After Alexion buyout, ex-Achillion nephrology lead jumps ship to Gemini Therapeutics

Marc Uknis, M.D., hit the exit at Achillion after its buyout by Alexion this year. (Pixabay)

Just a few months after Alexion snapped up complement inhibitor biotech Achillion, Gemini Therapeutics has nabbed one of its key R&D execs as its new chief medical officer.

Marc Uknis, M.D., comes from his role as Achillion’s vice president and global nephrology development lead for complement factor D inhibition programs, where he had been since 2018.

The biotech was bought out by Alexion at the start of the year for just shy of $1 billion and, as is usually the case when a bigger company buys a smaller one, prompted Uknis to jump ship.

He now boards Gemini, a biotech working on next-gen treatments for dry age-related macular degeneration and linked ocular disorders. He joins as CMO and will be a part of the management team, overseeing its clinical development efforts.

This includes its lead clinical stage candidate, GEM103, a recombinant form of the naturally occurring complement factor H protein currently in phase 1. It also has an early-stage pipeline featuring recombinant proteins, monoclonal antibodies and gene therapies.

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“We’re very pleased to have Marc join our management team and oversee our clinical development efforts,” said Jason Meyenburg, CEO of Gemini. “Marc’s proven leadership and experience at the helm of successful clinical programs in immunology and rare diseases will be invaluable as we continue to advance our precision medicine pipeline for patients with dry AMD and linked diseases.”

“I am thrilled to join Gemini’s leadership team at such an exciting time,” added Uknis. “Gemini has built an unparalleled understanding of dry AMD and the genetic risks and role of complement dysfunction, and a promising and focused pipeline with its lead candidate, GEM103, in the clinic to treat a genetically selected population of dry AMD. I look forward to supporting the company’s pursuit of a targeted first-in-class complement modulator for patients with no therapeutic options.”