LEXINGTON, Massachusetts – (BUSINESS WIRE) – Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: DRNA) (the “Company” or “Dicerna”), a leading developer of investigational drugs for ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi), today announced the appointment of Rob Ciappenelli as Chief Strategy Officer, the Marc Abrams, Ph.D., was promoted to Senior Vice President, Discovery Research and Kristen Sheppard, Esq., Was added to Dicerna’s Executive Leadership Team as Senior Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications.
“As we advance our innovative pipeline and position Dicerna for the next phase of growth, we believe these new executive appointments will reinforce our strong focus on operational execution across our organization and effectively communicating Dicerna’s performance and strategy to all of our stakeholders “Said Douglas Fambrough, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer at Dicerna. “I am excited to welcome Kristen to our executive management team and look forward to the additional leadership of Rob and Marc in advancing Dicerna’s mission as the biopharmaceutical leader in RNAi innovation.”
Rob Ciappenelli, Chief Strategy Officer
In his new role as Chief Strategy Officer, Mr. Ciappenelli will be responsible for overseeing Dicerna’s cross-functional product creation and pipeline expansion as well as ongoing high-performance alliance management to support Dicerna’s collaborative partnerships.
Mr. Ciappenelli brings more than 30 years of global experience in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and healthcare consulting industries to this position, most recently as Chief Commercial Officer of Dicerna. Throughout his career, Mr. Ciappenelli has managed company portfolios ranging from early development candidates to market-ready products for rare diseases, neurological disorders, and respiratory and gastrointestinal disorders. He has extensive experience building and building new product planning initiatives, leadership and development programs, and managing global strategic operations. Prior to joining Dicerna, Mr. Ciappenelli led commercial and strategic operations for Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Shire plc, and Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Mr. Ciappenelli earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.
Marc Abrams, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Discovery Research
In his new role as Senior Vice President, Discovery Research, Dr. Abrams will be responsible for maintaining the high productivity of Dicerna’s discovery engine and generating new pipeline candidates.
Dr. Abrams joined Dicerna in 2014 as Senior Director, Preclinical Development and held positions of increasing responsibility for optimizing the pharmaceutical properties of Dicerna’s GalXC ™ technology platform and identifying and developing new RNAi targets for Dicerna and its collaborators. Before joining Dicerna, Dr. Abrams RNAi discovery and early development programs in oncology, and liver, cardiovascular, viral and autoimmune diseases at Sirna Therapeutics and Merck.
Dr. Abrams earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Thomas Jefferson University, an MSc in Biology from the University of Rochester, and a BS in Life Sciences and Biotechnology from Drexel University.
Kristen Sheppard, Esq., Senior Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
Ms. Sheppard comes to Dicerna with more than 20 years of experience building and leading investor relations, corporate communications and public affairs functions in the fields of biotechnology, medical devices and technology. Ms. Sheppard joins Dicerna from Akebia Therapeutics, Inc. where she served as Senior Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications. Before joining Akebia, Ms. Sheppard was Vice President, Investor Relations and Counsel at NxStage Medical, Inc. from 2008 until the takeover by Fresenius Medical Care in 2019 and was most recently Associate General Counsel of the company. Prior to NxStage, Ms. Sheppard held senior investor relations positions for listed and pre-IPO companies in the technology sector, as well as serving as government executive and public policy advisor for various healthcare companies.
Ms. Sheppard received her Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of New Hampshire. She is a member of the New Hampshire Bar Association.
About Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: DRNA) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of drugs that use ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi) to selectively silence genes that cause or contribute to disease bring. With our proprietary GalXC ™ and GalXC-Plus ™ RNAi technologies, Dicerna is committed to developing RNAi-based therapies that have the potential to treat both rare and common diseases. By silencing disease-causing genes, Dicerna’s GalXC platform has the potential to combat diseases that are difficult to treat with other modalities. Originally focused on disease-causing genes in the liver, Dicerna has continued to innovate and explore new applications of its RNAi technology with GalXC-Plus, which extends the functionality and application of our flagship liver-targeted GalXC technology to tissues and cell types outside the liver and has the potential to treat diseases in several therapeutic areas. In addition to our own pipeline of nuclear research and clinical candidates, Dicerna has developed collaborative relationships with some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, including Novo Nordisk A / S, Roche, Eli Lilly and Company, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH, and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Between Dicerna and our cooperation partners, we currently have more than 20 active research programs, preclinical or clinical programs that focus on cardiometabolic, viral, chronic liver and complement-mediated diseases as well as neurodegenerative diseases and pain. At Dicerna, our mission is to intervene – silencing genes, fighting disease, restoring health. More information is available at www.dicerna.com.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements. Examples of such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements we make about: our goal to develop RNAi-based therapies that have the potential to treat both rare and common diseases and disorders in a variety of therapeutic areas; the therapeutic and commercial potential of our product candidates and our GalXC ™ and GalXC-Plus ™ RNAi technologies; our product candidates and those of our cooperation partners and their development; the progress and expected milestones of our ongoing and planned clinical trials; the initiation of clinical trials for product candidates in our pipeline and those of our cooperation partners; the submission of INDs for our product candidates and those of our cooperation partners; the therapeutic potential of our product candidates; regulatory pathways, plans and timelines for our product candidates and those of our cooperation partners; the proposed filing of the New Drug Application (NDA) for nedosiran and our commercialization strategy for it, if approved; our collaborations and other strategic arrangements, including the intended benefits thereof; our strategy, business plans, and operational direction and execution across our organization; our efforts to expand the pipeline and position ourselves for our anticipated next phase of growth; and our collaboration with partners, including the pace and progress of development by our collaborators.
The process by which investigative therapies could potentially lead to an approved product is long and carries significant risks. Applicable risks and uncertainties include those related to Dicerna’s discovery, preclinical and clinical research, development and commercialization of product candidates, if approved, and other risks identified under the heading “Risk Factors” set out in the most recent Company filings on Forms 10-K and 10. Included are -Q and in other future filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These risks and uncertainties include the costs, timing and results of preclinical and clinical studies and other development activities by us and our cooperation partners; the likelihood that Dicerna’s clinical programs will be carried out within the specified timelines; Trust in the company’s contract research organizations (CROs); Predictability of timely enrollment of subjects and patients to advance Dicerna’s clinical trials; Dicerna’s reliance on contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs) to supply its products for research, development and commercialization; the risk of a supply interruption by a CMO; the potential of future data to change the initial and preliminary results of preclinical studies, models, and previous clinical studies; the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its variants on our operations and those of our CROs and CMOs, including the conduct of our research and development activities; the regulatory review process and the unpredictability of the duration and outcome of the regulatory review of investigational new drug (IND) and clinical trial applications (CTAs) required to advance the Company’s clinical programs; scheduling, planning and reviewing regulatory agencies for regulatory filings such as New Drug Applications (NDAs) and similar foreign filings for one or more Dicerna product candidates; Coordination with the FDA on the approval route for our product candidates; the ability to secure out-licensing opportunities to commercialize nedosiran, if approved, in the US and overseas on acceptable terms, if at all; the ability to secure, maintain and realize the intended benefits of working with partners; Market acceptance for approved products and innovative therapeutic treatments; Competition; the potential harm, inability to obtain intellectual property rights and the cost of doing so; possible safety or effectiveness concerns that may arise when new data is generated in R&D and after commercialization; Changes in our current clinical and operational plan; as well as general business, financial and accounting risks and litigation. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release reflect Dicerna’s current views with respect to future events and Dicerna assumes no obligation and expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.
GalXC ™ and GalXC-Plus ™ are trademarks of Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc.