Press Releases 07.30.2019
Codiak BioSciences Expands Executive Leadership Team To Advance Precision Exosome Therapeutics Pipeline
- Ajay Verma, M.D., Ph.D., joins as Senior Vice President, Head of Experimental Medicine and Neurology
- Benny Sorensen, M.D., Ph.D., promoted to Senior Vice President, Head of Clinical Development
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., July 30, 2019 — Codiak BioSciences, Inc., a company pioneering exosomes as a new class of biologic medicines, today announced that it has expanded its executive leadership team to support the continued advancement of its novel precision exosome therapeutics pipeline.
Ajay Verma, M.D., Ph.D., joins Codiak as Senior Vice President, Head of Experimental Medicine and Neurology. In this new role, Dr. Verma will work to expand Codiak’s engEx™ Platform into serious neurological disorders and to develop novel endpoints and assessment tools for the company’s therapeutic candidates. Benny Sorensen, M.D., Ph.D., has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Head of Clinical Development. In this role, he will lead clinical development activities for Codiak’s therapeutic candidates, starting with exoSTING™ and exoIL-12™, for which clinical trials are anticipated to begin in 2020. Both Drs. Verma and Sorensen will serve on the executive leadership team and report to Codiak’s president and CEO, Douglas E. Williams, Ph.D.
“The additions Ajay and Benny to Codiak’s executive leadership team reflect our continued momentum as we work to realize the full potential of our engEx Platform,” said Dr. Williams. “Ajay is a pioneer in innovative neurology drug development using cutting edge biomarkers, and he is an excellent fit for Codiak as we pursue additional areas where our platform can have significant patient impact. Benny has been instrumental in building our development strategy and guiding our lead programs toward the clinic. With their added expertise, I believe we are well positioned to thoughtfully grow our pipeline with targeted candidates, advance our programs through clinical development and bring meaningful exosome therapeutics to patients.”
Dr. Ajay Verma is a neurologist, neuroscientist and drug developer with a unique background spanning more than 25 years of research in biopharma, academia and government. He was most recently the Chief Medical Officer at United Neuroscience focusing on vaccines for neurological disorders. Prior to that, Dr. Verma was the Vice President of Neurology Drug Discovery and Development at Biogen, where he helped drive neurology therapeutic programs and novel imaging and biomarker strategies. Prior to Biogen, Dr. Verma held leadership positions at Merck & Co. and Novartis Pharmaceuticals and was a U.S. Army Lt. Colonel and Professor of Neurology at the U.S. military’s medical school, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He was also a staff neurologist at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Ajay received his M.D. and Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Benny Sorensen has more than 20 years of experience in clinical and translational research, and in his three-year tenure at Codiak, he has been a key member of the company’s R&D leadership team. Prior to Codiak, Dr. Sorensen was Senior Director of Clinical Research at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, leading preclinical, clinical, regulatory, medical affairs and commercial development strategies for hematology products. Before joining Alnylam, Dr. Sorensen was a Global Medical Director at Baxter Healthcare Corporation, advancing phase three pivotal development of Adynovate® and Vonvendi®. Prior to Baxter, he was the Director of the Haemostasis Research Unit and Honorary Lecturer at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospital & King’s College London School of Medicine. He holds an M.D. and Ph.D. from Aarthus University.
ABOUT CODIAK BIOSCIENCES
Codiak BioSciences is harnessing exosomes—natural intercellular messengers—to pioneer a new class of biologic medicines, exosome therapeutics. Utilizing our proprietary and versatile exosome engineering and manufacturing platform (engEx™ Platform), Codiak is developing exosomes with precisely engineered properties to engage pathways and deliver potent therapeutics to specific cell targets. We are building a broad pipeline of therapeutic candidates that may have a transformative impact on the treatment of many diseases, including in the areas of oncology, immune-based diseases, fibrotic disorders, neurological disorders and rare diseases. For more information, visit http://www.codiakbio.com.