EAST GRAND RAPIDS —Mark Gurney retired as CEO of drug developer Tetra Therapeutics Inc. at the end of June, more than a year after selling the company to Japan-based pharmaceutical company Shionogi & Co. Ltd.
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Tetra’s chief operating officer, Chad Coberly, succeeded Gurney as CEO on July 1. Coberly has more than 30 years of experience in the biotech industry and joined the company in 2017. He assisted in managing Tetra’s phase 2 clinical trial of a new compound to treat Fragile X syndrome and other brain disorders associated with cognitive or memory conditions. He also assisted with the merger into Shionogi in May 2020.
“After a rewarding career culminating in the company’s successful merger last year, I am pleased to be able to retire and leave the company in good hands,” Gurney said today in an announcement on his retirement. “I have worked with Chad Coberly for the last several years and am confident that he will capably lead the company toward its strategic goals to advance its pipeline of new drugs to the benefit of patients with CNS disorders.”
Gurney founded Tetra in 2011 and developed the new drug compounds with the backing of capital from private investors and $27 million in federal grant funding. The company now operates as an East Grand Rapids-based wholly owned subsidiary of Shionogi.
Gurney remains “a consultant and advisor to Tetra Therapeutics for a transitory period to ensure a smooth succession process and continued advancement of Tetra’s pipeline,” according to the announcement.
Tetra’s sale was one of the largest exits ever recorded for a Michigan-based life sciences startup and generated a strong return on investment for West Michigan-based investors who backed Tetra Therapeutics early. The total transaction value may reach up to $500 million if Tetra Therapeutics meets certain regulatory and commercial milestones.