Silence Therapeutics PLC (LON:SLN) (NASDAQ:SLN) has announced the appointment of Craig Tooman as the company’s chief financial officer (CFO) and member of the Executive Leadership Team, effective immediately.
The company, a leader in the discovery, development and delivery of novel short interfering ribonucleic acid (siRNA) therapeutics for the treatment of diseases with significant unmet medical need, noted that Tooman has a successful career in the biopharmaceutical industry spanning more than 30 years, including 15 years of experience as a public company CFO.
Most recently, he was CFO and COO at Vyome Therapeutics, and prior to this was CFO and then CEO of Aratana Therapeutics where he successfully negotiated a merger with Elanco. Before Aratana, Tooman was the CFO of Enzon Pharmaceuticals until its acquisition by Sigma Tau, and prior to that led the $1.1bln M&A initiative and integration of ILEX Oncology and Genzyme Corporation.
READ: Silence Therapeutics appoints Marie Wikstrom Lindholm to its executive team as senior vice president, Molecular Design
Tooman has also held key positions at Pharmacia and Upjohn and currently serves on the Supervisory Board and Audit Committee of CureVac, which accomplished a highly successful IPO on Nasdaq in August of 2020. He has a BA in Economics from Kalamazoo College and an MBA from the University of Chicago.
In a statement, Mark Rothera, president and CEO of Silence Therapeutics, commented: “Craig brings a deep understanding of financial strategy, U.S. capital markets and business development to Silence. We are delighted to have him join Silence’s Executive Leadership Team. His appointment comes at a time of significant opportunity and growth, highlighted by the advancement of our two wholly-owned product candidates into the clinic and three anticipated clinical data readouts this year. His business and financial expertise will be instrumental in helping us build our U.S. footprint and positioning Silence as a leading global RNAi business.”
Tooman added: ” Silence is a fast-growing company with ground-breaking technology that stands out in the RNAi space. It is exciting to join at this stage of the Company’s journey, following a number of recent successful partnerships and transformational deals. I look forward to working with the team to continue the momentum.”
New non-executive director too
In a separate statement, Silence Therapeutics also announced that Dr Michael H. Davidson has joined its board as a non-executive director.
The group noted that Dr Davidson is currently a Professor of Medicine and Director of the Lipid Clinic at the University of Chicago and serves as chief executive officer of New Amsterdam Pharma. During his more than 30-year career, Dr. Davidson has published more than 350 medical journal articles and authored three books on lipidology. His research background encompasses both pharmaceutical and nutritional clinical trials, including extensive research on statins, novel lipid-lowering drugs, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Dr Davidson founded the Chicago Center for Clinical Research, which became the largest investigator site in the United States and was acquired by Pharmaceutical Product Development in 1996. Additionally, he founded Omthera Pharmaceuticals in 2008, which was acquired by AstraZeneca in 2013 for $440M, and most recently, he was Founding CEO/CSO of Corvidia Therapeutics, which was acquired by Novo Nordisk for up to $2.1B in 2020.
Commenting on the appointment, Iain Ross, chairman of the board of Silence Therapeutics said: “Dr Davidson’s experience as both a researcher and clinician, published author and leading expert on lipidology make him a perfect addition to our Board as we continue to strengthen our proprietary pipeline, including our wholly-owned lead product candidate, SLN360, for cardiovascular disease. His unique perspectives that come from having conducted more than 1,000 clinical trials during his career will provide us with valuable insights as we look to rapidly advance our programs through clinical development.”
Davidson added: ” Silence has shown great promise with its competitive technology in RNAi, a space which has continued to grab the attention of large pharma. As a lipidology expert, I am impressed with the data obtained so far on SLN360 and I look forward to working with the rest of the Board and the Silence team as the company progresses SLN360 in the clinic this year and advances its GalNAc siRNA platform more broadly.”