Spark Therapeutics, a late-stage company developing gene-based medicines for a wide range of debilitating diseases, has appointed Elliott Sigal, M.D., Ph.D., former director, executive vice president and chief scientific officer of Bristol-Myers Squibb, to its board of directors. Elliott led Bristol-Myers Squibb during its ascent as a biopharmaceutical leader and built one of the industry's most productive R&D organizations through his forward-thinking approach to innovation.
"We are excited and honored that Sigal—who is among the most respected leaders within the biopharmaceutical industry—will join us in our mission to develop one-time, curative therapies to treat debilitating diseases," said Jeffrey D. Marrazzo, co-founder, president and CEO. “Sigal’s achievements in fostering R&D productivity will help us more quickly advance our pipeline of gene-based medicines through the clinic and, ultimately, to patients in need."
While at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Elliott is credited with bringing more than 14 new medicines to market to treat diseases such as cancer, mental illness, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular and metabolic disease, and simultaneously reducing the company's R&D expenses to less than half of its competitors. He has more than 25 years of combined experience in medicine, research and management, as well as vast genetic and personalized medicine expertise. Previously, Elliott held positions at Syntex as a vice president of research and as CEO at genomics firm Mercator Genetics, where his team discovered the gene for hemochromatosis, a common disorder that leads to iron overload, diabetes and liver disease. He currently is a venture partner and senior advisor for New Enterprise Associates and is a consultant to biotechnology companies. In addition, he is on the board of directors for Mead Johnson Nutrition and the Melanoma Research Alliance.