Leiden, The Netherlands, 7th June 2023 – Amarna Therapeutics, a privately-held biotechnology company developing transformative gene therapies in a range of rare and prevalent diseases, including Hemophilia B, today announces the appointment of Dr Henk Streefkerk as the Company’s new Chief Executive Officer and Medical Director. He succeeds Steen Klysner, who served as CEO for the past three years. Streefkerk already was Amarna’s Medical Director since mid-2022.
Dr Streefkerk has a distinguished career as CMO of several biotechs, including PIQUR Therapeutics, Cellprotera and Rivia, and brings over a decade of experience working in big pharma including Novartis, Actelion and Organon. As clinical pharmacologist/safety leader he led the global product safety team, overseeing safety analyses, regulatory submissions, and post-marketing safety surveillance for a heart failure drug. He also significantly contributed to the approval of an anti-cancer drug. He started his medical career in otorhinolaryngology and holds both MD and PhD qualifications.
“We are very pleased to introduce Henk Streefkerk as our new CEO. As a Physician Scientist he brings to Amarna a broad and extensive experience in clinical development, health authority negotiations, and other regulatory interactions. Henk will be instrumental in leading Amarna towards the first in human clinical trial,” said Thomas Eldered, Chairman of Amarna’s supervisory board.
“I’m thrilled to be joining Amarna as CEO. The company’s team has been working very hard to generate solid translational data. I look forward to work with them on this next phase of bringing Amarna’s personalized gene therapy product to hemophilia B patients and proving the potential of repeat dosing,” said Henk Streefkerk.
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Amarna Therapeutics is a privately held biotech company developing multiple-dose gene therapies to treat patients with genetic and idiopathic diseases, focusing first on hemophilia B. The company’s SVec gene delivery vector platform derived from the macaque polyomavirus SV40 is by design non-immunogenic and tolerogenic in humans inducing long-term transgene expression in patients with the possibility of repeated administration. The SVec platform could be applied in many different genetic and idiopathic diseases, including hemophilia A and B, cystic fibrosis, type 1 diabetes mellitus, multiple sclerosis and many others.
About Hemophilia B
The company’s lead project is on hemophilia B, an orphan recessive X-linked congenital bleeding disease, caused by mutations in the F9 gene encoding bleeding factor IX (FIX). This deficiency results in impaired hemostasis, prolonged bleeding and rebleeding. Based on the FIX levels in the blood patients are characterized as severe, moderate or mild hemophiliacs. Amarna’s SVec vector encoding human FIX moving towards its first-in-human clinical trial will restore the FIX levels in the blood of treated patients and through repeat dosing could meet many unmet patient needs.
More information on www.amarnatherapeutics.com
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For further inquiries please contact:
Henk Streefkerk, CEO
LifeSpring Life Sciences Communication, Amsterdam
Tel: +31 6 538 16 427