Abeona CEO João Siffert leaves

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After less than two years in the position
  • No successor named

(exechange) — New York, September 28, 2020 — João Siffert, chief executive of Abeona, leaves. As announced by Abeona Therapeutics Inc. in a news release on Monday, September 28, 2020, João Siffert has left his post as chief executive officer at the clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company after less than two years in the role, effective September 23, 2020.

Abeona did not name a replacement for the position of Chief Executive Officer.

“Reviewing and exploring all strategic options and alternatives”

Abeona did not give an explicit reason for João Siffert’s departure from the CEO post. Abeona said: “The Company is reviewing and exploring all strategic options and alternatives focused on advancing the Company’s mission and maximizing stakeholder value, including the sale of some or all of its assets or sale of the Company. There can be no assurance this strategic review will result in the completion of any particular course of action. There is no defined timeline for completion of the review process.”

Precise information regarding João Siffert’s future plans was not immediately available.


Abeona said: “João Siffert, M.D. resigned from his positions as CEO, Head of Research and Development, and Chief Medical Officer, as well as member of the Board of Directors, on September 23, 2020.”

Share price decline

The announcement follows a decline in Abeona Therapeutics Inc.’s share price of 80% since November 2018.

In the position of CEO since 2018

João Siffert became CEO of the Company in 2018.

João Siffert joined Abeona as Head of Research and Development and Chief Medical Officer in October 2018, bringing 30 years of combined experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, clinical care and academia.

In February 2019, he was appointed Chief Executive Officer after serving in the role on an interim basis from November 2018. In February 2019, he was also appointed to the Board of Directors.

Siffert has led multiple drug development programs from pre-clinical to regulatory approvals and commercial launches in the U.S. and Europe and has held several scientific leadership positions in biotech and pharma, including programs in gene therapy.

In 2017, Siffert was appointed to the Board of Directors of gene therapy developer AveXis Inc., which was subsequently acquired by Novartis.

Siffert began his career in industry at Pfizer, where he held medical roles of increasing responsibility from 2002 to 2005.

He served as Chief Medical Officer of Avera Pharmaceuticals from 2005 to 2007, before holding the same position at Ceregene from 2007 to 2011, where he was responsible for clinical development of adeno-associated viral (AAV2)-based gene therapies for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

Siffert also led the R&D, medical, regulatory, compliance, manufacturing and quality organizations at Avanir Pharmaceuticals from 2011 to 2016.

Most recently, he was the Chief Scientific and Medical Officer for Nestle Health Science, where he led translational research, clinical development and operations, regulatory, medical affairs, and health economics from 2016 until October 2018.

Before joining the industry, Siffert spent seven years in academic practice as a neuro-oncologist.

Siffert earned his M.D. from the University of São Paulo, Brazil, as well as an M.B.A. from Columbia University.

He completed medical residencies in pediatrics at New York University (NYU) School of Medicine and in neurology at Harvard Medical School, followed by a fellowship in neuro-oncology at NYU.

The American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry certified Siffert in 1996.

Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the pressure surrounding the management change on a scale of 0 to 10.

exechange reached out to Abeona and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 40.2020 ($).