CAMP4 poaches Translate Bio medical chief, adds ex-Biogen R&D leader Al Sandrock to advisory board

CAMP4 Therapeutics' leadership team has ascended to the next level with the addition of Chief Medical Officer Ann Barbier, M.D., Ph.D., who joins from Translate Bio, where she held the same post when Sanofi acquired the biotech for $3.2 billion in August 2021. 

The RNA therapy biotech also named ex-Biogen R&D leader Al Sandrock, M.D., Ph.D., to its scientific advisory board. The startup has a history with Biogen: The two had a neurological and neurodegenerative disease collaboration, inked in January 2020, but that went to the wayside when the biotech refocused last year with new investors.

Ann Barbier Headshot

While at Translate, Barbier led the development of an inhaled messenger RNA therapy for cystic fibrosis. The asset, dubbed MRT5005, experienced mixed results in the clinic and was going through a phase 1/2 trial in the lung disorder. The drug does not appear on Sanofi's pipeline page.

Now at CAMP4, Barbier will help the fledging biotech on its mission to restore gene expression with preclinical-stage programs across epilepsy condition Dravet syndrome, frontotemporal dementia and various liver diseases. 

Biogen R&D Chief Al Sandrock

She will help lead CAMP4's transition into the clinic and expand the pipeline to include more genetic diseases, Barbier said in a statement. The Cambridge, Massachusetts, biotech plans to ask the FDA to approve clinical testing of the molecule for Dravet syndrome by the end of this year.

For his part, Sandrock joins the advisory board after a 23-year career at Biogen that ended at the conclusion of a rocky 2021. He's since joined multiple boards across the industry, including CNS-focused Atalanta Therapeutics just last week. He also joined Voyager Therapeutics and Verge Genomics in February.

“Having watched the company’s science mature in recent years, I believe CAMP4 is capable of exploiting a vast opportunity to enable tunable upregulation of gene expression to treat disease, and I look forward to lending my experience to help guide these efforts," Sandrock said in a statement.