in life sciences venture capital, with $2.65 billion in committed capital and offices in New York, London, San Francisco, and Cambridge, MA. ATP creates companies starting at various stages, from pre-IP ideas to asset spinouts, investing in them from seed stage through IPO and beyond. The core of ATP's strategy is providing flexible capital and access to a world-class team of venture partners and EIRs, to build sustainable, research-driven enterprises that deliver therapeutics to improve human lives. For more information, visit www.appletreepartners.com.