Healthcare Industry News:  metabolic disease 

Biopharmaceuticals Personnel

 News Release - September 30, 2009

Aileron Appoints Industry Veteran Diane Jorkasky, M.D., as Company's Head of Development and Chief Medical Officer

R&D Leader Joins Aileron from Pfizer to Build Pipeline of Novel Stapled Peptide Drugs

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept., 30--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Aileron Therapeutics, a biotechnology company discovering and developing a novel class of therapeutics called Stapled Peptides, announced today that it has appointed pharmaceutical industry veteran Diane Jorkasky, M.D., as the company’s Senior Vice President, Head of Development and Chief Medical Officer. This appointment reflects Aileron’s growth and expansion as the company creates a pipeline of novel stapled peptide drugs across a range of disease areas, using Ailerons’ proprietary drug discovery platform. Dr. Jorkasky will lead and direct Aileron’s emerging development, clinical research and regulatory activities across multiple therapeutic areas, and will report to Joseph A. Yanchik III, Aileron's Chief Executive Officer.

Dr. Jorkasky joins Aileron after nearly a decade at Pfizer, where she most recently served as Vice President, Development, head of Worldwide Clinical Research Operations and leader of the Operational Excellence Board for Development. While at Pfizer, Dr. Jorkasky was responsible for all exploratory development, clinical pharmacology (phase 1-4), translational medicine and clinical technology studies. Previously, she served at SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals as Vice President and Director of Clinical Pharmacology. She was also Chief of Renal Division, Department of Medicine at the Presbyterian Medical Center, University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Dr. Jorkasky has 23 years of experience in pharmaceutical drug discovery and product development, marked by achievements in innovation, translational research, and successful clinical development of new drug products. As an innovator, Dr. Jorkasky has been involved in the IND submissions of more than 200 drug compounds, as well as transforming clinical research processes to be highly effective and efficient. In translational research, Dr. Jorkasky has been instrumental in the translation of scientific ideas into clinical discoveries in leadership roles where she has lead R&D teams of up to 350 scientists. As a well-recognized leader in early development and clinical pharmacology, Dr. Jorkasky has advanced both biologics and new chemical entities through the clinical process to become approved drug products in multiple therapeutic areas including: Metabolic (Avandia®), Nephrology (Teveten®), Cardiovascular (Coreg®, torcetrapib/atorvastatin) and Immunology (Relafen®), and others in CNS and anti-infectives.

“I am excited to be a part of this innovative and growing organization, especially as it transitions its drug discovery programs into clinical development. I am impressed with the quality of the scientists and the data at Aileron, and the potential of this novel class of therapeutics to open a new therapeutic frontier beyond existing classes of small molecules, vaccines, and biologics,” said Dr. Jorkasky.

Dr. Jorkasky is board certified in internal medicine, nephrology and clinical pharmacology. She is on the faculties of Yale, Penn and Uniformed Service of Health Sciences medical schools. She was selected as a member of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering. Dr Jorkasky earned her M.D., from the University of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine, and conducted her residency in Internal Medicine at the Pennsylvania Hospital and her nephrology fellowship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. She has published over 100 peer reviewed articles and has been selected to be a Woodrow Wilson visiting fellow.

About Aileron Therapeutics

Aileron Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company that was first funded in 2005 by Apple Tree Partners to develop and advance a completely new therapeutic modality and class of drugs called Stapled Peptides that are based on discoveries made at Harvard University and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Stapled Peptide drugs represent the first general solution for modulating protein-protein interactions, which have been identified as critical control points for most human diseases. As such, Stapled Peptide drugs offer a unique opportunity to exploit potentially thousands of currently "undruggable" targets across all human diseases. Aileron is building a robust pipeline of therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, infectious disease, metabolic disease and immune/inflammatory diseases. Aileron Therapeutics is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For additional information, please visit

Source: Aileron Therapeutics

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