Pharma startup Passage Bio hires Gwendolyn Fisher to build comms team

Fisher is a veteran of Amarin, Merck and Pfizer.

Photo credit: Jaime Escarpeta, Escarpeta Photography
Photo credit: Jaime Escarpeta, Escarpeta Photography

PHILADELPHIA: Genetic medical startup Passage Bio has named Gwendolyn Fisher to the newly created role of VP of communications.

Fisher started at the company, which develops genetic medicines for rare central nervous system disorders, at the end of July, reporting to COO Jill Quigley. Fisher is building the comms team at the startup.

Fisher had worked at FisherTrent Communications, a consultancy that she ran with her husband, Les Trent, after leaving pharmaceutical company Amarin at the start of the year. 

Fisher, whose resume also includes time at pharma giants Merck and Pfizer, said working at a startup is attractive because it gives her a chance to make her mark.

“I have found that when you go to [smaller] companies, they are good opportunities to build, and as long as you believe in the broader vision, it can be a rewarding experience,” she said. “I really thrive in situations where I’m continually challenged and where things are not set in stone. I find in bigger companies the processes are usually well established and there’s a [set] way to do things. Oftentimes, the cultures are pretty well-set. In smaller companies, you get a chance to build that.”

Fisher said her first task in the new job will be setting the stage for how Passage Bio is viewed. 

“I am working with the team that is looking at the corporate brand and how we want to position ourselves,” she said. “That’s a task for me initially, and we are also thinking through our corporate story and narrative.” 

Passage Bio held a $216 million IPO at the end of February. The company reported on Thursday that it is developing drugs but had no revenue, and saw a net loss of $27.2 million in Q2.

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