- Commense, an affiliate of PureTech Health, announced the appointment of Edward J "Tad" Stewart as President and Chief Executive Officer.

Mr Stewart will focus on advancing Commense's lead program towards the clinic, growing the company's microbiome-based development capabilities and expanding its fundraising and business development efforts to fuel the growth of the company.

"I'm thrilled to be joining Commense and its world-class team of researchers and collaborators," said Mr Stewart.

"The science around the microbiome and its interaction with the immune system has grown exponentially in recent years, but the opportunity to focus on the paediatric microbiome and its ability to impact disease is just beginning to mature.

"Commense has a tremendous opportunity to cement a leadership position in the field and deliver products that have the potential to alter, or even prevent, the course of many diseases at a very early age."

Mr Stewart joins Commense with more than 20 years of experience in the biotechnology field, including over 15 years at Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, where he was instrumental in growing the company from a pre-clinical organisation to a commercial enterprise.

Under his leadership as Senior Vice President of Business Development and Head of Merrimack's Commercial Business Unit, the company executed multiple partnership and licensing deals with a total value in excess of $1.5bn and successfully launched ONIVYDE, which was sold to Ipsen in a 2017 transaction valued at $1.025bn.

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