Kleanthis Xanthopoulos has been named president and CEO of Regulus Therapeutics LLC, a joint venture between Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: ALNY) and Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. Xanthopoulos is co-founder and former CEO of Anadys Pharmaceuticals, and most recently was a managing director with Enterprise Partners Venture Capital.
Regulus Therapeutics LLC, a joint venture between Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALNY) and Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ISIS) formed to discover, develop and commercialize microRNA therapeutics, announced today the appointment of Kleanthis G. Xanthopoulos, Ph.D., as President and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Xanthopoulos is the co-founder and former President and Chief Executive Officer of Anadys Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
“Kleanthis has had a distinguished and broadly recognized career as a leader in the life sciences industry,” said John Maraganore, Ph.D., Chairman of Regulus, and President and Chief Executive Officer of Alnylam. “We expect his experience in building organizations from research to development stages will be instrumental as we build a leading company focused on advancing microRNA therapeutics.”
“We are delighted that Kleanthis has joined Regulus,” said Stanley Crooke, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Isis. “He has the right combination of entrepreneurial spirit and scientific knowledge balanced with business expertise, to advance the efforts already underway at Regulus.”
“MicroRNAs are an exciting new area of biology, and microRNA therapeutics represent a previously unexplored area of pharmaceuticals research that could lead to the emergence of novel high-impact drugs,” said Kleanthis G. Xanthopoulos, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Regulus. “Indeed, due to their mechanism of action, we believe microRNA therapeutics could have important implications for the treatment of a broad range of diseases including cancer, viral infection, and metabolic disorders. I am very excited to be joining Regulus at this time, as Isis and Alnylam have established a solid foundation of scientific and intellectual property leadership comprising an estate of more than 500 patents and decades of RNA-based research and development on which to build this leading biopharmaceutical company.”
Before joining Regulus, Dr. Xanthopoulos was a managing director of Enterprise Partners Venture Capital. Prior to that, he was a co-founder and served as President and Chief Executive Officer and Director of Anadys Pharmaceuticals from its inception in May 2000 to November 2006. From 1997 to 2000 he held a variety of positions at Aurora Biosciences Corporation (now Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated) including Vice President, Genomics & Molecular Biology. Dr. Xanthopoulos participated in The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Human Genome Project and was a Section Head of the National Human Genome Research Institute at NIH from 1995 to 1997. He was an Associate Professor of Molecular Biology at the Karolinska Nobel Medical Institute,
Dr. Xanthopoulos is a member of the board of directors of Anadys Pharmaceuticals, Odyssey Thera, Inc., and an executive board member of BIOCOM,
microRNAs are a recently discovered class of genetically encoded small RNAs, approximately 20 nucleotides in length, and are believed to regulate the expression of a large number of human genes. microRNA therapeutics represent a new approach for the treatment of a wide range of human diseases. The inappropriate absence or presence of specific microRNAs in various cells has been shown to be associated with specific human diseases including cancer, viral infection, and metabolic disorders. Targeting microRNAs with novel therapeutic agents could result in novel and broadly acting treatments for human diseases.
Regulus Therapeutics LLC is a biopharmaceutical company formed to discover, develop and commercialize microRNA therapeutics. The company was created as a joint venture between Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, a leader in RNAi therapeutics, and Isis Pharmaceuticals, a leader in antisense technologies and therapeutics. Isis and Alnylam scientists and collaborators were the first to discover microRNA antagonist strategies that work in vivo in animal studies (Krutzfeldt et al. Nature 438, 685-689 (2005); Esau et al. Cell Metab., 3, 87-98 (2006)). Isis and Alnylam have also created and consolidated key intellectual property for the development and commercialization of microRNA therapeutics. The company, founded in 2007, maintains facilities in Carlsbad, California. For more information, visit www.regulusrx.com .
About Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
Alnylam is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics based on RNA interference, or RNAi. The company is applying its therapeutic expertise in RNAi to address significant medical needs, many of which cannot effectively be addressed with small molecules or antibodies, the current major classes of drugs. Alnylam is leading the translation of RNAi as a new class of innovative medicines with peer-reviewed research efforts published in the world's top scientific journals including Nature, Nature Medicine, and Cell. The company is leveraging these capabilities to build a broad pipeline of RNAi therapeutics; its most advanced program is in Phase II human clinical trials for the treatment of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. In addition, the company is developing RNAi therapeutics for the treatment of influenza, hypercholesterolemia, and liver cancers, among other diseases. The company's leadership position in fundamental patents, technology, and know-how relating to RNAi has enabled it to form major alliances with leading companies including Medtronic, Novartis, Biogen Idec, and Roche. The company, founded in 2002, maintains headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.alnylam.com .
About Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Isis is exploiting its expertise in RNA to discover and develop novel drugs for its product pipeline and for its partners. The Company has successfully commercialized the world's first antisense drug and has 18 drugs in development. Isis' drug development programs are focused on treating cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Isis' partners are developing antisense drugs invented by Isis to treat a wide variety of diseases. Ibis Biosciences, Inc., Isis' wholly owned subsidiary, is developing and commercializing the Ibis T5000