We’re here to change patients’ lives.

Also, here to change genetic medicine as we know it today.

At iECURE, we believe permanently correcting devastating, “loss of function” diseases is now possible. This is why we are pursuing mutation-agnostic in vivo gene insertion approaches to knock healthy genes into patients’ chromosomes, allowing the expression of a missing gene which may eliminate symptoms and extend life.

Our Story

We were founded to advance the life’s work of James M. Wilson, M.D., Ph.D., Rose H. Weiss professor and director, Orphan Disease Center; professor in Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine; and director of the Gene Therapy Program (GTP) at the University of Pennsylvania.

More than 35 years ago, Dr. Wilson was studying ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC) deficiency: a urea cycle disorder and inborn error of metabolism that often presents in newborns, causes toxic ammonia buildup and leads to death in early childhood. Dr. Wilson hypothesized that if science had a way to permanently supply a healthy copy of the gene that codes for OTC, the disorder could be cured, yet technical challenges historically stymied this vision.

Until now.

New gene editing technologies hold the promise of first making a cut in genomic DNA, and then inserting a healthy copy of the disease-causing gene into the chromosome. While this approach is applicable in a broad range of tissues, our team is starting with an initial focus on liver disorders.

iECURE has established a foundational collaboration with the GTP and their 300+ experts in vector engineering, discovery, early-stage development gene therapy and gene editing manufacturing. This expertise is the backbone of our early R&D, and we are poised to assume responsibility from the GTP and advance this vision of mutation-agnostic in vivo gene insertion into the clinic and beyond.

The iECURE Team

Our team is comprised of seasoned experts in biotechnology, gene therapy and liver disorders who have extensive experience in building successful companies.

Joseph Truitt, MBA

Joseph Truitt currently serves as the CEO and Board member of iECURE Inc. Mr. Truitt previously was CEO of BioSpecifics Technologies Corp., which was recently acquired by Endo Pharmaceuticals. Prior to BioSpecifics, Mr. Truitt was CEO of Achillion Pharmaceuticals, which he joined in 2009 and held positions of increasing responsibility throughout his tenure. Mr. Truitt is Chairman of the board at Larimar Therapeutics and serves on the board of Code BioTherapeutics. Mr. Truitt served as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps. He holds an MBA from Saint Joseph’s University and a BS from LaSalle University.

Paul Firuta, MBA

Paul Firuta has nearly 30 years of commercial and operational experience in the biopharma industry, most recently serving as COO of Achillion. Prior, he held the role of chief commercial officer at uniQure, as well as other senior commercial leadership positions at NPS Pharmaceuticals and ViroPharma. Mr. Firuta holds an MBA from St. Joseph’s University and a BS from King’s College, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

Alex Monteith, MBA

Alex Monteith, iECURE chief business officer, has over two decades of experience in the biopharmaceutical space. His most recent position was at BioSpecifics Technologies, where he served as CBO with Mr. Truitt. Prior to BioSpecifics, he was VP of business development for Deerfield Management. He has also served as VP of business development for Achillion. Mr. Monteith holds an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University and a BS from James Madison University.

David Garrett, MBA

David Garrett joins iECURE from Dynacure, where he served as chief financial officer and managed a successful Series C raise of €58 million and led its IPO process. Previously, he held various roles at Nabriva Therapeutics, including vice president, corporate controller and head of investor relations and senior director, business planning and analysis. At Nabriva, Mr. Garrett led all Wall Street-facing activities, completed over $150 million in equity capital raises and oversaw all SEC reporting and compliance functions. He was also responsible for leading Nabriva’s redomicile from Austria to Ireland. Prior to Nabriva, Mr. Garrett held senior-level finance roles at Covis Pharmaceuticals, Auxilium Pharmaceuticals and ViroPharma and was a manager at KPMG. Mr. Garrett received an MBA and B.S. in accountancy from Villanova University and is a certified public accountant in Pennsylvania.

George Diaz, M.D., Ph.D.

