Gene Therapy’s Big Comeback

This story appears in the April 14, 2014 issue of Forbes.

Elliott Sigal earned a reputation at Bristol-Myers Squibb BMY +0.62% as one of the drug industry’s best research chiefs. His bets on risky technologies like cancer immunotherapy and new types of diabetes drugs helped Bristol turn from a laggard into a growth stock. But there was one technology he wouldn’t touch: gene therapy, which tries to use engineered viruses to defeat disease at the DNA level. “I was burned on it myself 20 years ago,” he says. “When they told me gene therapy was back, I couldn’t believe it.” 

So what’s Sigal doing now? As a venture partner at New Enterprise Associates, he just took his first board seat–at a gene therapy company, Philadelphia’s Spark Therapeutics, which raised $50 million last October from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and hopes to launch a treatment for a genetic form of blindness in as little as two years.

 (exerpt from Forbes article, "Gene Therapy's Big Comeback," by Matthew Herper, March 26, 2014 edition)

Read the full article in Forbes online here.