– USA, MA – RaNA Therapeutics, a leader in discovering and developing drugs to improve health for patients by targeting long non-coding RNA in order to selectively activate protein expression, today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Ronald C. Renaud, Jr., as Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Renaud most recently served as the President and Chief Executive Officer at Idenix Pharmaceuticals until its acquisition by Merck in August 2014. Mr. Renaud will also be appointed to the RaNA’s Board of Directors.
“We are very excited to have Ron join RaNA as we continue to make important progress with our proprietary RNA targeting technology,” said Daniel Lynch, Chairman of RaNA’s Board of Directors.
“Ron’s exceptional track record of leadership and operational expertise as well as a strong corporate development background will serve RaNA well as we embark on our next stage of growth,” added Jean-François Formela, MD, RaNA co-founder and partner at Atlas Venture.
RaNA’s proprietary approach is to selectively activate target genes and increase the expression or production of therapeutic proteins by targeting a type of regulatory RNA called long non-coding RNA (lncRNA). Emerging work from RaNA and its scientific collaborators has demonstrated that lncRNAs have specific regulatory functions in a wide variety of regulatory processes resulting in epigenetic modifications to specific genes. RaNA is the first company developing novel therapeutics that target lncRNA. As it pioneers this new class of medicines, RaNA is initially focused on using single-stranded oligonucleotides to target lncRNA in order to achieve “gain of function” of specific genes. There is broad applicability of RaNA’s approach, including rare genetic diseases, neurologic, musculoskeletal, and inflammatory diseases.
“I am thrilled and honored to be joining RaNA and its strong team of esteemed scientific founders, advisors, employees and investors to rapidly advance its proprietary platform and approach to targeting RNA,” said Mr. Renaud. “With recent breakthroughs elucidating the fundamental role that long non-coding RNA play in a broad range of biological processes, there is widespread excitement about the potential for this new modality of therapeutics that can selectively activate genes. I believe RaNA is in the best position to leverage its leadership in this area to develop novel therapeutic approaches and treat a wide range of unmet medical needs.”
Mr. Renaud joins RaNA from Idenix Pharmaceuticals where he served as President and Chief Executive Officer since October 2010. Under his leadership, Idenix refocused its drug discovery and development efforts on nucleotide prodrugs to treat hepatitis C virus (HCV), streamlined operations to better enable cross-functional collaboration and employee engagement, which culminated in its acquisition by Merck for $3.85 billion in August 2014. Prior to October 2010, Mr. Renaud served as the Chief Financial Officer of Idenix from the time he joined Idenix in June 2007 and was additionally appointed chief business officer in June 2010. Prior to joining Idenix, Mr. Renaud served as senior vice president and chief financial officer of Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, from February 2006 to May 2007. From 2000 to 2006, Mr. Renaud was a biotechnology equity research analyst at JP Morgan, Schwab Soundview and Bear Stearns. He also spent more than five years at Amgen, where he held positions in clinical research, investor relations and finance. Mr. Renaud holds a BA from St. Anselm College and an MBA from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. Mr. Renaud is currently a board member of PTC Therapeutics and Akebia Therapeutics.
About RaNA Therapeutics, Inc.
RaNA Therapeutics is pioneering the discovery of a new class of medicines that target RNA to selectively activate protein expression within the body’s own cells. RaNA’s novel drugs work by targeting specific genes to achieve “gain of function” to precisely upregulate the expression of beneficial proteins. RaNA Therapeutics was founded based on technology developed in the laboratory of scientific founder Jeannie T. Lee, MD, PhD, and exclusively licensed from Massachusetts General Hospital. The company’s leadership leverages preeminent founders and advisors in the field, and the strength of its fundamental patents, technology, and know-how that underlie the discovery and development of therapeutics that selectively activate RNA.
RaNA is focused on developing treatments for diseases with a significant unmet clinical need that are difficult or impossible to address with other existing technologies. While RaNA’s modality has the potential to apply to a broad range of diseases, the Company’s initial focus is on genes repressed by disease, or genes where expression above normal levels would be therapeutically beneficial. Many such therapeutic areas exist, including rare genetic diseases, neurologic, musculoskeletal and inflammatory diseases. RaNA Therapeutics was founded in 2011 with seed funding from Atlas Venture followed by a Series A financing co-led by Atlas Venture, SR One, Monsanto and MGH Partners Innovation.
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