CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Nov. 09, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Editas Medicine, Inc. (Nasdaq: EDIT), a leading genome editing company, today announced that it named Lisa A. Michaels, M.D., as the Company’s Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, effective immediately. Dr. Michaels will lead clinical research and drug development for the Company’s pipeline of experimental medicines.
“We are thrilled to have Lisa join our team, bringing her ability to translate concepts from ‘bench to bedside’, with proven results in design and execution of multinational clinical trials,” said Cynthia Collins, President and Chief Executive Officer, Editas Medicine. “Her corporate and academic drug development expertise will be instrumental in advancing our mission to develop and deliver transformative medicines to people living with serious diseases.”
Lisa Michaels, M.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Editas Medicine, commented, “Editas Medicine is a leader in the development of the next generation of medicines to treat diseases with few approved medicines. I am excited to join the team as we just reacquired the rights to our ocular pipeline and are on the cusp of bringing EDIT-301, our potentially best-in-class medicine for the treatment of sickle cell disease, to the clinic. I look forward to working with the team to advance the development of EDIT-101, EDIT-301, and EDIT-201 in the near term as well as additional medicines in the future to treat serious diseases with unmet medical needs.”
Dr. Michaels has more than 25 years of experience in clinical research and drug development in both industry and academia. Dr. Michaels joins Editas Medicine from Bayer Pharmaceuticals where she spent more than 10 years in drug development, leading teams from early research and drug discovery through regulatory approval, commercial launch, and life cycle management. Most recently, she served as head of Bayer’s Rare Diseases, Cell & Gene Therapy therapeutic area.
Earlier in her career, Dr. Michaels spent more than 15 years at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at Rutgers University in academic practice, working in areas including benign and malignant hematology, solid tumors, bone marrow failure syndromes, thrombosis and hemostasis, and immunologic disorders including cytopenias and immune deficiencies.
Dr. Michaels received her M.D. at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville during which she received additional training in translational research in autoimmune disease, immune deficiencies, and disorders of complement, at the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease in Washington, DC, and completed a preceptorship in pediatric cardiovascular care at Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Michaels completed her residency and qualification in pediatrics at Duke University and post-graduate fellowship and qualification in hematology and oncology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
About Editas Medicine
As a leading genome editing company, Editas Medicine is focused on translating the power and potential of the CRISPR/Cas9 and CRISPR/Cpf1 (also known as Cas12a) genome editing systems into a robust pipeline of treatments for people living with serious diseases around the world. Editas Medicine aims to discover, develop, manufacture, and commercialize transformative, durable, precision genomic medicines for a broad class of
Mogrify Appoints Profs. Christine Mummery, Graziella Pellegrini and Giulio Cossu to Scientific Advisory Board
Leaders in stem cell research and cell therapy to help drive development of scalable off-the-shelf therapies for diseases with a high unmet clinical need
Mogrify Limited (Mogrify®), a UK company aiming to transform the development of ex vivo cell therapies and pioneer the field of in vivo reprogramming therapies, has expanded its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) with the appointment of three new members. Profs. Christine Mummery, Graziella Pellegrini and Giulio Cossu will apply their experience in the transition of stem cell approaches from proof-of-concept through the clinic to product approval, to support the Company in developing scalable off-the-shelf therapies for diseases with a high unmet clinical need.
Profs. Mummery, Pellegrini and Cossu join Mogrify’s SAB, comprising academic and industrial leaders in drug discovery, immunology, oncology, bioinformatics, cell reprogramming and regenerative medicine: Dr. Jane Osbourn, OBE, Dr. Lorenz Mayr, Prof. Julian Gough, Prof. Owen Rackham and Prof. Jose Polo.
Christine Mummery, PhD is a Professor of Developmental Biology in the Department of Anatomy and Embryology at Leiden University Medical Center and founded the first induced pluripotent stem cell core facility in the Netherlands. Prof. Mummery became a guest professor at the Technical University of Twente to develop organ-on-chip models based on stem cells, is Founding Chair of the European Organ-on-Chip Society and heads a multimillion-euro research program focused on implementing these models in human stem cell research. She is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Science, past board member of the Netherlands Medical Research Council and holds European Research Council Grants to study cardiac development and disease in humans based on stem cell models. She is a former Editor-in-Chief of the International Society of Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) journal, Stem Cell Reports, and became President of the society in 2020.
