Biostage Announces New President To Face The Challenges Ahead
By Pablo Erbar
Biostage Inc (NASDAQ:BSTG) recently made a potentially decisive move, announcing the promotion of Saverio La Francesca, M.D. from Chief Medical Officer to President. Considering the challenges ahead, the appointment could prove to be a wise decision. Not only does the company plan to file its IND application with the FDA for adult esophageal cancer by the third-quarter, but it also expects first-in-human studies of the Cellspan esophageal implant to begin before the end of 2017. Therefore, taking a closer look at Biostage’s newly appointed President could shed some light on the reasons for the decision.
Dr. La Francesca’s three-year tenure as Chief Medical Officer of Biostage began in April 2014, after leaving the DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center at the Houston Methodist Hospital in search of new ways to apply his unique skills as a surgeon. The recently promoted cardiothoracic surgeon has extensive clinical experience and is deeply committed to the clinical translation of transformative medical research.
In his more than 25 years of academic clinical surgical practice and innovative research, Dr. La Francesca has specialized in the fields of cardiovascular, thoracic transplantation, cardiac assist device, and regenerative medicine. Regarding his three-year tenure at Biostage, Dr. La Francesca commented: “I have led the development of the Cellframe Technology, leveraging our expertise in material science and bioengineering. I believe that the power of our regenerative approach has the potential to revolutionize the treatment paradigm in areas of significant unmet medical need.
“In recognition of Biostage’s commitment to clinical development and the advancement of our Cellframe™ technology into humans, we are elevating Dr. La Francesca’s responsibilities to more clearly align with our IND and clinical development activities,” commented Jim McGorry, CEO of Biostage, with regards to the recent announcement. As President and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. La Francesca will continue to report Mr. McGorry.
The biotechnology company is actively developing bioengineered organ implants, which are not only used for treating cancers and numerous other life-threatening conditions of the esophagus, bronchus and trachea. In addition to its Cellspan esophageal implant – which is used in adults with esophageal cancer – Biostage is currently contemplating implants for the treatment of patients with pediatric esophageal atresia, a rare birth defect which affects approximately 1 in 2,500 babies annually in the U.S.
Disclosures: Pablo Erbar holds no interest in any of the securities or entities mentioned above.
Biostage is a client of Small Cap Nation.