CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Moderna Therapeutics, which is developing a new platform designed to spur the body to create its own therapeutic proteins to treat a wide range of diseases, announced today that Divakar Ramakrishnan, Ph.D., is joining the company as Senior Vice President of Process Development, Manufacturing and Quality. His appointment is effective immediately.
Moderna is pioneering messenger RNA Therapeutics, a new biotherapeutic modality to restore protein function by enabling the body to produce its own healing proteins. In his new role, Dr. Ramakrishnan will lead drug substance, drug product and analytical development. He will also be responsible for scaling production of high purity mRNA in a current good manufacturing practices (cGMP) environment to support preclinical and clinical programs and designing a pilot manufacturing facility.
"I am very pleased to welcome Divakar as the newest member of our executive team," said Stephane Bancel, President and founding CEO of Moderna. "As we begin our transition into clinical development, we need a leader with unwavering commitment to quality, and the expertise needed to manage complex processes to manufacture mRNA products at the highest purity. Divakar brings unrivaled expertise in bioprocess development, manufacturing and supply chain management, and has personally led a GMP commercial plant and a network of six sites. His addition will enable us to continue our rapid progress to deliver a new, safe treatment modality to clinicians and patients."
Dr. Ramakrishnan joins Moderna from Eli Lilly and Company. As vice president of manufacturing he supported Lilly's animal health business with operational and supply chain responsibilities for six global sites and more than 60 contract manufacturers. He joined Lilly in 1998 as a senior scientist in Lilly Research Laboratories, and subsequently held positions including head of bioprocess development, senior director of biotech manufacturing strategy and manufacturing strategic planning and vice president of manufacturing science and technology. Dr. Ramakrishnan was also general manager of the Lilly Kinsale site in Ireland, where he led commercialization and manufacturing operations for biotech and chemical technologies, and has served as a management consultant for Cook Pharmica, LLC, developing business strategy and recruiting and directing their start-up operations and technical teams. He holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
"I am so pleased to join the Moderna team and help maximize the potential of Moderna's innovative mRNA technology platform to address unmet medical needs for patients," said Dr. Ramakrishnan. "I believe that Moderna has the same transformative power as recombinant DNA technology, which marked the advent of modern biotechnology thirty years ago, and expect this advance will have a similar impact for patients as well as industry."
Moderna is revolutionizing the restoration of protein function with Messenger RNA Therapeutics, a new treatment modality that enables the body to produce healing proteins in vivo. Moderna has created a novel method for producing a wide range of drugs in the body through the delivery of messenger RNA (mRNA) and is using this approach to develop first-ever treatments for a wide range of diseases that cannot be addressed today using existing technologies, and to drastically reduce the time and expense associated with creating therapeutic proteins using recombinant technologies. Visit www.modernatx.com to learn more.
Contact: Jessica Rowlands
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SOURCE Moderna Therapeutics