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|Akcea Therapeutics Announces Three Additions to Board of Directors|
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Akcea Therapeutics, a subsidiary of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: IONS), today announced three additions to the company's board of directors:
"We are excited to announce this expansion to our board and the opportunity to work with these exceptional leaders and advisors as we bring forward our advanced pipeline of novel drugs to treat patients with inadequately addressed lipid disorders, including volanesorsen, which we plan to submit for regulatory approval in the U.S., EU and Canada later this year," stated Paula Soteropoulos, president and chief executive officer of Akcea. "These additions to our board underscore the commitment at Akcea to building a differentiated, expertise-based approach to addressing significant unmet medical needs."
Mr. Gabrieli will serve as chairman of the Akcea board of directors. He is a partner emeritus at Bessemer Venture Partners, a venture capital fund. Previously, as a partner at Bessemer, he led their life sciences practice and made a founding investment in Ionis Pharmaceuticals. During his time at Bessemer, he invested in over thirty life science and health care companies, including several that became publicly traded. He has also served as a past member of the Ionis board of directors and is currently chief executive officer of Empower Schools, a non-profit education innovation organization. Mr. Gabrieli is also the chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education and a part-time lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Ms. Hochberg is a managing partner of Elaran, LLC, a business strategy and management firm. She has held a number of commercial leadership positions at both Forest Laboratories and Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories. At Forest, she served as chief commercial officer, executive vice president, international, strategic planning and government affairs and senior vice president-marketing. Ms. Hochberg has led the buildout of significant product portfolios and brand franchises spanning a broad array of therapeutic areas in both the U.S. and international markets. She has launched more than thirty products. She helped transform Forest from a generic product producer into a major, mid-cap branded pharmaceutical company, growing sales ten-fold to $4.5 billion and expanding the company's global footprint as well as efforts in several major therapeutic areas, including CNS, GI, respiratory, cardiovascular and anti-infectives.
Mr. Smith has, for the past 20 years, focused on drugs and therapies for rare genetic diseases. He has served as founder and chairman of Global Biolink Partners, Aegerion's interim chief executive officer, and following Aegerion's merger with Novelion, he serves as Novelion's vice chair. Mr. Smith held various positions at Sanofi-Genzyme (formerly Genzyme Corporation), most recently leading the integration of Genzyme's international business into Sanofi's global organization and, prior to that, he served as executive vice president of Genzyme Corporation, and president of Genzyme International. As president of Genzyme International, he oversaw the launch of 12 new products around the globe and grew the international business from less than $100 million to $2.4 billion, representing more than 60% of Genzyme's $5 billion in revenues. Mr. Smith was president, chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors of RepliGen Corporation. He also held various positions at Bristol-Myers Squibb, most recently as vice president of business development and strategic planning for the pharmaceutical and nutritional division. He currently serves on the boards of Cytokinetics Inc., Apricus Biosciences and Neuralstem Inc., each a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company.
With the additions of Mr. Gabrieli, Ms. Hochberg, and Mr. Smith as independent directors, the board of directors for Akcea will initially consist of six members, including Dr. Stanley Crooke, chairman and chief executive officer of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, B. Lynne Parshall, chief operating officer of Ionis Pharmaceuticals and Paula Soteropoulos, president and chief executive officer of Akcea Therapeutics.
ABOUT AKCEA THERAPEUTICS
In this press release, unless the context requires otherwise, "Ionis", "Akcea," "Company," "Companies" "we," "our," and "us" refers to Ionis Pharmaceuticals and/or Akcea Therapeutics.
Ionis Pharmaceuticals™ is a trademark of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Akcea Therapeutics™ is a trademark of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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SOURCE Akcea Therapeutics