La Jolla, California, August 22, 2019 (PR NEWSWIRE) – Avidity Biosciences, a biotechnology company pioneering Antibody-Oligonucleotide Conjugates (AOCs™) focused in rare muscle disorders and other serious diseases, today announced the appointment of Noreen Henig, M.D. and Edward Kaye, M.D., to the company’s board of directors.
“I am delighted to welcome Noreen and Ed to the Avidity board,” said Troy Wilson, Ph.D., Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors. “They bring deep experience in the development of oligonucleotide-based drug candidates and have held leadership roles in leading private and public companies. Their insight and perspective will be invaluable as we continue to advance our pipeline of therapeutic programs, optimize our AOC platform and prepare to initiate our first clinical study.”
Noreen Henig, M.D. brings over 20 years of clinical and development leadership experience at biopharmaceutical companies, in addition to an extensive background in academic research and medicine. Dr. Henig has served as Chief Medical Officer of Breath Therapeutics since July 2018. Breath Therapeutics was acquired by Zambon SpA in July 2019 for up to 500 Million Euros and is now a Zambon Group Company. Previously, she served as Chief Development Officer of ProQR Therapeutics from 2013-2017, where she led preclinical and clinical development. ProQR had a successful cross-over round and NASDAQ IPO as a preclinical company in 2014. Earlier in her drug development career, she spent six years at Gilead Sciences, most recently as the Senior Director, Medical Affairs for Respiratory and PAH. Throughout her career, Dr. Henig held several senior academic positions at California Pacific Medical Center and Stanford University School of Medicine. She earned her M.D. with Distinction in Immunology from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, completed training in Internal Medicine at the University of California San Francisco and Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Washington.
“Avidity’s platform and assets have almost limitless therapeutic potential,” said Dr. Henig. “I am impressed with the Avidity team and technology, and I look forward to guiding their strategic plan to quickly bring their molecules to clinical development. Avidity’s therapeutic programs in rare genetic diseases and immunology are important advancements for patients in need.”
Edward Kaye, M.D., has served as CEO and a director of Stoke Therapeutics since October 2017. Dr. Kaye previously served as CEO and a director of Sarepta Therapeutics, where he led the successful push to win FDA approval of Exondys 51, a pioneering drug for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Before taking on the CEO role at Sarepta, he served as the company’s Chief Medical Officer for six years, leading the development of Exondys 51. Earlier in his career, Dr. Kaye spent 10 years at Genzyme Corporation, most recently as Group Vice President of Clinical Development, where he supervised clinical research in programs focused on lysosomal storage disease and genetic neurological disorders. Dr. Kaye currently serves as a member of the boards of directors at Cytokinetics, Inc. and the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council. Prior to entering the biotech industry, Dr. Kaye trained in pediatrics, pediatric neurology and biochemical genetics. He was on the research staff at Massachusetts General Hospital and Tufts University Medical Center and was the chief of biochemical genetics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He remains on the pediatric neurology staff at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Kaye earned his B.S. in biology from Loyola University and earned his M.D. at the Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine.
“Avidity has developed a powerful approach to overcome a central challenge with oligonucleotide therapeutics – namely, delivery,” added Dr. Kaye. “AOCs have the potential to transform the field of oligo-based therapeutics, and I look forward to working with the leadership team and the board to continue to build the company.”
About Avidity Biosciences, Inc.
Avidity Biosciences, Inc. is a privately-held biotech company pioneering Antibody-Oligonucleotide Conjugates (AOC™). AOCs combine the tissue selectivity of monoclonal antibodies and the precision of oligonucleotide-based therapeutics to overcome barriers to the delivery of oligonucleotides and target genetic drivers of disease. Avidity has raised $30 million in venture financing from a top-tier group of investors, including Takeda Ventures, Alethea Capital, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Brace Pharma, EcoR1 Capital, F-Prime Capital, Moore Venture Partners, and Boxer Capital of Tavistock Group. In April 2019, Avidity and Eli Lilly announced a strategic partnership to utilize Avidity’s AOC™ technology to pursue therapeutic targets initially focused on immunology and other indications. For more information, please visit www.aviditybio.com.
Leslie Ann Kerins
Senior Vice President