Life Sciences Insight

Passage Bio hires CMO, CFO replacements after May departures, adds chief commercial officer

Two months ago, Passage Bio struggled to retain two of its key executives: Chief Medical Officer Gary Romano, M.D., Ph.D., and Chief Financial Officer Richard Morris. 

This week, the gene therapy startup said it was filling the interim gaps, and the central nervous system-focused biotech hired a chief commercial officer to help round out its C-suite. 

Notably, new CMO Mark Forman, M.D., Ph.D., is joining from the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, where he led drug discovery and development efforts. Forman also held stints leading translational medicine for Acadia and translational research for neuroscience at Merck. 

Forman will report to Chief Research & Development Officer Eliseo Salinas, M.D., who held the interim CMO role following Romano’s exit. Romano and Passage Bio “mutually agreed” in May to his departure, which took immediate effect. Meanwhile, former CFO Morris resigned on May 30 for other opportunities and his exit was “not the result of any disagreement” relating to Passage Bio’s operations, financial statement, auditors, etc., the company said at the time. 

Morris is being replaced by Simona King, effective August 23. King was previously executive vice president and CFO of Tmunity Therapeutics. 

The Philadelphia-based gene therapy startup also said it hired Maria Törnsén as chief commercial officer, effective this week. Törnsén was previously senior vice president and U.S. general manager for Sarepta Therapeutics.

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