George Diaz, M.D., Ph.D., currently serves as VP, Therapeutic Area Lead for Urea Cycle Disorders (UCDs) at iECURE. Dr. Diaz joins the company with more than 25 years of experience in genetics and pediatrics, particularly in metabolic diseases and monogenic disorders. Most recently, he served as chief of the division of Medical Genetics and professor in the Departments of Genetics & Genomic Sciences and Pediatrics at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. Over his remarkable career at Mount Sinai, Dr. Diaz has collaborated extensively with industry partners to bring novel therapeutics to patients with UCDs and other rare genetic disorders. In addition to his roles at Mount Sinai, he has served as director of the Program for Inherited Metabolic Diseases, a nationally recognized specialty center for the evaluation and care of patients with inborn errors of metabolism. Dr. Diaz earned his B.A. in biology from Cornell University and his M.D. and Ph.D. from State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn.

James M. Wilson, M.D., Ph.D.

James M. Wilson serves as chief scientific advisor to iECURE. He is director of the Gene Therapy Program, Rose H. Weiss professor and director, Orphan Disease Center, professor of Medicine and Pediatrics in the Department of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Wilson has made seminal contributions to the technology of gene transfer and has paved the way for translation of these technologies into the clinic. He has published over 600 papers and is named on more than 200 patents worldwide. He is the founder and president of a 501(c)3 called Health Through Fitness in Orphan Diseases. He earned his M.D. and Ph.D. at the University of Michigan and a BA in chemistry from Albion College.

Michael Mitchell, Ph.D.

Michael Mitchell, Ph.D., is the Skirkanich Assistant Professor of Innovation in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science. Dr. Mitchell’s laboratory is a world leader in the discovery and development of biomaterials for overcoming biological barriers to drug delivery, with a particular focus on the development of next-generation LNPs for the delivery of mRNA, siRNA, and gene editing therapeutics. The laboratory has collaborated for multiple years with Penn’s Gene Therapy Program (GTP), which is directed by James M. Wilson, M.D., Ph.D. Prior to joining Penn in 2018, Dr. Mitchell was a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Robert S. Langer, Sc.D., of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Joseph Truitt, MBA

Joseph Truitt currently serves as the CEO and Board member of iECURE Inc. Mr. Truitt previously was CEO of BioSpecifics Technologies Corp., which was recently acquired by Endo Pharmaceuticals. Prior to BioSpecifics, Mr. Truitt was CEO of Achillion Pharmaceuticals, which he joined in 2009 and held positions of increasing responsibility throughout his tenure. Mr. Truitt is Chairman of the board at Larimar Therapeutics and serves on the board of Code BioTherapeutics. Mr. Truitt served as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps. He holds an MBA from Saint Joseph’s University and a BS from LaSalle University.

Tom Woiwode, PhD

Tom Woiwode is a managing director at Versant Ventures and has been working there since 2002. He has led multiple investments, including in Crispr Therapeutics, Passage Bio, Audentes Therapeutics, Annapurna Therapeutics, Gritstone Bio, Crinetics Pharmaceuticals, Jecure Therapeutics, Therachon, Anokion, Vividion Therapeutics, Tempest Therapeutics, Aligos Therapeutics and CODA Biotherapeutics. Before joining Versant, he served as a medicinal chemist at XenoPort. He earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from Stanford University and a BS in chemistry from University of California, Berkeley.

Stephen Squinto, PhD

Stephen Squinto is an executive partner with OrbiMed advisors who brings over 25 years of biotechnology industry experience. Dr. Squinto was a co-founder of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and served as its executive vice president and chief global operations officer. Prior to 2013, he was Alexion’s global head of research and development. From 1988 to 1992, Dr. Squinto held various positions at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Prior to Regeneron, he held a joint academic position at both the Tulane University and LSU Medical Schools. He is a recipient of numerous honors and awards from academic and professional organizations for his scientific work. Dr. Squinto received his BA in chemistry and Ph.D. in biochemistry and biophysics from Loyola University of Chicago.

Brian Di Donato, MBA

Brian Di Donato has more than 20 years of financial and leadership experience and currently serves as chief financial officer and head of strategy at Immunocore, a late-stage biotechnology company pioneering the development of a novel class of T cell receptor bispecific immunotherapies. Prior to joining Immunocore, Mr. Di Donato served as senior vice president and chief financial officer at Achillion Pharmaceuticals and held leadership roles in several financial services companies, including Morgan Stanley and UBS Securities. Mr. Di Donato holds an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business and B.S. degrees in biology from Penn State University and mechanical engineering from Villanova University. Mr. Di Donato also served in the U.S. Navy as an aerospace engineering officer.

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