Transine Therapeutics Appoints Industry Veteran Jan Thirkettle Ph.D. as CEO

Mon, Jul 5, 2021

Transine Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing a novel class of therapeutic RNAs based on its pioneering SINEUP® platform technology, today announced the appointment of Jan Thirkettle, Ph.D. as its Chief Executive Officer. He joins Transine’s team at a time of rapid growth following the Company’s recent successful £9.1 million extended Seed financing, which was co-led by Takeda Ventures, Inc. and the Dementia Discovery Fund.

Dr Thirkettle has close to 25 years’ experience of building cross functional teams to drive delivery of innovative technologies. Jan has built platforms and played a leadership role in the commercialisation of multiple therapeutics across small molecule, biopharmaceutical and gene therapy modalities.

Dr Thirkettle joins Transine from Freeline Therapeutics Holdings (NASDAQ: FRLN) where he was start-up CEO and more recently Chief Development Officer. There he led the early establishment of the company’s pipeline, overseeing the deployment of a novel AAV manufacturing platform and playing a core role in delivering Series B & C raises and a successful IPO in 2021.  

Prior to Freeline Therapeutics Jan spent 18 years at GSK in multiple leadership roles spanning from Discovery to Manufacturing, including overseeing the establishment of GSK’s Cell & Gene Therapy platform unit and playing a pivotal role in the commercialisation of Strimvelis, the first ex-vivo gene therapy to receive an EU Marketing Authorisation Application. 

Jan holds an MA in Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from Oxford University.  

“Jan is a highly experienced leader with a proven track record of establishing novel platforms and developing new therapeutics, making him a perfect fit for Transine” said Robbie Woodman, Chairman of Transine’s Board of Directors. “His expertise in guiding biotechnology ventures across all stages of development and his deep scientific knowledge will be crucial in the development of Transine’s pipeline of novel mRNA-targeted therapeutics, initially focused on central nervous system and ophthalmology indications. We are thrilled to have him join.”

“Transine has a world-class academic foundation based on 10 plus years of innovation from the Labs of Professors Stefano Gustincich and Piero Carninci who identified a new functional and naturally occurring class of long non-coding RNAs. Combined with an outstanding team the Company has the opportunity to build an entire new class of therapeutic RNAs that can exquisitely modulate protein expression by interacting with the natural cellular translation machinery,” said Dr Thirkettle, CEO of Transine Therapeutics. “This novel approach has tremendous potential, in particular as it overcomes the limitations of current gene therapy and RNA technology approaches. I am delighted that the Board has asked me to lead Transine as we work to develop our pioneering SINEUP® platform technology.