Theragent gets a new VP, Matica Bio and Hongene add board of advisors, and eTheRNA hires a CEO and a chairman.

Shreeyashi Ojha, Reporter

November 2, 2023

4 Min Read
Ins and Outs: C-suite additions at CDMOs

Theragent gets a new VP, Matica Bio and Hongene add board of advisors, and etherna hires a CEO and a chairman. Welcome to the fortnightly roundup brought to you by BioProcess Insider. 


Theragent has announced the appointment of Brian Newsom as vice president of business development. As the VP, Brian will lead the cell & gene therapy (CGT) contract development and manufacturing organization’s (CDMOs) global business development, marketing, and client relations activities. 


Brian Newsom, VP of Business Development at Theragent. c/o Theragent

Previously having worked as a senior director at KBI Pharma, Newsom has more than three decades of experience in both technical and business development roles for emerging biotech firms and academia including, Aastrom Biosciences, Thermo Fisher Scientific and KBI Biopharma. 

“We are excited to have Brian join us as we enter the expansion phase of our company,” said Yun Yen, CEO of Theragent. “Brian’s technical knowledge, business development background and CDMO experience will help drive our continued growth as we expand our presence in the cell and gene therapy market.” 


etherna has announced the appointment of Bernard Sagaert as CEO and Marijn Dekkers, an existing board member has been appointed chairman of the board. Dekkers, has previously served as CEO of Bayer, and Thermo Fisher Scientific. 


Bernard Sagaert, CEO of etherna. c/o etherna

Bernard Sagaert joined the company in 2017 as the COO and has successfully completed the 12-month interim period. Previously, he has worked as supply chain director at Mylan and VP at Sterigenics. 

“I am delighted to be confirmed as CEO and thank the board for their confidence. I also welcome Marijn as Chairman, and would like to thank Russell Greig, our previous Chairman, for his long-term engagement with the company and the support he has given me during the Interim CEO period,” said Sagaert. 

The company has also rebranded its name from eTheRNA immunotherapies to etherna and has launched a new website.


Hongene Biotech Corporation, a biotech company in the nucleic acid manufacturing sector, has launched a new advisory board including John Maraganore, Phil Baran, and Masad Damha.


Phil Baran, Member of Advisory Board at Hongene. c/o Hongene

Maraganore is best known for his role as the founding CEO at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. Baran is professor of chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute and is known for his pioneering work on developing new methods for synthesizing complex organic compounds. And Damha is a professor of chemistry at McGill University and said to be an expert in nucleic acid chemistry. 


Masad Damha, Member of Advisory Board at Hongene. c/o Hongene

“We are extremely honored to have such distinguished professionals form our new advisory board,” said Wei Jiang, CEO of Hongene. “Their collective expertise and thought leadership will undoubtedly bolster our innovative efforts and help us achieve our objective of advancing the field for the betterment of humanity. The creation of the new board aims to give Hongene an edge in a highly competitive marketplace.” 

Matica Biotechnology: 

CDMO Matica Bio has announced the appointment of Charlene Banard, Gerard Fleury, Evan Greger, and Carson Sublett to its board of advisors. 

Furthering the company’s plan to meet the growing demand for CGT manufacturing expertise, these appointments will provide a strategic oversight as the company executes the development, scale-up, and production of CGTs at its purpose-built GMP facility in Texas, US. 

Appointed as the quality and technical operations expert, Charlene Banard has led technical operations in companies including Novartis, Atara, Shire, Gilead and Cell Genesys. 

Gerard Fleury, appointed a financial strategist, has more than 30 years of experience in CDMO focused corporate leadership. 

Evan Greger has worked at end-to-end biologic and CGT value generation, development, and commercialization at biotechnology companies and will now supervise the technical operations and product development of the CDMO. 

Appointed as the business operations advisor, Carson Sublett has previously led business operations for GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). 

“Matica Bio is thrilled to introduce the accomplished members of our newly formed board of advisors,” said Yun Jeong Song, CEO of Matica Bio. 

About the Author(s)

Shreeyashi Ojha

Reporter, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering the manufacturing and processing sectors for biopharmaceuticals globally.  

Originally from India, I am a Londoner at heart. I have recently graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London.  

Feel free to reach out to me at: [email protected].

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