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.

Ray Camahort, Ph.D.

Ray Camahort, Ph.D., partner at Novo Ventures, has over 15 years of combined investment, business, and research experience, with expertise in biochemistry, genetics, and gene therapy/editing. Prior to joining Novo Ventures, Ray worked in business development at the Harvard University Office of Technology Development where his role was to facilitate commercialization of technologies developed in the chemistry and stem cell/regenerative biology departments. He completed a National Institute of Health post-doctoral training fellowship at Harvard University and was a doctoral fellow at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City, Missouri. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in biochemistry and molecular biology and a B.S. in biological sciences from the University of California Santa Barbara.

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.

Stephen Squinto, Ph.D.

Stephen Squinto, Ph.D. is chief investment officer & managing partner at J.P. Morgan Life Sciences Private Capital. Previously an executive partner with OrbiMed, he brings more than 30 years of experience in the biotechnology company building and investing space. He was a co-founder of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and served as its executive VP and chief global operations officer. Prior to 2013, he was Alexion’s global head of R&D. While at Alexion, he was responsible for the discovery, development and launch of several successful biotechnology products. From 1988 to 1992, he 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. Stephen is a recipient of numerous honors and awards from academic and professional organizations for his scientific work. He received his B.A. in chemistry and Ph.D. in biochemistry and biophysics from Loyola University of Chicago.

Tom Woiwode, Ph.D.

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 B.S. in chemistry from University of California, Berkeley.

Derek Yuan, Ph.D.

Derek Yuan, Ph.D. is a managing director at LYFE Capital and has been working there since the start of the investment team in 2018. He has been involved in multiple investments, including Pliant Therapeutics, Tempest Therapeutics, Cytek Biosciences, Immuneering, Kyverna, ImmuneOnco, and Aspen Neurosciences. Prior to LYFE Capital, Derek worked at Biotech Equity Research at Credit Suisse. He received his Ph.D. degree in chemical biology from the Rockefeller University and his B.S. in chemistry and biology from Tsinghua University.

Tal Zaks, M.D., Ph.D.

Tal Zaks, M.D., Ph.D., is a Partner with OrbiMed. Dr. Zaks was recently the Chief Medical Officer at Moderna, where he led the development of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine and other key programs. Previously, Dr. Zaks held senior leadership positions in drug development at major pharmaceutical companies, including Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline. Dr. Zaks received his M.D. and Ph.D. from the Ben Gurion University and conducted post-doctoral research at the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

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