Nana Collett, MS, MBA
Vice President, Program Management at NervGen Pharma
Industry Perspective on Developing a Therapeutic for Spinal Cord Injury
There is a high unmet need for effective treatments for spinal cord injury (SCI) that promote functional recovery. However, there are many challenges for a biopharma company in developing a therapeutic for SCI. These include the fact that previous attempts to treat SCI have not been successful in the clinic and the perception that the nervous system is not amenable to repair, leading to limited financial support from public markets. Furthermore, the high variability in SCI and limited numbers of subjects leads to challenges in showing statistical significance in the clinic and difficulties in recruiting studies in a timely manner. To support development of a promising SCI therapeutic, NVG-291, NervGen has needed to explore unconventional funding mechanisms and additional disease indications to attract investor interest. The SCI community has been a staunch supporter of these efforts, and NVG-291 will be initiating its first study in individuals with SCI in 2023.
Nana Collett, MS, MBA, has over 20 years experience managing biopharma product development programs from preclinical stage to Phase 3 across a range of therapeutic areas and modalities. Prior to joining NervGen, Ms. Collett has been an independent consultant and advisor to start-up companies.
Prior to that, Ms. Collett was VP Program Management at Genevant Sciences and a member of the start-up leadership team where she was responsible for development of a pipeline of over 10 internal and partnered RNA therapeutic products. She previously spent nine years with NASDAQ-listed company Arbutus Biopharma (formerly Tekmira Pharmaceutical), most recently as VP Project Management responsible for all development stage programs and alliances. Prior to that, Ms. Collet held diverse roles at commercial stage biotech company QLT in project management, new product planning, and business development. Ms. Collett has a BSc (Honours) in Biology from University of British Columbia, an M.S. in Ecosystem Science from the University of Washington, and an MBA in Management of Technology from Simon Fraser University.