Healthcare Industry News: RNAi therapeutics
News Release - August 4, 2008
Regulus Therapeutics Appoints Garry Menzel, Ph.D., as Executive Vice President Corporate Development and FinanceFormer Biotechnology Wall Street Leader to Play an Important Role in the Growth of Regulus
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. & CARLSBAD, Calif.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Regulus Therapeutics LLC, a joint venture between Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALNY ) and Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ISIS ) formed to discover, develop, and commercialize microRNA-based therapeutics, announced today the appointment of Garry Menzel, Ph.D., as Executive Vice President of Corporate Development and Finance. Dr. Menzel brings a very strong background in global biotechnology finance practices to Regulus.
“We are delighted to welcome Garry to Regulus. I have known Garry for many years and believe that his valuable insight and extensive experience on Wall Street will complement our team of experts in microRNA-based drug discovery and development,” said Kleanthis G. Xanthopoulos, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Regulus. “We are very pleased that we have been able to rapidly assemble a world-renowned Scientific Advisory Board, a Board of Directors composed of industry leaders, and a dynamic executive team committed to advancing the field of microRNAs. This combined with the decades of work and key intellectual property from Isis and Alnylam, have provided us with an unprecedented opportunity to create a new class of high-impact drugs based on microRNAs.”
“I am very excited to join the executive management team of Regulus and have the opportunity to participate in the development of a completely new class of therapeutics,” said Garry Menzel, Ph.D. “I have seldom come across a biotechnology company with as much potential to create value from its revolutionary technology and patent estate. Not only does Regulus benefit from the RNA therapeutics experience of Alnylam and Isis, but the company also has an outstanding Scientific Advisory Board. The Regulus vision to generate high-impact medicines from a proprietary technology platform fits precisely with my views of the promise and excitement of the biotechnology industry.”
Before joining Regulus, Dr. Menzel had a distinguished career on Wall Street running the global biotechnology practices for Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse. He joined Goldman Sachs in 1994, where he was a Managing Director and founding member of the Healthcare Group. In 2004, Dr. Menzel joined Credit Suisse as a Managing Director. He served a broad range of biotechnology and pharmaceutical clients around the world, raising capital and negotiating merger agreements for some of the industry’s most significant transactions. Prior to his career on Wall Street, Dr. Menzel was a strategy consultant for Bain & Company, working on a variety of projects in Europe and Asia. Dr. Menzel earned a B.Sc. with Honors in Biochemistry from the Imperial College of Science & Technology in 1985, a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Cambridge in 1988, and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1994. He is an Associate of the Royal College of Science. Dr. Menzel serves as a director on the board of the Institute for Systems Biology and is an executive board member of the Epilepsy Therapy Project, where he chairs the Business Advisory Committee.
microRNAs are a recently discovered class of genetically encoded small RNAs, approximately 20 nucleotides in length, and are believed to regulate the expression of a large number of human genes. microRNA-based therapeutics represent a new approach for the treatment of a wide range of human diseases. The inappropriate absence or presence of specific microRNAs in various cells has been shown to be associated with specific human diseases including cancer, viral infection, metabolic disorders and inflammatory disease. Targeting microRNAs with novel therapeutic agents could result in novel and broadly acting treatments for human diseases.
Regulus Therapeutics LLC is a biopharmaceutical company formed to discover, develop, and commercialize microRNA-based therapeutics. Regulus aspires to translate one of the most important new discoveries in biology into a novel new approach for innovative medicine and to build the leading microRNA company. Created as a joint venture by Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Isis Pharmaceuticals, Regulus benefits from oligonucleotide drug discovery expertise, an established technology, and a broad intellectual property estate created and consolidated by its parent companies for the development and commercialization of microRNA-based therapeutics. Regulus’ patent estate includes over 600 patents and more than 300 pending patent applications, pertaining primarily to chemical modifications of oligonucleotides targeting microRNA for therapeutic applications. In addition, Regulus has collaborations with academic researchers to build on the company’s understanding of more than 60 microRNAs. In April 2008, Regulus formed a major alliance with GlaxoSmithKline to explore microRNA therapeutics for inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. Regulus, founded in September 2007, maintains facilities in Carlsbad, California. For more information, visit www.regulusrx.com.
About Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Isis is exploiting its expertise in RNA to discover and develop novel drugs for its product pipeline and for its partners. The Company has successfully commercialized the world's first antisense drug and has 18 drugs in development. Isis’ drug development programs are focused on treating cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Isis’ partners are developing antisense drugs invented by Isis to treat a wide variety of diseases. Ibis Biosciences, Inc., Isis’ majority-owned subsidiary, is developing and commercializing the Ibis T5000™ Biosensor System, a revolutionary system to identify infectious organisms. Isis is a joint owner of Regulus Therapeutics LLC, a joint venture focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of microRNA therapeutics. As an innovator in RNA-based drug discovery and development, Isis is the owner or exclusive licensee of over 1,500 issued patents worldwide. Additional information about Isis is available at www.isispharm.com.
About Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
Alnylam is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics based on RNA interference, or RNAi. The company is applying its therapeutic expertise in RNAi to address significant medical needs, many of which cannot effectively be addressed with small molecules or antibodies, the current major classes of drugs. Alnylam is leading the translation of RNAi as a new class of innovative medicines with peer-reviewed research efforts published in the world’s top scientific journals including Nature, Nature Medicine, and Cell. The company is leveraging these capabilities to build a broad pipeline of RNAi therapeutics; its most advanced program is in Phase II human clinical trials for the treatment of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. In addition, the company is developing RNAi therapeutics for the treatment of a wide range of disease areas, including hypercholesterolemia, liver cancers, and Huntington’s disease. The company’s leadership position in fundamental patents, technology, and know-how relating to RNAi has enabled it to form major alliances with leading companies including Medtronic, Novartis, Biogen Idec, Roche, Takeda, and Kyowa Hakko Kogyo. To reflect its outlook for key scientific, clinical, and business initiatives, Alnylam has established “RNAi 2010” which includes the company’s plan to significantly expand the scope of delivery solutions for RNAi therapeutics, have four or more programs in clinical development, and to form four or more new major business collaborations, all by the end of 2010. Alnylam is a joint owner of Regulus Therapeutics LLC, a joint venture focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of microRNA therapeutics. Founded in 2002, Alnylam maintains headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.alnylam.com.
This press release includes forward-looking statements regarding the future therapeutic and commercial potential of Isis’, Alnylam’s and Regulus’ business plans, technologies and intellectual property related to microRNA therapeutics being discovered and developed by Regulus. Any statement describing Isis’, Alnylam’s or Regulus’ goals, expectations, financial or other projections, intentions or beliefs is a forward-looking statement and should be considered an at-risk statement, including those statements that are described as such parties’ goals. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, particularly those inherent in the process of discovering, developing and commercializing drugs that are safe and effective for use as human therapeutics, and in the endeavor of building a business around such products. Such parties’ forward-looking statements also involve assumptions that, if they never materialize or prove correct, could cause their results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Although these forward-looking statements reflect the good faith judgment of the management of each such party, these statements are based only on facts and factors currently known by Isis, Alnylam or Regulus, as the case may be. As a result, you are cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These and other risks concerning Isis’, Alnylam’s and Regulus’ programs are described in additional detail in Isis’ annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007, and its quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2008 and in Alnylam’s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007, and its quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2008, which are on file with the SEC. Copies of these and other documents are available from Isis or Alnylam.
Source: Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
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