Tengion said Monday that Diane Jorkasky, M.D., has joined its board, while Brenda Gavin, D.V.M., is stepping down. Jorkasky recently joined Endo Pharmaceuticals as a SVP, Clinical Development and Chief Medical Officer. Gavin is a managing partner at Quaker BioVentures, which was an early VC investor in Tengion. East Norriton, Pa.-based Tengion is a clincal-stage biotech that develops neo-organs and neo-tissues from a patient’s own cells.
Tengion, Inc. (Nasdaq: TNGN) today announced that it has appointed Diane Jorkasky, M.D., who recently joined Endo Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ENDP) as Senior Vice President, Clinical Development and Chief Medical Officer, to its Board of Directors.
Tengion also announced today that Brenda Gavin, D.V.M., Managing Partner at Quaker BioVentures, is stepping down from the Tengion Board of Directors after five years of service. Quaker BioVentures was an early private venture capital investor in Tengion.
“We are pleased to welcome Diane to the Board and look forward to tapping into her extensive clinical development experience as we move our product candidates forward,” said David Scheer, Chairman of the Tengion Board of Directors. “We would also like to give our warmest thanks to Brenda for her invaluable counsel and support of Tengion.”
Dr. Jorkasky is the enterprise-wide CMO of Endo Pharmaceuticals and a member of the senior R&D management team. Her responsibilities include chairing Endo’s Safety Review Board, managing external partnerships and strategy development in the medical area, and ensuring the safety and ethical conduct of the company’s clinical trials. Prior to joining Endo in 2011, she was Chief Development and Medical Officer at Aileron Therapeutics and previously held a variety of vice president level positions over nearly a decade with Pfizer Global R&D where she led global clinical research science and operational groups.
Dr. Jorkasky began her career at SmithKline Beecham, where she served as Vice President of Clinical Pharmacology for North America. She received her B.A. in Chemistry at the College of Wooster and her M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and she is board-certified in nephrology, internal medicine and clinical pharmacology.
“I am excited to join the Tengion Board of Directors at this critical juncture for the Company,” said Dr. Jorkasky. “There is enormous potential in regenerative medicine and in Tengion’s platform and I look forward to the opportunity to work with this seasoned group of scientists and entrepreneurs to help realize that promise.”
Tengion, a clinical-stage biotechnology company, has pioneered the Organ Regeneration Platform™ that enables the Company to create proprietary product candidates that are intended to harness the intrinsic regenerative pathways of the body to produce a range of native-like organs and tissues. Tengion’s product candidates seek to eliminate the need to utilize other tissues of the body for a purpose to which they are poorly suited, procure donor organs or administer anti-rejection medications. An initial clinical trial is ongoing for the Company’s lead product candidate, the Neo-Urinary Conduit, an autologous implant that is intended to catalyze regeneration of native-like bladder tissue for bladder cancer patients requiring a urinary diversion following bladder removal. The Company’s lead preclinical candidate is the Neo-Kidney Augment, which is designed to delay or prevent the need for dialysis or transplantation in patients at risk for kidney failure. Tengion has also applied its technology in two Phase II clinical trials for Tengion’s Neo-Bladder Augment for the treatment of neurogenic bladder. Tengion has worldwide rights to its product candidates.