CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 14, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Voyager Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: VYGR), a clinical-stage gene therapy company focused on developing life-changing treatments for severe neurological diseases, today announced the appointment of Michelle Quinn Smith as Chief Human Resources Officer. Ms. Smith brings over 30 years of experience in human resources to Voyager, including leadership roles at Flagship Pioneering, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Genzyme, and Sanofi.
“We are excited to welcome Michelle to Voyager in this important role. She brings a strong track record of purpose-driven, inclusive leadership, and will be a great addition to our team,” said Andre Turenne, President and CEO of Voyager. “We believe Michelle’s experience in driving organizational strategy in R&D organizations and growth companies will be instrumental in supporting our continued evolution as a gene therapy leader.”
Prior to joining Voyager, Ms. Smith was Senior Director of Human Resources at Flagship Pioneering and served as part of Flagship’s Human Resources Leadership team and advised portfolio companies. Prior to Flagship, she was Global Director of Human Resources-R&D for Takeda Pharmaceuticals, where she was responsible for the creation and execution of human resources strategy for therapeutic development in R&D. Prior to Takeda, Ms. Smith held positions of increasing responsibility in human resources for Genzyme (later Sanofi), leaving Sanofi as the Global Head of Human Resources for Development-R&D. Ms. Smith received a B.A. in History from Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Horse Hugs for Heroes, a therapeutic animal non-profit organization based in Maryland.
“I am honored to join Voyager at such an important time and look forward to working with the leadership team to shape the company’s organizational and talent strategies,” said Ms. Smith. I am thrilled and moved to contribute to the mission of delivering life-changing gene therapies to help patients with severe neurological diseases.”
Inducement Grants under NASDAQ Listing Rule 5635(c)(4)
Voyager has entered into an employment agreement with Ms. Smith that, among other things, provides for the grant of non-qualified stock options and of restricted stock units as inducements material to her entering into employment with Voyager. The inducement awards were approved by the Compensation Committee of Voyager’s Board of Directors in accordance with Nasdaq Stock Market Listing Rule 5635(c)(4). The option award became effective on September 14, 2020 and the restricted stock unit award is scheduled to become effective on October 1, 2020.
The stock option award provides for the purchase of an aggregate of 100,500 shares of Voyager’s common stock, and the restricted stock unit award will represent 17,000 shares of Voyager common stock. The stock option award has a ten-year term and an exercise price of $10.40 per share, which is equal to the closing price of Voyager's common stock on the effective date of grant. The stock option award vests over four years, with 25% of the shares underlying the stock option vesting on the first anniversary of the effective date of the option grant and 75% of the shares underlying the stock option vesting in 36 equal monthly installments following the first anniversary of the effective date of option grant. The restricted stock unit award will vest annually in equal installments over three years beginning on the first anniversary of the effective date of the restricted stock unit grant date. Vesting of the stock option award and restricted stock units will be subject to Ms. Smith’s continued employment with Voyager. The stock option is, and upon the effectiveness of the grant the restricted stock units will be, subject to the terms and conditions of equity award agreements.
About Voyager Therapeutics
Voyager Therapeutics is a clinical-stage gene therapy company focused on developing life-changing treatments for severe neurological diseases. Voyager is committed to advancing the field of AAV gene therapy through innovation and investment in vector engineering and optimization, manufacturing, and dosing and delivery techniques. Voyager’s wholly owned and partnered pipeline focuses on severe neurological diseases for which effective new therapies are needed, including Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Friedreich’s ataxia, and other severe neurological diseases. For more information, please visit www.voyagertherapeutics.com or follow @VoyagerTx on Twitter and LinkedIn.
VP, Investor Relations
Source: Voyager Therapeutics, Inc.