LA JOLLA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Regulus Therapeutics Inc., a biopharmaceutical company leading the discovery and development of innovative new medicines targeting microRNAs, today announced that Lars Karlsson, M.D., Ph.D., has been named vice president of immunology and fibrosis. In this role, Dr. Karlsson will be responsible for leading the immunology and fibrosis drug discovery teams at Regulus.
“We are very pleased to welcome Lars to Regulus as he strengthens the management team and brings to the Company over two decades of research and drug discovery pharmaceutical experience,” said Kleanthis G. Xanthopoulos, Ph.D., president and CEO of Regulus. “Lars has the right scientific background and cultural fit to augment the expertise already in place at Regulus as we continue to lead in the development of microRNA therapeutics advancing a pipeline of partnered and proprietary candidates toward the clinic.”
Dr. Karlsson is well regarded as a leading immunologist with over 20 years of research and pharmaceutical experience. Before joining Regulus, Dr. Karlsson was at Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development from 1994 to 2011, most recently as team leader of their west coast immunology department and senior research fellow where he was responsible for projects through discovery until clinical proof-of-concept. Prior to that, Dr. Karlsson spent seven years as a researcher at the Scripps Research Institute in the Department of Immunology. Dr. Karlsson received a Ph.D. in Immunology in 1991 and an M.D. in 1985 from Uppsala University in Uppsala, Sweden.
“Regulus is unique in that it leverages an established oligonucleotide therapeutic platform to target a new set of drug opportunities in microRNAs. I am thrilled to be joining at such an exciting time in the growth of the company,” said Dr. Lars Karlsson. “The scientific team at Regulus combines the leading knowledge base of microRNA biology with a proprietary portfolio of chemical modifications to effectively discover and develop pharmacologic modulators of microRNAs. I look forward to working with the team already in place as we advance the multiple microRNA therapeutic programs into the clinic.”
Regulus has microRNA therapeutic programs in fibrosis, HCV, immunology, metabolism, and oncology.
The discovery of microRNA in humans during the last decade is one of the most exciting scientific breakthroughs in recent history. microRNAs are small RNA molecules, typically 20 to 25 nucleotides in length, that do not encode proteins but instead regulate gene expression. More than 700 microRNAs have been identified in the human genome, and over one-third of all human genes are believed to be regulated by microRNAs. A single microRNA can regulate entire networks of genes. As such, these molecules are considered master regulators of the human genome. microRNAs have been shown to play an integral role in numerous biological processes, including the immune response, cell-cycle control, metabolism, viral replication, stem cell differentiation and human development. Most microRNAs are conserved across multiple species, indicating the evolutionary importance of these molecules as modulators of critical biological pathways. Indeed, microRNA expression or function has been shown to be significantly altered in many disease states, including cancer, heart failure and viral infections. Targeting microRNAs with anti-miRs, antisense oligonucleotide inhibitors of microRNAs, or miR-mimics, double-stranded oligonucleotides to replace microRNA function opens potential for a novel class of therapeutics and offers a unique approach to treating disease by modulating entire biological pathways. To learn more about microRNAs, please visit http://www.regulusrx.com/microrna/microrna-explained.php.
About Regulus Therapeutics Inc.
Regulus Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company leading the discovery and development of innovative new medicines targeting microRNAs. Regulus is using a mature therapeutic platform based on technology that has been developed over 20 years and tested in more than 5,000 humans. In addition, Regulus works with a broad network of academic collaborators and leverages the oligonucleotide drug discovery and development expertise of its founding companies, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALNY) and Isis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ISIS). Regulus is advancing microRNA therapeutics towards the clinic in several key areas including hepatitis C infection, immuno-inflammatory diseases, fibrosis, oncology, and cardiovascular/metabolic diseases. Regulus’ intellectual property estate contains both the fundamental and core patents in the field and includes over 600 patents and more than 300 pending patent applications pertaining primarily to chemical modifications of oligonucleotides targeting microRNAs for therapeutic applications. In April 2008, Regulus formed a major alliance with GlaxoSmithKline to discover and develop microRNA therapeutics for immuno-inflammatory diseases. In February 2010, Regulus and GlaxoSmithKline entered into a new collaboration to develop and commercialize microRNA therapeutics targeting microRNA-122 for the treatment of hepatitis C infection. In June 2010, Regulus and sanofi-aventis entered into the largest-to-date strategic alliance for the development of microRNA therapeutics. This alliance is focused initially on fibrosis. For more information, please visit http://www.regulusrx.com.
This press release includes forward-looking statements regarding the future therapeutic and commercial potential of Regulus’ business plans, technologies and intellectual property related to microRNA therapeutics being discovered and developed by Regulus. Any statement describing Regulus’ goals, expectations, financial or other projections, intentions or beliefs is a forward-looking statement and should be considered an at-risk statement. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, particularly those inherent in the process of discovering, developing and commercializing drugs that are safe and effective for use as human therapeutics, and in the endeavor of building a business around such products. Such forward-looking statements also involve assumptions that, if they never materialize or prove correct, could cause the results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Although these forward-looking statements reflect the good faith judgment of Regulus’ management, these statements are based only on facts and factors currently known by Regulus. As a result, you are cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These and other risks concerning Regulus’ programs are described in additional detail in Alnylam’s and Isis’ annual reports on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010, which are on file with the SEC. Copies of these and other documents are available from either Alnylam or Isis.
KEYWORDS: United States North America California
INDUSTRY KEYWORDS: Health Biotechnology Genetics Oncology Pharmaceutical