Industry veteran will lead the company’s next stage of growth and development

September 13, 2023Slone Partners, a nationwide executive search firm for life sciences, healthcare, and cybersecurity organizations, has announced the placement of Cynthia Pussinen as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and a member of the Board of Directors at Sernova Corporation, a clinical-stage company and leader in cell therapeutics.

Pussinen’s expertise spans the drug development continuum from research through commercialization. She has led the development, licensure, commercialization, and/or subsequent delivery to patients of more than 15 new medical therapies for patients globally, including Obizur® (Antihemophilic Factor (Recombinant), Porcine Sequence), Eraxis® (anidulafungin), Zmax® (azithromycin extended-release) and LUXTURNA® (voretigene neparvovec-rzyl), the first gene therapy approved in both the United States and the European Union.

Most recently, Pussinen served as Chief Technical Officer for Spark Therapeutics, Inc., a fully integrated, commercial gene therapy company, and a member of the Roche Group. Prior to joining Spark in 2021, Pussinen’s leadership roles included six years with Ipsen Biomeasure and Ipsen Biosciences, U.S. R&D-focused subsidiaries of Ipsen, where she served as President and CEO. Pussinen previously served as Executive Vice President, Technical Development, Operations and Supply Chain for Actinium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and as Global Vice President and General Manager, Life Sciences and Specialty Chemicals for Honeywell International.

“Cynthia Pussinen is an extremely accomplished and respected scientist and global pharmaceutical executive with an impressive track record of bringing innovative new products to market in various leadership roles at several highly acclaimed life sciences companies,” said Leslie Loveless, Slone Partners CEO. “She will make for a terrific addition to the Sernova leadership team and Board of Directors during a pivitol stage in the company’s evolution.”

“Sernova has demonstrated tremendous growth over the past several years as it has transitioned from a research company to one that is moving towards commercialization of a product for the treatment of multiple chronic diseases. As a united Board, we feel now is the time to bring in an industry leader with extensive experience with large pharmaceutical companies as well as entrepreneurial biotech and advanced therapeutics focused companies,” commented Brett Whalen, Chair of the Board of Directors of Sernova. “The skills that Ms. Pussinen brings to our company include over 25 years of global experience shepherding new therapies from development through commercialization across multiple conditions with sales measured in the billions.”

Pussinen earned a Master of Science in R&D management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Bachelor of Science in chemistry, with a minor in engineering from the University of Connecticut.


Founded in 2000, Slone Partners is the premier executive search firm that delivers top diverse and visionary leaders who build amazing life sciences, healthcare, and cybersecurity organizations. With a nationwide presence in the most active industry hubs, we specialize in discovering and placing world-class C-Suite leadership, executive, and upper management talent with experience, conviction, and cultural competence in emerging and well-established companies. Our portfolio of executive search and advisory services includes diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy, education, and training. Slone Partners proudly holds the designation as a Certified LGBT Business Enterprise™ by the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and has earned recognition as a Top Executive Search Firm and a Top 20 Diversity and Inclusion Services firm by Manage HR. To learn more about Slone Partners’ value proposition and processes, visit or call 888.784.3422.


Sernova Corporation is a clinical-stage biotechnology company that is developing therapeutic cell technologies for chronic diseases, including insulin-dependent diabetes, thyroid disease, and blood disorders that include hemophilia A. Sernova is currently focused on developing a ‘functional cure’ for insulin-dependent diabetes with its lead asset, the Cell Pouch System, a novel implantable and scalable medical device with immune protected therapeutic cells. On implantation, The Cell Pouch forms a natural vascularized tissue environment in the body for long-term survival and function of therapeutic cells that release essential factors that are absent or deficient in the bodies of patients with certain chronic diseases. Sernova’s Cell Pouch System has demonstrated its potential to be a ‘functional cure’ for people with T1D in an ongoing Phase 1/2 clinical study at the University of Chicago. Sernova is also advancing a proprietary technology in collaboration with the University of Miami to shield therapeutic cells from immune system attack with the goal to eliminate the need for chronic, systemic immunosuppression. For more information, visit the website: