About Us

Proven Science. Breakthrough Medicines.

Syntimmune is leveraging a deep understanding of FcRn biology to develop transformative therapies for patients with autoimmune diseases. The company has advanced rapidly into the clinic with its lead investigational candidate, a monoclonal antibody that rapidly inhibits pathogenic IgG and has potential as a pipeline-in-a-product in dermatology, rheumatology, hematology, neurology and nephrology.

OUR HISTORY

Founded in 2013, Syntimmune was built on more than 25 years of groundbreaking research on FcRn biology by Dr. Richard Blumberg at Harvard Medical School.

FcRn is a highly potent immuno-stimulatory receptor expressed in many cells and tissues that plays a complex and crucial role in the pathology of numerous autoimmune diseases. FcRn’s role in modulating IgG half-life and activating innate and adaptive immunity make it a compelling and well-validated target for autoimmune therapy.

Syntimmune’s vision is to bring transformative benefits to patients by leading development of a new class of FcRn-based therapeutics.

Syntimmune’s leadership team has extensive experience in development, manufacturing and commercialization of antibody therapeutics.

Jean-Paul Kress, M.D.

President and CEO

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Jean-Paul Kress, M.D.

President and CEO

JP

Dr. Jean-Paul Kress was appointed president, chief executive officer and a member of the Syntimmune Board of Directors in January 2018. He has 25 years of experience in senior leadership roles in biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms.

Prior to joining Syntimmune, Dr. Kress served as executive vice president and president, international and head of global therapeutic operations at Biogen Inc., overseeing the company’s rare and specialty disease teams. Previously, Dr. Kress was senior vice president, head of North America at Sanofi Genzyme, where he was instrumental in launching several therapeutic products, including Dupixent®, the first biologic agent approved in atopic dermatitis. Prior to this, he was president and chief executive officer of Sanofi Pasteur MSD, a vaccines joint venture of Sanofi and Merck & Co. Dr. Kress also held leadership roles at Gilead, serving as vice president, U.S. sales and marketing, and vice president, general manager for France. He began his industry career with Eli Lilly in France and held commercial and business development roles in the U.S. and Europe at Abbott (now AbbVie).

Dr. Kress received an M.D. from Faculté Necker-Enfants Malades in Paris and graduate and post-graduate degrees in pharmacology and immunology from École Normale Supérieure in Paris.

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Mario Saltarelli, M.D., Ph.D.

EVP, Chief Medical Officer

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Mario Saltarelli, M.D., Ph.D.

EVP, Chief Medical Officer

Mario

Mario Saltarelli, M.D., Ph.D., is a veteran biopharma executive with deep experience in the full range of pharmaceutical research and development activities, including translational sciences, clinical development, clinical pharmacology and medical affairs.

Before joining Syntimmune, he served as senior vice president, early development and neurology at Vertex. In that role, he managed research and development projects across multiple therapeutic areas and served as a core member of Vertex’s R&D Committee. His work at Vertex included designing, executing and advancing a multi-asset pain program and supporting the NDA/MAA preparation and filing of Symdeko (tezacaftor/ivacaftor), leading to FDA approval. Prior to Vertex, Dr. Saltarelli served as chief medical officer of Annexon Biosciences and as senior vice president and chief science officer at Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Saltarelli has also held leadership roles at Shire, Abbott (AbbVie) and Pfizer.

Dr. Saltarelli earned both an M.D. and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He completed neurology residency training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

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John McBride

Chief Financial Officer

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John McBride

Chief Financial Officer

John

Mr. John McBride is an accomplished financial executive with 30+ years of extensive experience in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry.

Prior to joining Syntimmune, Mr. McBride founded and served as president of Alliance Life Science Advisors, Inc. Prior to that, he was executive vice president and chief operating officer of Gloucester Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He has also served as global head of oncology licensing at Pharmacia Corporation; executive vice president, business operations and chief financial officer at CytoTherapeutics, Inc.; vice president, business development and treasurer at Phytera, Inc.; vice president, commercial development at Sparta Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; and vice president, business development at U.S. Bioscience, Inc.

Mr. McBride holds a B.S. in biochemistry and an M.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

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Syntimmune’s directors have held prominent roles at both early- and late-stage biotechs, including some of the industry’s most successful companies.

Seth Harrison, M.D.

Chairman of the Board

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Seth Harrison, M.D.

Chairman of the Board

Dr. Seth Harrison is the founder and managing partner of Apple Tree Partners, a New York-based venture capital firm. He has invested in life sciences since 1991. He is currently chairman of ATP companies Braeburn Pharmaceuticals, Elstar Therapeutics, Limelight Bio, Stoke Therapeutics and Syntimmune, and is a director of Corvidia Therapeutics. Dr. Harrison’s prior investments include Aileron Therapeutics, ArQule, Coelacanth, Cyrano Sciences, Gloucester Pharmaceuticals, HeartWare International, Informed Access, SGX Pharmaceuticals, Tokai Pharmaceuticals, Ultracision and ViroPharma. From 2002 to 2010, he also served on the board of the International Partnership for Microbicides. Prior to founding ATP in 1999, Dr. Harrison was a general partner at Oak Investment Partners, and before that he was a venture partner at Sevin Rosen Funds.

