February 15, 2019

Phio Pharma CEO Cauwenbergh to retire

Photo | Courtesy
Phio Pharmaceuticals CEO Geert Cauwenbergh.

Marlborough biotech Phio Pharmaceuticals CEO Geert Cauwenbergh is retiring, and the company's chief operating officer is taking his place.

Cauwenbergh, who will retain his membership of the company's board of directors, will be replaced by COO Gerrit Dispersyn, who is also president of the company. Dispersyn's appointment to the new position will be effective March 1.

Cauwenbergh was elected president and CEO of the company, then RXi Pharmaceuticals, in 2012 when it was spun off from parent company Galena Biopharma, Inc.

During his tenure, Cauwenbergh helped guide the company from a platform company with products in dermatology and ophthalmology to a biotech developing cancer-fighting therapeutics.

Commenting on his successor, Cauwenbergh said Dispersyn has demonstrated leadership, team-building and the ability to play to shareholders and directors.

"As a continuing member of the Board of Directors, I look forward to working with Dr. Dispersyn to help him build our company into one of the leaders in immuno-oncology," Cauwenbergh said. "Our recent financing provides cash into the third quarter of 2020 and creates a stable foundation for Dr. Dispersyn to carry out Phio's mission."

Dispersyn, formerly a chief development officer, was appointed to the role of president and COO in November simultaneous to the company changing its name to reinvent itself into an immuno-oncology biotech firm.

The company made $13.3 million from a public offering in October.


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