Healthcare Industry News:  DNAi technology 

Biopharmaceuticals Personnel

 News Release - September 26, 2006

ProNAi Announces Executive Team Buildup, Names New CEO and Top Development Management

Pioneer in DNAi-based drug development adds experience and depth to top leadership, naming new CEO, CMO, VPs, project and administrative management

KALAMAZOO, Mich.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--ProNAi Therapeutics, Inc., a pioneer in developing a novel class of drugs based on DNA interference (DNAi), today announced that it has built up its leadership team, adding a veteran CEO and top R&D and management executives with long track records of success in life sciences.

Recently, the company named longtime life sciences executive Dr. Richard D. Gill as its new Chief Executive Officer, as ProNAi closes its bridge financing and embarks on its upcoming B round of investment.

In addition, ProNAi has also named the following company officers:

  • Donald C. Anderson, MD, Chief Medical Officer
  • Dr. J. Patrick McGovren, Vice President of Preclinical Development
  • Dr. Wendi V. Rodrigueza, Vice President of Product Development
  • Daniel C. Wade, Project Manager
  • Douglas A. Burlingham, Controller

Robert Forgey, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of ProNAi, said, "ProNAi is both thrilled and honored to have on board what can only be described as an 'all star' team of distinguished and proven life sciences leaders to help direct and guide our campaign to bring DNAi-based drugs to market. We are especially proud that the majority of our new company leadership hails from the Kalamazoo area, as a testament to the deep and rich pharma development talent in Michigan."

Dr. Gill said, "I am delighted to join the ProNAi team, alongside such excellent and quality professionals, as we embark on this fascinating mission. We feel it is both rare and unique - almost unprecedented - that such impressive and successful big pharma experience and knowledge becomes concentrated in a small dynamic company. We are excited at our upcoming prospects for building our business, and creating the first-ever pipeline of drugs based on our novel and promising DNAi technology."

Team ProNAi Profiles

  • Dr. Richard D. Gill, CEO - Dr. Gill joins ProNAi following over 25 years of strategic management, research and technology commercialization experience, as CEO of numerous life sciences and bio-IT companies. Most recently, Dr. Gill served as President and CEO of Signet Laboratories, Inc., a maker of monoclonal antibodies, and prior to that, was President and CEO of AnVil, Inc, following a similar post at ActiveCyte.

  • Donald C. Anderson, MD, CMO - Dr. Anderson has over 32 years of prestigious and award-winning service in life sciences industrial and academic environments, most recently serving as VP Discovery Research at Advancis Pharmaceutical Corporation, following a term as Global Head of Pharmacogenomics at Aventis Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Anderson has also served in executive capacities at Pharmacia & Upjohn, as well as held a 20-year professorship at the Baylor College of Medicine.

  • Dr. J. Patrick McGovren, VP, Preclinical Development - Dr. McGovren is a longtime and well-known cancer research specialist, holding senior positions in big pharma oncology departments, as well as extensive consulting experience. Prior to joining ProNAi, Dr. McGovren was most recently Research Director, Clinical Pharmacology, Medical Development at Pfizer, following a term as Clinical Research Manager, Oncology Medical Affairs at Pharmacia. Between 1976 and 2000, Dr. McGovren held numerous senior research and management positions at Pharmacia & Upjohn.

  • Dr. Wendi V. Rodrigueza, VP, Product Development - Dr. Rodrigueza, whose therapeutic research expertise includes cardiovascular disease, oncology, diabetes and metabolic diseases, joins ProNAi after most recently serving at Novartis Institute of Biomedical Research, Inc. (NIBRI) as Director, Product Management, Cardiovascular Disease Area. Prior to NIBRI, Dr. Rodrigueza held numerous senior research positions at both CuraGen and Esperion Therapeutics (now a division of Pfizer Global Research and Development).

  • Daniel C. Wade, Project Manager - Mr. Wade has a long and successful track record in pharma project management, having served in a wide number of project leadership roles during his 31-year tenure at Pfizer, most recently as project manager of the company's New Products Group (1992-2005), where he helped lead a number of successful new drugs to market.

  • Douglas A. Burlingham, Controller - Mr. Burlingham has over 30 years of financial and accounting experience, of which over 20 years were served in life sciences, notably The Upjohn Company, Pharmacia & Upjohn and Pfizer. He obtained is CPA in 1982 and received his MBA in Finance from Western Michigan University in 1992.

About ProNAi Therapeutics, Inc.

ProNAi Therapeutics, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical drug development company pioneering a new class of nucleic-acid drugs based on DNA interference (DNAi), which employs single strands of DNA to target and treat non-transcribed regions of genomes responsible for complex genetic diseases.

ProNAi is currently developing multiple DNAi-based drug candidates with the potential to treat multiple cancers, including non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, prostate, breast, and colon cancers. The company's lead drug candidate, PNT 100, which has demonstrated in vivo efficacy in a variety of human tumor xenograft models, is currently in preclinical development. ProNAi is also exploring the potential of DNAi-based therapies for indications such as diabetes, Alzheimer's and inflammatory disease.

ProNAi is based in Kalamazoo, Michigan. For more information, please visit:

Source: ProNAi Therapeutics

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