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Jean-Paul Kress, M.D.

President and CEO

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Jean-Paul Kress, M.D.

President and CEO

Dr. Jean-Paul Kress was appointed president, chief executive officer and a member of the Syntimmune Board of Directors in January 2018. He has 25 years of experience in senior leadership roles in biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms.

Prior to joining Syntimmune, Dr. Kress served as executive vice president and president, international and head of global therapeutic operations at Biogen Inc., overseeing the company’s rare and specialty disease teams. Previously, Dr. Kress was senior vice president, head of North America at Sanofi Genzyme, where he was instrumental in launching several therapeutic products, including Dupixent®, the first biologic agent approved in atopic dermatitis. Prior to this, he was president and chief executive officer of Sanofi Pasteur MSD, a vaccines joint venture of Sanofi and Merck & Co. Dr. Kress also held leadership roles at Gilead, serving as vice president, U.S. sales and marketing, and vice president, general manager for France. He began his industry career with Eli Lilly in France and held commercial and business development roles in the U.S. and Europe at Abbott (now AbbVie).

Dr. Kress received an M.D. from Faculté Necker-Enfants Malades in Paris and graduate and post-graduate degrees in pharmacology and immunology from École Normale Supérieure in Paris.

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Burt Adelman, M.D.

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Burt Adelman, M.D.

For more than 20 years, Dr. Burt Adelman has played prominent roles at some of the Boston area’s most successful biopharmaceutical companies. Most recently, Dr. Adelman served as executive vice president of research and development for Dyax (acquired by Shire for $6.5 billion in 2015). Previously, he held a number of executive leadership roles at Biogen, including executive vice president of research and development and executive vice president for portfolio strategy, leading development efforts for Angiomax (anticoagulation), Avonex (multiple scleroris), Amevive (psoriasis) and Tysabri (multiple sclerosis). He serves on the board of directors of Catabasis Pharmaceuticals.

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Richard Blumberg, M.D.

Scientific Founder

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Richard Blumberg, M.D.

Scientific Founder

Dr. Richard S. Blumberg is senior physician and division chief of gastroenterology, hepatology and endoscopy at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston. He also serves as professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, co-director of the Harvard Digestive Diseases Center and chair of the Brigham Research Institute. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1989, with a focus on mucosal immunology. Dr. Richard Blumberg was scientific founder and director of Syntonix Pharmaceuticals, which developed the FDA-approved drugs Eloctate® and Alprolix® for the treatment of hemophilia. He received his M.D. from Jefferson Medical College.

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Laurence Blumberg, M.D., MBA

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Laurence Blumberg, M.D., MBA

Dr. Laurence Blumberg is a veteran biopharmaceutical entrepreneur, operating executive and analyst. He co-founded Syntimmune with Richard Blumberg, M.D., in 2013, and served as chief executive officer of the firm through 2015 and subsequently oversaw development and operating activities as COO/president through February 2018 and clinical proof-of-concept. Prior to Syntimmune, he was senior vice president, project management at Kadmon, leading new product development activities. Before joining Kadmon, he was co-founder and member of the board of Syntonix Pharmaceuticals (sold to Biogen in 2007). Earlier, he was VP, equity research at Alliance Capital covering biotech and medical devices, and co-founder of Cambridge Heart, a medical diagnostics firm. Dr. Laurence Blumberg received his M.D. from Temple University School of Medicine and his MBA from Columbia Business School.

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Andrew Cheng, M.D., Ph.D.

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Andrew Cheng, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Andrew Cheng is the chief medical officer and an executive vice president at Gilead Sciences (GILD). He has a 20-year track record of accomplishments, including leading the formulation of Phase 1-4 clinical development plans as well as the filing and approval of U.S. and European regulatory submissions for 11 approved products. Dr. Cheng’s past roles at Gilead include leading the company’s HIV clinical research program and running development operations, which covered clinical research support in multiple therapeutic areas including oncology, inflammatory, respiratory and cardiovascular indications as well as HIV and liver diseases.

Dr. Cheng holds an M.D. and a Ph.D. in cellular and molecular biology from Columbia University.

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Sam Hall, Ph.D.

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Sam Hall, Ph.D.

Dr. Sam Hall is a principal at Apple Tree Partners, a New York-based venture capital firm. Dr. Hall has experience in life sciences across roles as a scientist, private equity investor and investment banker. Prior to joining ATP in 2013, he was a researcher at the University of Cambridge in the UK, where his work focused on novel therapeutic strategies for autoimmune diseases. Previously, Dr. Hall was a member of the investment team at Symphony Capital, a private equity firm dedicated to investments in biopharmaceuticals. Prior to Symphony, he served as a member of the healthcare investment banking team at Citigroup, where he advised leading biotechnology, medical device and healthcare services businesses on numerous completed strategic, debt and equity financings. Dr. Hall earned his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge.

