Regulus Therapeutics Appoints Neil W. Gibson, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer
- Experienced drug developer brings significant research and development experience to company leading development of new medicines targeting microRNAs -
LA JOLLA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Regulus Therapeutics Inc., a biopharmaceutical company leading the discovery and development of innovative new medicines targeting microRNAs, today appointed Neil Gibson, Ph.D., as its chief scientific officer.
In this role, Dr. Gibson will be responsible for leading all research and development efforts at Regulus. Dr. Gibson has more than 17 years of pharmaceutical drug development experience, including the direction of strategy for oncology discovery efforts at Pfizer. He joins Regulus from the Oncology Research Unit at Pfizer, La Jolla, where he most recently held positions as chief scientific officer and oncology therapeutic area head. Dr. Gibson also held leadership roles on Pfizer's Oncology Business Unit leadership team and global leadership team of Pfizer's Pharmatherapeutics Organization.
Prior to his years at Pfizer, Dr. Gibson held positions at OSI Pharmaceuticals including chief scientific officer. Dr. Gibson's industry experience has also included service as a director for cancer research in the Department of Cancer and Osteoporosis for Bayer.
"Neil brings to Regulus significant pharmaceutical research and development experience, further strengthening our management team and positioning the company to make significant progress in our drug development efforts," said Kleanthis G. Xanthopoulos, Ph.D., president and CEO of Regulus. "Neil's appointment comes at an important time as Regulus prepares to move into clinical stage development of our novel microRNA therapeutics across multiple therapeutic areas. With his extensive experience in drug development, Neil will play an integral role in driving Regulus forward."
Dr. Gibson added, "I am very enthusiastic about joining Regulus at the dawn of a new era in medicine as we anticipate the introduction of the first microRNA therapeutics in development. I look forward to leading the Regulus research and development team while we continue to pioneer the development of novel treatments that target microRNAs. This new class of medicines has tremendous potential to change the way in which we practice medicine by opening up the possibility of targeting entire disease pathways with a single drug."
Dr. Gibson has held numerous academic appointments, including associate professor, School of Pharmacy and Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Southern California, and Fogarty Fellow at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health. During his career, Dr. Gibson has served on the Experimental Therapeutics Study Section of the National Cancer Institute and has been actively involved with the American Association of Cancer Research. He is also a past president of the British Pharmaceutical Students Association. Dr. Gibson earned his Ph.D. in 1982 from the University of Aston in Birmingham, England.
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 fibrosis, HCV, immuno-inflammatory diseases, metabolic diseases, and oncology. 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, 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 each of Alnylam's and Isis' annual report 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.