A biopharma executive with significant experience in commercialisation of treatments for rare diseases joining Freeline after senior roles at leading global rare disease companies including Alnylam and Shire
London, 4 February, 2020 – Freeline, a biotechnology company committed to developing curative gene therapies for chronic systemic rare diseases, today announced the appointment of Theresa Heggie, an accomplished commercial leader in the biopharmaceutical industry with extensive global experience of rare diseases, as its Chief Executive and member of the Board of Directors.
“Freeline now has multiple programs in the clinic and with its lead program progressing well towards its goal of delivering FIX activity to Haemophilia B patients in the normal range, now is the right time to transition to a commercially experienced CEO,” said Chris Hollowood, Chairman of Freeline. “We are thrilled with the appointment of Theresa. She is an accomplished rare disease leader having been CEO of Jerini and latterly grown Alnylam’s Europe, Middle East & Africa and Canada (CEMEA) operations from approximately 20 to more than 200 employees. She has broad experience in rare diseases, a deep understanding of medicines for genetic diseases and direct experience in some of the indications Freeline is pursuing. I look forward to working with her to build Freeline into a leading global systemic gene therapy company.”
“I am delighted to be joining Freeline,” said Theresa Heggie. “I was attracted by the potential of the platform to provide functionally curative medicines for patients with rare genetic diseases, as well as their families, and I am excited by Freeline’s ambition to build an independent, global biotech company with end to end capability from research and manufacturing through to commercialization. I look forward to working with the Freeline team, in partnership with treating physicians and patient organisations, to advance the pipeline, starting with establishing optimal dose in the lead program and progressing it to a pivotal trial.”
Theresa will take up her position at Freeline in June 2020 and will be based at the Company’s headquarters north of London.
Theresa joins Freeline from Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, where she serves as SVP, Head of CEMEA. Alnylam is a leading biotechnology company focused on the translation of RNAi as a new class of innovative medicines, with a core focus on RNAi therapeutics toward genetically defined targets for the treatment of serious, life-threatening diseases. She also serves on the Boards of BioCryst Pharmaceuticals and ProQR Therapeutics. She previously served as Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer for Bupa, and SVP, Global Commercial Operations for Shire Human Genetic Therapies where she was also CEO of Jerini after its acquisition by Shire. Prior to joining Shire, she had a variety of positions at Baxter and Janssen.
Theresa received her Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University.
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Freeline is a privately-held clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on AAV based gene therapy targeting the liver. Our vision is to create better lives for people suffering from chronic systemic diseases using the potential of gene therapy as a one-time curative treatment. Freeline is headquartered in the UK and has operations in Germany and the US.