Graziella Pellegrini, PhD is a Professor at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Cell Therapy Program Coordinator at the Centre for Regenerative Medicine “Stefano Ferrari”, and Co-founder and R&D Director at Holostem Terapie Avanzate S.r.l. Prof. Pellegrini is renowned for her work in translational medicine and has developed epithelial stem cell-mediated cell and gene therapies for the treatment of severe eye and skin disease, including Holoclar®, the first stem cell-based medicinal product to be approved by the European Commission. Prof. Pellegrini is a recipient of the ISSCR and Louis-Jeantet Prize, and the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society and European Tech Women Award, and has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers, book chapters and nine patents. She is also a founding member of the International Ocular Surface Society and is involved with numerous other societies, committees and meetings covering stem cells and regenerative medicine.
Giulio Cossu, MD is a Professor of Regenerative Medicine at The University of Manchester and visiting professor at the Max Delbruck Centre, Charitè in Berlin. He is a fellow of the Medical Academy, Accademia dei Lincei, and European Academy of Science. He has been Panel Chair at the European Research Council and a member of the Committee
Mission Therapeutics (“Mission”), a drug discovery and development company focused on selectively inhibiting deubiquitylating enzymes (DUBs), has appointed Dr Suhail Nurbhai as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) with immediate effect.
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Dr Suhail Nurbhai. High-resolution images available on request. (Photo: Business Wire)
Dr Nurbhai has more than 25 years of experience and a strong track record in the strategic and operational leadership of all phases of clinical research and development at companies across Europe and the US. He joins Mission from VHsquared, where he held the position of CMO since 2014.
Prior to VHsquared, Suhail was Senior Vice President and Head of Development and Medical Affairs for Shionogi in Europe. He joined Shionogi from Takeda where he was Vice President and Head of Clinical and Analytical Science in Europe, with responsibility for all Clinical Science activities in Neurosciences, Cardiovascular/Renal/Metabolic, Oncology, Gastrointestinal/Genitourinary and Respiratory Medicine, as well as Clinical Pharmacology, Medical Writing, Statistics and Data Management.
Suhail’s initial industry experience was at Pfizer, where he spent 12 years, initially in Sandwich, UK and then at Global R&D Headquarters in Connecticut, USA. During his time at Pfizer he held roles of increasing responsibility across multiple therapeutic areas including GI/GU, anti-bacterial, sexual medicine and anti-fungal, prior to completing his time at Pfizer as Head of Neuroscience Clinical R&D at the Groton site in Connecticut.
During his career he has led teams bringing multiple compounds from pre-clinical phase into clinical studies in both Europe and US, and achieved multiple successful NDA and MAA submissions and approvals.
Suhail qualified in Medicine at Dundee University in Scotland and completed his post-graduate medical training at Hope Hospital in the University of Manchester.
Commenting on the appointment, Dr Anker Lundemose, CEO of Mission Therapeutics said: “We are pleased to be welcoming Suhail to further strengthen Mission’s leadership team. His in-depth knowledge and proven track record in clinical research will be invaluable as we work to bring our first-in-class USP30 inhibitor compound into the clinic. Suhail’s appointment is the last of a series of organisational changes, including the promotions of Dr Paul Thompson and Dr Nick Edmunds, to ready the Company for this next phase.”
Dr Suhail Nurbhai added: “It’s great to be joining Mission at such an exciting time for the Company. The ongoing collaboration with AbbVie and recently signed agreement with Pfizer represent solid industry validation of the Company’s approach and ground-breaking technology. I look forward to building on this success progressing its lead assets into the clinic.”
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NOTES TO EDITORS:
About Mission Therapeutics
Mission Therapeutics is an early-stage drug development company targeting the ubiquitin pathway for the treatment of kidney disease, neurodegenerative disease, rare mitochondrial diseases and fibrosis. The Company has built a leading platform for the discovery and development of first-in-class, small molecule drugs that selectively target deubiquitylating enzymes (DUBs) – an emerging drug class that is attracting significant commercial interest in the area of protein homeostasis.
