IPO Edge and the Palm Beach Hedge Fund Association hosted a fireside chat with the CEO, CFO and COO of Gelesis Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: GLS) to discuss Gelesis’ commercial product Plenity, and outlook for the obesity care industry. The event featured Gelesis Founder and CEO Yishai Zohar, CFO Elliot Maltz and Chief Commercial & Operating Officer David Pass joined by IPO Edge Editor-in-Chief John Jannarone and Editor-at-Large Jarrett Banks in a moderated video session lasting approximately 60 minutes including a Q&A with the audience.
Gelesis management discussed:
- Gelesis’ commercial product, Plenity, a nature inspired, FDA-cleared approach to weight management
- Successful debut of the national broad based media campaign of Plenity
- Plenity’s differentiated treatment option for patients
- Demand through both telehealth and traditional healthcare provider channels
- Outlook for the obesity care industry
About the Speakers
Yishai Zohar, CEO & Founder, Gelesis
A seasoned entrepreneur, Mr. Zohar has over 25 years’ experience in the development of industry innovating companies. Mr. Zohar is the Founder, Chief Executive Officer and a Board of Directors member of Gelesis Inc., a Boston-based biotechnology company developing a proprietary hydrogel platform designed to leverage mechanobiology along the GI tract to potentially alter the course of chronic diseases including obesity, NAFLD/NASH and inflammatory bowel disease. Zohar led the company from formation and initial discovery as a co-inventor and shepherded the company and product through clinical studies and a landmark FDA clearance of lead product PLENITY™ as an aid for weight management. PLENITY is the first and only FDA-regulated treatment cleared for use by all adults with excess weight (BMI between 25-40 kg/m2) with or without the presence of comorbidities. Prior to founding Gelesis, Mr. Zohar was a Co-Founder of PureTech Health (PRTC.L), a biopharma company developing groundbreaking therapeutics that target the Brain-Immune-Gut axis. In his role at PureTech he led the obesity/GI initiative which engaged leading experts to look at a broad landscape of technologies and approaches. This initiative led to the formation of Gelesis. Zohar has a degree in Business Administration from the College of Management Academic Studies (COMAS) in Tel Aviv and was an air force pilot ranked Captain in the Israeli Defense Forces.
Elliot Maltz, CFO, Gelesis
Mr. Maltz has 15 years of accounting and corporate finance experience working with public and private companies, specializing in the biotechnology, medical device and manufacturing industries. Prior to joining Gelesis, Mr. Maltz held leadership roles at Deloitte & Touche LLP and Sapient Corp.
David Pass, Chief Commercial & Operating Officer, Gelesis
Dr. Pass joined Gelesis with more than 20 years of commercial expertise across multiple therapeutic areas with a focus on diabetes and metabolics. Dr. Pass gained a broad range of commercial experience from his time with Johnson & Johnson, and Bristol-Myers Squibb Most recently, Dr. Pass served as Vice President of Marketing at Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) for Diabetes, where he built a billion-dollar franchise. In this role, Dr. Pass also led the BI alliance with Eli Lilly & Company to develop and commercialize a portfolio of diabetes compounds in mid- and late-stage development. David received both his B.S. Pharmacy and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science. He enjoys many interests outside work including cycling, snowboarding, golf and woodworking.
Gelesis (NYSE: GLS) is a consumer-centered biotherapeutics company and the maker of Plenity®, which is inspired by nature and FDA cleared to aid in weight management. Our first-of-their-kind non-systemic superabsorbent hydrogels are made entirely from naturally derived building blocks. They are inspired by the composition and mechanical properties of raw vegetables, taken by capsule, and act locally in the digestive system, so people feel satisfied with smaller portions. Our portfolio includes Plenity® and potential therapies in development for patients with Type 2 Diabetes, Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)/Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH), and Functional Constipation. For more information, visit gelesis.com or myplenity.com.