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 News Release - October 15, 2019

World Renowned Experts Appointed to Skyhawk Therapeutics Scientific Advisory Board

The company expands its Scientific Advisory Board with four additional RNA splicing, genetics, and disease experts, who join SAB Chair Professor Tyler Jacks & special advisor Professor Phil Sharp as well as several other internationally-recognized SAB members.

WALTHAM, Mass., Oct. 15, 2019 -- (Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network) -- Skyhawk Therapeutics, Inc. ("Skyhawk"), a drug discovery and development company focused on revolutionizing disease treatment with small molecules that modify RNA expression, today announced the appointment of four additional internationally recognized experts in RNA biology and disease to its Scientific Advisory Board.

"I am thrilled that we have assembled such a stellar group of RNA biology and human disease experts for Skyhawk's Scientific Advisory Board," said Prof. Tyler Jacks, Director of MIT's Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and Chair of Skyhawk's SAB. "We look forward to having their combined knowledge and wisdom help guide Skyhawk's research and development efforts, to progress even more rapidly towards groundbreaking new approaches and therapies for patients with a variety of difficult-to-treat diseases."

Prof. Ben Blencowe is an internationally recognized RNA biologist who has made pioneering contributions to the understanding of the molecular mechanisms controlling alternative splicing and their roles in evolution, development and disease. He holds the Banbury Chair of Medical Research and is Professor in the Donnelly Centre at the University of Toronto; he also serves as Director of the Donnelly Sequencing Centre. Prof. Blencowe has received numerous awards and honors for his research excellence and was recently elected Fellow of the Royal Society (UK).

Dr. Ben Ebert is the George P. Canellos, MD and Jean S. Canellos Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Chair of Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. His research focuses on the genetics, biology, and therapy of myeloid malignancies. His work has led to the characterization of clonal hematopoiesis as a pre-malignant state for hematologic malignancies, and elucidation of the mechanism of action of lenalidomide and related molecules that induce degradation of specific proteins. Dr. Ebert has served as president of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and the Association of American Physicians.

Prof. Jeannie T. Lee is Professor of Genetics and Pathology at Harvard Medical School, the Blavatnik Institute, and the Massachusetts General Hospital. She specializes in the study of epigenetic regulation by long noncoding RNAs and uses X-chromosome inactivation as a model system. Prof. Lee also translates basic knowledge to find treatments for genetic disorders and co-founded two publicly traded companies — Translate Bio and Fulcrum Therapeutics. She is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, a 2018 Harrington Rare Disease Scholar, the 2016 recipient of the Lurie Prize, a 2016 recipient of the Centennial Award from the Genetics Society of America, the 2010 awardee of the Molecular Biology Prize from the National Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Prof. Maurice Swanson is an expert on the regulation of RNA alternative processing during mammalian development and how this regulation is disrupted in neurological and neuromuscular diseases, including some types of muscular dystrophy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Prof. Swanson is a Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at the University of Florida College of Medicine and Associate Director of the Center for NeuroGenetics. His lab focuses on the functions of repetitive DNA elements, particularly microsatellites or short tandem repeats (STRs), in RNA-mediated disorders. An important objective of these studies is to enhance tissue regeneration following treatment modalities designed to block the toxicity of STR.

These four new members join Skyhawk's existing Scientific Advisory Board members & advisors including:

  • Prof. Tyler Jacks, pioneer in the use of gene targeting technology to study cancer-associated genes and to construct mouse models of many human cancer types; currently Skyhawk SAB Chair, Director of MIT's Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, and Professor of Biology at MIT;
  • Prof. Phillip A. Sharp, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of "split genes" (splicing); currently Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and member of the Department of Biology and the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research;
  • Prof. Frédéric Allain, expert in the role of RNA in disease and the use of NMR technology to elucidate the structure of protein-RNA complexes; currently Board Professor, Institute of Molecular Biology and Biophysics at ETH, Zurich, Switzerland;
  • Prof. Steven Bell, leading researcher on DNA replication and enzyme regulation during the cell cycle to ensure genomic maintenance; currently Professor of Biology at MIT;
  • Prof. Adrian Krainer, expert on the role and mechanisms of RNA splicing proteins, and the means by which faulty splicing can be corrected; currently Professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory;
  • Prof. Jackie Lees, leading researcher on proteins and pathways that control cellular proliferation, terminal differentiation and/or apoptosis; currently Associate Director, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research & Professor of Biology at MIT;
  • Prof. Friedrich Metzger, leading scientist in RNA-based disease and neurological conditions; currently Professor of Neurobiology at the University of Freiburg, Germany, former Head of Discovery Rare Diseases at Roche running drug discovery programs for Alzheimer's, ALS, Parkinson's, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) & Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).

About Skyhawk Therapeutics

Skyhawk Therapeutics is committed to discovering, developing and commercializing therapies that use its novel SkySTAR™ (Skyhawk Small molecule Therapeutics for Alternative splicing of RNA) platform to build small molecule drugs that bring breakthrough treatments to patients.

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Source: Skyhawk Therapeutics

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