Senior leadership team strengthened as Purespring prepares kidney gene therapy programmes for clinical development.
Purespring Therapeutics, the pioneering gene therapy company focused on transforming the treatment of kidney diseases, has appointed Sachin Kelkar as Chief Financial Officer following the confirmation earlier this year of Julian Hanak as Chief Executive Officer. These two appointments strengthen Purespring’s senior leadership team as the Company advances its key gene therapy programmes targeting the kidney towards clinical development.
Sachin Kelkar has over 25 years’ experience as a finance and strategy executive, having spent that time at the intersection of finance, life sciences and technology in the San Francisco Bay Area. Previously, Sachin was Chief Financial Officer at biodesign startup, Geltor, where he built the finance and operations functions and raised significant venture financing. Prior to Geltor, Sachin held senior leadership positions in health and technology startup companies. Before going in-house, Sachin was a healthcare investment banker and co-founded a life sciences boutique banking firm offering capital markets advisory services to private and public life sciences companies. He holds a BA in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Julian Hanak has extensive expertise in gene therapy drug development and leadership across large pharma, start-ups and in the CDMO industry. He has worked in product development, business development, CMC, corporate development, and governance. Prior to joining Purespring, Julian served at Biogen as SVP Gene Therapy Product Development, following NightstaRx Therapeutics’ acquisition by Biogen, having previously been Nightstar’s Global Head of CMC supporting the company through multiple funding rounds and advancing the lead program into a pivotal trial. He was also a member of the Supervisory Board at Novasep Holdings through the acquisition of its group companies by ThermoFisher Scientific, PharmaZell and Sartorius. Julian served as Purespring’s Chief Development Officer before being appointed acting CEO in January 2023.
Julian and Sachin head a senior and growing team focused on advancing Purespring’s goal of revolutionising the treatment of kidney disease.
Chris Hollowood, Chief Executive Officer of Syncona Investment Management and Chairman of Purespring, said:
“Purespring has made significant progress in its mission to revolutionise the treatment of kidney diseases through gene therapy with strong preclinical data laying the foundation to advance its programmes to the clinic. We are very pleased with the build out of the leadership and wider team which is essential to ensure that momentum in execution is maintained. I have worked with Julian for nearly a decade at Nightstar and now at Purespring and am delighted that we have the benefit of his experience and leadership to drive the company. The addition of Sachin brings real strength to finance and corporate development and further support of the strategic leadership.”
Julian Hanak, Chief Executive Officer of Purespring, said:
“Purespring has a unique approach to the treatment of kidney disease, through our team’s unparalleled knowledge of the role of the podocyte in kidney health and our combined expertise in gene therapy. Over the past two years we have made significant progress in building the platform and advancing our lead programmes towards the clinic. We are now in a great place to apply our collective expertise to bringing our products to patients. I’m excited to be leading this company at such a pivotal time.”
Sachin Kelkar, Chief Financial Officer of Purespring, commented:
“Purespring’s revolutionary approach to treating kidney disease is incredibly exciting. I look forward to partnering with Julian and the rest of the team to deliver transformative treatments to patients suffering from kidney disease.”
For further information, contact:
Julian Hanak, CEO
+44 (0)20 3855 6324
Consilium Strategic Communications:
Amber Fennell, Jessica Hodgson,
Notes to Editors
Purespring is the first and leading company to treat kidney diseases by targeting the podocyte, a specialised cell implicated in many renal diseases, through AAV gene therapy administered directly to the kidney.
Purespring was founded on the work of Professor Moin Saleem, Professor of Paediatric Renal Medicine at the University of Bristol, where he heads a world leading multidisciplinary group researching glomerular diseases. Purespring seeks to advance gene therapies for the treatment of both monogenic and non-monogenic chronic renal diseases that are currently poorly addressed with existing treatments.
The company also has a proprietary in-vivo drug discovery functional selection platform, FunSel, a library of secreted biological factors combined with a screening method for the unbiased evaluation of drug candidates in disease models. FunSel allows Purespring to identify new gene therapy candidates and creates business development opportunities in other indications.
An initial £45 million commitment to Purespring from Syncona Ltd is enabling Purespring to progress its assets to the clinic. Syncona’s Chief Executive Officer, Chris Hollowood, serves as Chairman. For more information please visit: purespringtx.com and follow us on LinkedIn.