Mission has strong
X-37, LLC, an artificial intelligence-enabled drug discovery company, announced today that David Gluckman, M.D., has joined the company’s Board of Directors. Dr. Gluckman is Vice Chairman of Investment Banking and Global Head of Lazard’s Healthcare Group. He has been with Lazard since 1998, providing strategic and financial advice to senior executives and boards of directors at leading healthcare companies globally.
“We welcome Dr. Gluckman to X-37’s Board of Directors and look forward to benefitting from his experience and expertise in corporate strategy and finance as we advance our discovery and development programs against a variety of pharmaceutical targets,” said David Collier, M.D., CEO and cofounder of X-37. “Dr. Gluckman’s network and experience will be very valuable to X-37 as we seek to capitalize on these developments through partnerships with, and acquisitions by, major pharmaceutical companies.”
X-37 identifies high-value drug targets, generates novel drug leads against these targets using Atomwise’s AI platform for structure-based drug design, and develops each of these drug programs to a medically-relevant inflection point, where it can be acquired by or partnered with a major pharmaceutical company to be brought to market. X-37 makes use of an LLC structure permitting each drug development program to be housed in a separate virtual company under the parent LLC. This structure allows X-37 to divest individual drug development programs, while maintaining the parent company and team.
“X-37’s flexible business model allows these successful drug hunters to do what they do best, discover and develop novel drug candidates for important diseases,” said Dr. Gluckman. “I look forward to providing strategic guidance to the X-37 leadership team to help them capitalize their multiple therapeutic opportunities.”
Dr. Gluckman is a member of the Advisory Board of the Vagelos Program in Life Sciences and Management, jointly administered by the College of Arts and Sciences and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Hackley School. He is a member of the Leadership Council of AmeriCares and is a Lazard representative in The Council of Foreign Relations, Corporate Leader Program. Prior to joining Lazard, Dr. Gluckman was a practicing physician in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Gluckman is a licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada and a member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.
X-37 is a pharmaceutical discovery and development company, which uses advanced artificial intelligence technology from Atomwise, Inc., to screen vast libraries of chemical compounds against high value pharmaceutical targets. X-37 develops these novel drug candidates under an innovative LLC structure which allows the sale or partnership of individual development programs in a simple and efficient manner. The team at X-37 possesses deep expertise in pharmaceutical development and the selection of pharmaceutical targets of high importance. For more information, please visit www.x37.ai.
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Jessica Yingling, Ph.D., Little Dog Communications Inc., +1 858-344-8091, [email protected]
Sapreme, a biotechnology company focused on improving the delivery and efficacy of macromolecule therapeutics, today announced the appointment of Miriam Bujny, Ph.D., as Chief Development Officer. With over ten years of experience in drug discovery, translational science and early stage clinical development, Dr. Bujny will apply her expertise in RNA and antibody therapeutic development to further advance Sapreme’s proprietary endosomal escape platform through preclinical development. Dr. Bujny will be based at Sapreme’s headquarters in Utrecht, The Netherlands, and will report to the CEO.
“Throughout my career, I have seen the limitations of developing promising therapeutic candidates due to the lack of delivery into key cells,” commented Dr. Bujny, Chief Development Officer of Sapreme. “Sapreme is developing a promising platform, that has the ability to improve the delivery and thereby the efficacy for a broad range of macromolecules such as antibody-conjugated toxins and antisense oligonucleotides. I look forward to applying my experience and knowledge toward Sapreme’s mission of developing next-generation macromolecule therapeutics.”
Commenting on the appointment, Guy Hermans, Chief Executive Officer of Sapreme said, “After recently announcing positive preclinical data on our proprietary endosomal escape platform, we are now concentrated on building out our team to accelerate the development of our compounds and identifying the full potential of our platform in the different therapeutic areas. Miriam’s experience in drug discovery and development as well as her demonstrated ability to strategically and operationally lead projects toward the next stage of development will be a valuable asset to us. We welcome Miriam to the team and look forward to working with her.”
