Inspyr, Formerly GenSpera, Replaces Co-Founder Dionne With New CEO

Xconomy Texas — 

San Antonio—Inspyr Therapeutics, a biotech company based in San Antonio formerly known as GenSpera, has hired Christopher Lowe as its new CEO and president, replacing co-founder Craig Dionne after he abruptly left the company in March. Inspyr announced its name change Monday.

Lowe, who had been on Inspyr’s board of directors since March, is a partner at FLG Partners, a San Francisco-based firm that provides executive-level advisory services to both public and private companies. FLG calls itself a CFO-as-a-service business, primarily providing the advice, mentorship, and leadership to companies that a chief financial officer would. Inspyr is traded over the counter under the symbol NSPX.

Lowe has worked at FLG since 2014, and has served as interim CEO of a Hansen Medical, a Mountain View, CA-based medical device company focused on robotics, since 2014. Hansen Medical, which raised $75 million in an initial public offering in 2006, sold to San Carlos, CA-based Auris Surgical Robotics for a reported $80 million value in April. Both Auris and Hansen were founded by serial entrepreneur Frederic Moll, and Moll is the CEO of Auris.

Before joining FLG, Lowe was the chief business officer and chief financial officer of Hayward, CA-based Anthera Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ANTH), including during the company’s initial public offering. He has also held various other executive roles at life sciences companies during his career.

When Dionne, the company’s co-founder and former CEO, board chairman, and CFO left in March, board member Peter Grebow took over as the company’s chairman. Grebow said at the time that it had hired Lowe and FLG to help the company find its direction.

Dionne spoke to Xconomy a month before his departure, discussing the company’s efforts to fund ongoing Phase 2 trials into its lead candidate, mipsagargin or G-202, for glioblastoma multiforme, a fast-growing brain tumor. You can read more from that conversation here, and more about the company’s background in this 2014 profile by Xconomy’s Bernadette Tansey. The therapy is based in a toxin, thapsigargin, which is found in a weed called Thapsia Garganica.

Dionne did not return a call for comment. He registered a new company, CDionne Inc., with the Texas Secretary of State in May.

Inspyr declined to comment beyond a news release until next week.