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Aaron Kantoff

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Aaron Kantoff

Aaron Kantoff is a principal at Apple Tree Partners, a New York-based venture capital firm that is Syntimmune’s lead investor. He brings deep early and late-stage biotech experience to Syntimmune, as well as a background in financial analysis and restructuring. Prior to joining ATP in 2011, Mr. Kantoff was a partner at Recess Global LLC, an investment company he founded to focus on startup funding. Prior to Recess Global, Mr. Kantoff was a member of the investment banking team at Rothschild Inc., in the restructuring group.

In addition to his role with ATP, Mr. Kantoff has also served as executive director of business development at Braeburn Pharmaceuticals, a commercial-stage company delivering individualized medicine for the treatment of central nervous system disorders. He also currently serves as a board director of Elstar Therapeutics, Corvidia Therapeutics and Limelight Bio, and is a board observer at Stoke Therapeutics.

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Syntimmune’s founders and advisors are among the world’s most influential contributors to the field of FcRn biology.

Richard Blumberg, M.D.

Chairman
Harvard Medical School

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Richard Blumberg, M.D.

Chairman
Harvard Medical School

Dr. Richard S. Blumberg is senior physician and division chief of gastroenterology, hepatology and endoscopy at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston. He also serves as professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, co-director of the Harvard Digestive Diseases Center and chair of the Brigham Research Institute. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1989, with a focus on mucosal immunology. Dr. Richard Blumberg was scientific founder and director of Syntonix Pharmaceuticals, which developed the FDA-approved drugs Eloctate and Alprolix for the treatment of hemophilia. He received his M.D. from Jefferson Medical College.

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Wayne Lencer, M.D.

Harvard Medical School

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Wayne Lencer, M.D.

Harvard Medical School

Dr. Wayne Lencer, is professor and Longwood Chair in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, director of the Harvard Digestive Diseases Center and division chief of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition at Children’s Hospital Boston. His laboratory studies the cell and molecular biology of vesicular transport in polarized epithelial cells and regulation of ion transport in the intestine. These projects relate to how intestinal epithelial cells interact with the luminal and sub-epithelial microenvironment in bacterial pathogenesis and mucosal host defense, and how they internalize and transport macromolecules into and across the epithelial barrier. Dr. Lencer’s work in each of these areas has led to over 15 patent awards. He also co-founded Syntonix Pharmaceuticals, which developed the FDA-approved drugs Eloctate and Alprolix for the treatment of hemophilia.

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Inger Sandlie, Ph.D.

University of Oslo

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Inger Sandlie, Ph.D.

University of Oslo

Dr. Inger Sandlie is professor at the department of biosciences at the University of Oslo and a research group leader at the department of immunology at Oslo University Hospital. She is also deputy director of the Centre for Immune Regulation, which aims to identify and investigate novel mechanisms of immune dysregulation that contribute to autoimmune and allergic disease and to advance the development of therapeutics. Her research group studies the structure and function of albumin as well as antibodies and T-cell receptors and engineers these molecules for use as therapeutics and research tools. She has co-authored more than 100 publications since 1990 and has received awards for scientific innovation. Dr. Sandlie is inventor on numerous patents and is co-founder of two biotechnology companies, Vaccibody and Nextera.

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Derry Roopenian, Ph.D.

The Jackson Laboratory

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Derry Roopenian, Ph.D.

The Jackson Laboratory

Dr. Derry Roopenian is professor at The Jackson Laboratory and professor of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. His earliest studies into the genetics and biology of histocompatibility antigens provided the molecular definitions and a conceptual framework for what is now referred to as the immunogenomics of transplantation. More recently, his extensive and continuing contributions toward understanding the biology of the so-called neonatal Fc receptor, or FcRn, and its therapeutic applications are among the most influential in the field. His current studies also delve into the genetic causes, pathogenesis and treatments of autoimmune disorders, including systemic lupus erythematosus. Dr. Roopenian received his Ph.D. in pathobiology from the University of Minnesota, after which he conducted his postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School.

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Alan Bitonti, Ph.D.

Senior Advisor

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Alan Bitonti, Ph.D.

Senior Advisor

Dr. Alan Bitonti, most recently served as the vice president of research at the Syntonix subsidiary of Biogen Idec. He earlier held senior research roles at Syntonix and was responsible for the discovery and preclinical development of two clotting factors that have been approved for the treatment of hemophilia A and B. Prior to 1999, Dr. Bitonti held positions of increasing management responsibility in discovery research at Hoechst Marion Roussel (1995-1998, oncology research), Marion Merrell Dow (1990-1995, cancer biology) and Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals (1981-1990, parasite biology). He received a Ph.D. in pharmacology from Ohio State University and trained as a staff fellow in the Laboratory of Cellular Metabolism of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health

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INVESTORS

Syntimmune has received $78 million in capital commitments from leading life science investors, led by Apple Tree Partners. Other investors include Partners Innovation Fund, FMB Research and AFB Fund.

Apple Tree Partners
  • Partners Healthcare Innovation
  • FMB Research
  • AFB Fund