Ribon hires CMO as lead PARP drug nears clinical trials

Ribon disclosed Parasuraman’s appointment alongside news that Edward Stewart has joined the company. (Pixabay)

Ribon Therapeutics has named Sudha Parasuraman as its CMO. Parasuraman, last seen occupying the same role at X4 Pharmaceuticals, joins Ribon as it works to use money from the VC groups at Johnson & Johnson and Novartis to take small molecule monoPARP inhibitors into the clinic.

Massachusetts-based Ribon ended several years of low-profile work at the turn of the year when it unveiled a $65 million series B round. Novartis Venture Fund led the round with assists from backers including Johnson & Johnson Innovation and Celgene, giving Ribon the ability to fund work needed to start testing its lead PARP7 inhibitor in humans.

To support that effort, Ribon has hired Parasuraman as CMO. Parasuraman has spent most of her career in industry to date at Novartis and Takeda’s Millennium. That phase of Parasuraman’s career culminated in her holding the title of senior medical director at Novartis.

Parasuraman left the Swiss company in 2016 to take up the position of VP of global medical affairs at uniQure. After 10 months at the gene therapy player, Parasuraman moved on to become CMO at X4. Parasuraman worked at X4 for a 19-month period that ended around this time last year. That history left Parasuraman will experience and skills that Ribon sees as a good fit for its operation.

In a statement, Ribon CEO Victoria Richon said Parasuraman has “expertise in leading clinical strategy, design and management of novel oncology programs, experience that aligns perfectly with our goal to bring first-in-class therapies to patients in need.”

Parasuraman will draw on that expertise as Ribon gears up to start testing its lead drug, RBN-2397, in humans in the third quarter of the year. The clinical trial will provide an early test of Ribon’s belief that its pursuit of some of the less-studied corners of the PARP family will lead to improved outcomes in cancer patients. 

Ribon disclosed Parasuraman’s appointment alongside news that Edward Stewart has joined the company as chief business officer. Stewart worked at Merrimack Pharmaceuticals for 15 years.