ProKidney CEO Tim Bertram leaves

  • After about five years in the position
  • Praise and thanks for Bertram
  • Bruce Culleton taking over
  • Bertram said 62 words

(exechange) — Winston-Salem, North Carolina, November 13, 2023 — Tim Bertram, chief executive of ProKidney, leaves his position. As announced by ProKidney Corp. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, November 13, 2023, Tim Bertram leaves his post as chief executive officer at the biotech company, after about five years in the role, effective November 15, 2023.

Generally speaking, it raises questions when a CEO leaves his post abruptly.

Tim Bertram’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Bruce Culleton, most recently Executive Vice President of Clinical Development and Commercialization at ProKidney Corp.


ProKidney did not give an explicit reason for Tim Bertram’s departure from the CEO post. Pablo Legorreta, Chairman of ProKidney’s Board of Directors, stated: “Bruce’s clinical, regulatory and commercial expertise will be invaluable as ProKidney navigates its Phase 3 studies towards completion, prepares for regulatory submission both in the U.S. and abroad, and prepares REACT for commercialization.”

Precise information regarding Tim Bertram’s future plans was not immediately available.

“Transition/termination, without cause”

ProKidney said: “Dr. Tim Bertram will transition from his current role as director and CEO to a scientific advisory role.”

ProKidney further said: “On November 10, 2023, the board of directors (the “Board”) of ProKidney Corp. (the “Company”) approved the termination, without cause, of Tim Bertram, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of the Company, effective November 15, 2023 (the “Effective Date”), following which Dr. Bertram is expected to continue to serve as a consultant of the Company and as a member of the Company’s Scientific Advisory Board.”

Share price decline since November 2022

The announcement follows a decline in ProKidney Corp.’s share price of 85% since November 2022.

In the position of CEO since 2019

Tim Bertram became CEO of the Company in 2019.

Bertram has served on the Company’s the Board as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, and as a director on the GP Board since the Closing.

Bertram has served as Chief Executive Officer of ProKidney, LLC (formerly known as Twin City Bio LLC) (“ProKidney-US”) and ProKidney-KY since January 2019 and served on the Legacy GP Board from January 2022 until the Closing.

Bertram has also served as a member of the ProKidney-KY Board since January 2022.

Since February 2017, Bertram has served on the board of directors of NexImmune, Inc. (Nasdaq: NEXI), a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing a novel approach to immunotherapy designed to orchestrate a targeted immune response by directing the function of antigen-specific T cells.

Bertram served as Chief Scientific Officer of Tengion Inc. from 2004 to 2014 after serving as President of Research and Development, where he brought four cell-based therapeutic products from discovery through Phase 2 clinical development.

Bertram was also involved in the development and registration of eight medical products while serving as a senior executive at Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE), SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, and The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE: PG) from 1985 to 2004.

He was a faculty member at the University of Illinois, and a visiting scientist at the National Institutes of Health.

Tengion Inc. filed a voluntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition in December 2014.

Bertram received his D.V.M. in Biology and Veterinary Medicine and his Ph.D. in Cellular Pathology from Iowa State University and was board certified in Veterinary Pathology in 1984.

62 words by Tim Bertram

In the release announcing his departure as CEO of ProKidney Corp., Tim Bertram received praise and thanks.

In announcing his departure, Tim Bertram said 62 words.

“Dr. Culleton is uniquely qualified”

Tim Bertram stated: “We’re leveraging a novel renal autologous cell therapy to improve care in a population of CKD patients with little to no options other than dialysis, and Dr. Culleton is uniquely qualified as a physician and business leader to guide ProKidney through the pivotal trials of REACT®. I look forward to supporting the Company and helping ensure a smooth transition for the organization.”

Push-out Score for Tim Bertram’s move determined

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

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

Read the full story in the exechange report 47.2023 ($).