– Rob Ciappenelli Appointed Chief Strategy Officer and Marc Abrams, Ph.D., Promoted to Senior Vice President of Discovery Research –
– Kristen Sheppard, Esq., Joins Company as Senior Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications –
LEXINGTON, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: DRNA) (the “Company” or “Dicerna”), a leading developer of investigational ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi) therapeutics, today announced the appointment of Rob Ciappenelli as Chief Strategy Officer, the promotion of Marc Abrams, Ph.D., to Senior Vice President, Discovery Research and the addition of Kristen Sheppard, Esq., 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 reinforce our strong focus on operational execution across our organization and the effective communication of Dicerna’s performance and strategy to all 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 Rob’s and Marc’s additional leadership in furthering Dicerna’s mission as a 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 efforts and pipeline expansion, as well as continued high-performance alliance management in support of Dicerna’s collaborative partnerships.
Mr. Ciappenelli brings to the role more than 30 years of global experience across the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and healthcare consulting industries and most recently served as Dicerna’s Chief Commercial Officer. During his career, Mr. Ciappenelli has managed company portfolios ranging from early development candidates to in-market products for rare diseases, neurological disorders and diseases of the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems. He has extensive experience in establishing 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 ensuring continued high productivity from Dicerna’s discovery research engine and generating new pipeline candidates.
Dr. Abrams joined Dicerna in 2014 as Senior Director, Preclinical Development and has held roles of increasing responsibility related to optimizing the pharmaceutical properties of Dicerna’s GalXC™ technology platform and identifying and advancing new RNAi targets for Dicerna and its collaborative partners. Prior to Dicerna, Dr. Abrams led RNAi discovery and early development programs in oncology, as well as liver, cardiovascular, viral and autoimmune diseases at Sirna Therapeutics and Merck.
Dr. Abrams earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Thomas Jefferson University, a Master of Science in biology from the University of Rochester and a Bachelor of Science in bioscience and biotechnology from Drexel University.
Kristen Sheppard, Esq., Senior Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
Ms. Sheppard joins Dicerna with more than 20 years of experience in building and leading investor relations, corporate communications and public affairs functions across the biotechnology, medical device and technology sectors. Ms. Sheppard joins Dicerna from Akebia Therapeutics, Inc. where she served as Senior Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications. Prior to Akebia, Ms. Sheppard was Vice President, Investor Relations and Counsel at NxStage Medical, Inc. from 2008 through its acquisition by Fresenius Medical Care in 2019 and also served most recently as the company’s Associate General Counsel. Prior to NxStage, Ms. Sheppard held senior leadership roles in investor relations for publicly traded and pre-IPO companies within the technology sector and also served as senior government affairs and public policy counsel to various healthcare entities.
Ms. Sheppard earned 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 discovering, developing and commercializing medicines that are designed to leverage ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi) to silence selectively genes that cause or contribute to disease. Using our proprietary GalXC™ and GalXC-Plus™ RNAi technologies, Dicerna is committed to developing RNAi-based therapies with the potential to treat both rare and more prevalent diseases. By silencing disease-causing genes, Dicerna’s GalXC platform has the potential to address conditions that are difficult to treat with other modalities. Initially focused on disease-causing genes in the liver, Dicerna has continued to innovate and is exploring new applications of its RNAi technology with GalXC-Plus, which expands 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 across multiple therapeutic areas. In addition to our own pipeline of core discovery and clinical candidates, Dicerna has established 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 collaborative partners, we currently have more than 20 active discovery, preclinical or clinical programs focused on cardiometabolic, viral, chronic liver and complement-mediated diseases, as well as neurodegenerative diseases and pain. At Dicerna, our mission is to interfere – to silence genes, to fight disease, to restore health. For more information, visit www.dicerna.com.
Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements
This press release includes 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, among others, statements we make regarding: our aim to develop RNAi-based therapies with the potential to treat both rare and more prevalent diseases and diseases across multiple 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 collaborative partners and the development thereof; the progress of and anticipated milestones for our ongoing and planned clinical trials; the initiation of clinical trials for product candidates in our pipeline and those of our collaborative partners; the filing of INDs for our product candidates and those of our collaborative partners; the therapeutic potential of our product candidates; regulatory pathways, plans and timelines for our product candidates and those of our collaborative partners; the planned submission of the New Drug Application (NDA) for nedosiran and our commercialization strategy therefor, if approved; our collaborations and other strategic arrangements, including the intended benefits thereof; our strategy, business plans and operational focus and execution across our organization; our pipeline expansion efforts and positioning for our anticipated next phase of growth; and our collaborations with partners, including the pace and progress of development by our collaborative partners.
The process by which investigational therapies could potentially lead to an approved product is long and subject to highly significant risks. Applicable risks and uncertainties include those relating 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” included in the Company’s most recent filings on Forms 10-K and 10-Q and in other future filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These risks and uncertainties include, among others, the cost, timing and results of preclinical studies and clinical trials and other development activities by us and our collaborative partners; the likelihood of Dicerna’s clinical programs being executed on timelines provided; reliance on the Company’s contract research organizations (CROs); predictability of timely enrollment of subjects and patients to advance Dicerna’s clinical trials; the reliance of Dicerna on contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs) to supply its products for research, development and commercialization; the risk of supply interruption from any CMO; the potential for future data to alter initial and preliminary results of preclinical studies, models and earlier-stage clinical trials; the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its variants on our business operations and those of our CROs and CMOs, including the conduct of our research and development activities; the regulatory review process and unpredictability of the duration and results of the regulatory review of Investigational New Drug (IND) applications and Clinical Trial Applications (CTAs) necessary to continue to advance the Company’s clinical programs; the timing, plans and reviews by regulatory authorities of marketing applications such as New Drug Applications (NDAs) and comparable foreign applications for one or more of Dicerna’s product candidates; alignment with the FDA on the regulatory pathway to approval for our product candidates; the ability to secure out-licensing opportunities to commercialize nedosiran, if approved, in the U.S. and abroad on acceptable terms, if at all; the ability to secure, maintain and realize the intended benefits of collaborations with partners; market acceptance for approved products and innovative therapeutic treatments; competition; the possible impairment of, inability to obtain and costs to obtain intellectual property rights; possible safety or efficacy concerns that could emerge as new data are generated in R&D and following commercialization; changes in our current clinical and operating plan; and 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 does not undertake and specifically disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.
GalXC™ and GalXC-Plus™ are trademarks of Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Kristen Sheppard, Esq.