Design Therapeutics CEO João Siffert leaves

  • After less than three years in the position
  • Pratik Shah taking over

(exechange) — Carlsbad, California, August 25, 2023 — João Siffert, chief executive of Design Therapeutics, leaves his position. As announced by Design Therapeutics Inc. in a regulatory filing published on Friday, August 25, 2023, João Siffert leaves his post as chief executive officer at the preclinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, after less than three years in the role, effective immediately.

Generally speaking, it raises questions when a CEO leaves his post abruptly and after a short tenure.

João Siffert’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Pratik Shah, most recently Chairperson at Design Therapeutics Inc.

No reason given

In the announcement, Design Therapeutics did not explicitly explain the reason for the move.

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


Design Therapeutics said: “On August 25, 2023, João Siffert, M.D., and the Board of Directors (the “Board”) of Design Therapeutics, Inc. (the “Company”) agreed to the resignation of Dr. Siffert from all offices of the Company and from the Board, effective immediately, and as an employee of the Company, effective September 1, 2023 (the “Separation Date”). Prior to his resignation, Dr. Siffert served as the Company’s President, Chief Executive Officer and principal financial officer.”

Share price decline since August 2022

The announcement follows a decline in Design Therapeutics Inc.’s share price of 89% since August 2022.

In the position of CEO since 2020

João Siffert became CEO of the Company in 2020.

João Siffert, M.D., has served as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Company’s Board of Directors since October 2020 and as the Company’s President since January 2021.

Prior to joining Design, Siffert served as the Chief Executive Officer and member of the board of directors at Abeona Therapeutics, Inc. since November 2018, where he also led Research and Development since October 2018.

From May 2016 to October 2018, Siffert served as Chief Scientific and Medical Officer at Nestle Health Science S.A.

He also served as a member of the board of directors of AveXis, Inc. from May 2017 to May 2018 and Alcobra Ltd. (now Arcturus Therapeutics Inc.) from July 2015 to July 2017.

From August 2011 to April 2016, Siffert served as Executive Vice President, R&D and Chief Medical Officer of Avanir Pharmaceuticals Inc.

He also previously served in executive leadership roles at Ceregene Inc. and Avera Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Siffert holds an M.D. from the University of São Paulo, Brazil and an M.B.A. from Columbia University.

He completed residency training in Pediatrics at New York University (NYU) School of Medicine and in Neurology at Harvard Medical School, followed by a clinical fellowship in neuro-oncology at NYU.

No statement by João Siffert

The announcement of his departure as CEO does not include a statement by João Siffert.

Push-out Score for João Siffert’s move determined

The Push-out Score indicates on a scale of 0 to 10 how likely it is that João Siffert was pushed out or felt pressure to leave his position.

Read the full story in the exechange report 35.2023 ($).