PTC Therapeutics’ CEO, rare disease pioneer, to retire; current COO named as successor

South Plainfield-based PTC Therapeutics Inc. on Friday said CEO Stuart Peltz has stepped down after 25 years.

The biopharmaceutical company said current Chief Operating Officer Matthew Klein has been named CEO and would join the board, with the transition being effective immediately.

Peltz has led PTC Therapeutics as its CEO since its founding in 1998 and pioneered the field of RNA-directed drug development. Under his leadership, PTC has grown from a research organization with expertise in the control of RNA processes to a publicly traded, integrated, global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative therapies for the treatment of neurological and neuromuscular disorders, metabolic disorders and cancer.

Peltz is expected to serve as a senior consultant to the company and join its scientific advisory board following his retirement.

Klein was CEO and chief medical officer at BioElectron Technology Corp. before joining PTC in 2019. PTC acquired BioElectron’s assets in 2019.

“I have been involved with PTC almost since its inception. What Stuart and the team have achieved in 25 years is extraordinary,” Michael Schmertzler, chairman of the board of directors, said. “The board and I are confident in the team Stuart has built and their ability to continue to deliver transformative treatments to those living with rare diseases. We wish Stuart all the best in his future endeavors and look forward to his continuing contributions to the company.”

As CEO and CMO of BioElectron,  Klein led the restructuring of the company, with successful implementation of new strategic and operational plans, and led the development of two novel small molecules targeting CNS diseases from discovery to early and late clinical development stages. In addition, he oversaw the formation of an oncology platform that yielded several novel preclinical compounds with novel approaches to targeting cancer.

Klein joined PTC as global head of gene & mitochondrial therapies, and then assumed the role of chief development officer prior to promotion to COO in January 2022. At PTC, he has overseen the company’s broad development pipeline, now with five ongoing registration-directed clinical trials, and headed the efforts in achieving EMA approval for Upstaza, the first-ever gene therapy directly administered to the brain.