Over the last ten years, Dr. Bujny has held leadership positions in various drug discovery and clinical development roles. Prior to joining Sapreme, Miriam worked at ProQR Therapeutics, a Dutch biotech company developing RNA therapies for severe genetic disorders, as Senior Director R&D. During her time at ProQR, she led the early development activities for a novel RNA therapy for Fuchs’ endothelial corneal dystrophy, a common inherited eye disease, from lead candidate optimization toward clinical development preparations. She also headed the Translational Science department and oversaw biomarker and assay development activities across a variety of RNA therapy programs for rare diseases. From 2012 to 2016, she worked in various roles for Janssen, part of the Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, where she established and headed the predictive biomarker department at the Janssen Prevention Center. Before that, she worked on anti-viral antibody therapy development and contributed to early clinical development as preclinical in vitro lead. Prior to this, Miriam worked at Crucell, before its acquisition by Johnson & Johnson, in the Innovation & Discovery Labs on antibody discovery and engineering.
Dr. Bujny holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Bristol with a specialization in endosomal transport. She completed postdoctoral training in the lab of Dr. Xiaowei Zhuang at Harvard University, specializing in developing imaging methods in order to apply them to biomedical questions.
Sapreme’s mission is to develop next-generation macromolecule therapeutics by
Maryland University of Integrative Health Appoints New Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Department Chair
Laurel, Md. – Maryland University of Integrative Health is pleased to announce that it has appointed Dr. Sharon Jennings-Rojas as the new chair of its acupuncture and Oriental medicine department. She brings a wealth of professional experiences to the role as a clinician, community health advocate, faculty member, and administrator.
Dr. Jennings-Rojas’ career includes a strong emphasis on community outreach and services. Since 2001, she has maintained a private practice providing care for individuals, families, and communities, and has served as a consultant, acupuncturist, and educator for the Howard County (MD) Detention Center and the Goucher College Student Health Center. She has also provided acupuncture detox services at Lincoln Hospital in New York, directed a maternal substance abuse acupuncture program as part of University of Maryland Medical Systems, consulted with the Federal Bureau of Prisons to incorporate acupuncture and meditation into recovery programs, and directed acupuncture and HIV administrative services for the CAMBA community support organization in the New York City area. Her work also includes providing access and advocacy for wounded warriors within various military installations.
“It’s paramount that we elevate the next generation of practitioners/healers. In this day and time, this new level of compassionate care is calling us all to take action by making integrative health, inclusive of acupuncture and other forms of world medicine, accessible to all people, including marginalized populations. We need more focus and care that provide an expanded understanding of the co-morbidities that plague underserved communities. Education and access are the keys. Once communities, and the people within them, know their natural healthcare options, and holistic ways of bolstering their health, they are more empowered to take their healthcare and wellness into their own hands. Education, self-advocacy, and access are key features of a healthcare system that can truly bring forth health and healing in all communities. MUIH is in a position to help redefine how we provide healthcare in this country. We’re prepared to take compassionate care to the next level, for all people and all communities.” said Dr. Jennings-Rojas.
She holds a Master of Acupuncture, and a Doctorate of Oriental Medicine from MUIH, as well as a B.A. in Eastern Philosophy from Vassar College. She has also completed graduate coursework in the philosophy of education from Teachers College of Columbia University. She also holds certification as a practitioner and trainer for the NADA protocol/ Ear acupuncture to address addictions, stress, and trauma. Dr. Jennings-Rojas has been a longstanding member of the MUIH community as a student, faculty, and staff member. She previously held several roles in MUIH’s acupuncture and Oriental medicine department including clinical faculty, director of community partnerships, and division chair of clinical practices.
“Dr. Jennings-Rojas has the experience and vision to expand acupuncture access across healthcare settings and within communities. Her academic, administrative, and clinical backgrounds make Dr. Jennings-Rojas the ideal leader for educating an acupuncture workforce prepared to address the complexity of modern healthcare needs,” said Dr. James Snow, Dean of Academic Affairs.
About Maryland University of Integrative