Sirnaomics Appoints Dr. Evans as CSO to Lead Preclinical Antifibrosis & Anticancer RNAi Programs
Sirnaomics, Inc. (www.sirnaomics.com), a leading biopharmaceutical company in discovery and development of RNAi therapeutics, announced today that David Evans, Ph.D., a co-founder of the company, has been appointed as Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Evans’ role will be to lead the company’s preclinical programs for novel RNAi therapeutics. Dr. Evans is a pioneer in the field of RNAi technology development and RNAi therapeutic discovery. His scientific leadership will further strengthen the company’s management team for novel siRNA therapeutic development, especially in oncology space.
Dr. Evans has more than thirty years of experience in the biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industry. He is a serial entrepreneur - having founded companies focused on high throughput screening, functional genomics, RNAi technology, drug target identification and therapeutic development. In 2008, Dr. Evans served as a co-founder of Sirnaomics and helped the company establish a discovery platform for novel siRNA therapeutics. He has instrumentally led the company’s antiviral and anticancer programs and was the recipient of multiple NIH SBIR grants. Before joining Sirnaomics on a full-time basis, Dr. Evans managed the In Vitro Screening labs (consisting of the NCI60 cell screening and Target Validation and Screening groups) for the Frederick National Lab for Cancer Research - a joint facility between NIH/NCI and Leidos Inc.
“We are excited to have David lead our novel siRNA therapeutic development efforts and his expertise in oncology will allow us to expand our oncology pipeline. His unparalleled experience and knowledge in novel drug target identification and cancer pathway analysis for RNAi therapeutics will greatly enhance our capabilities to accelerate multiple preclinical programs in oncology and especially immune oncology fields,” Dr. Patrick Lu, founder, president and CEO of the company, commented. “David’s experience with cancer research will bring tremendous value to Sirnaomics management team.”
“Dr. Evans’ addition to Sirnaomics will boost our preclinical development efforts. David has extensive experience in the oncology space and his unique skill set will allow us to expand and accelerate our preclinical development pipeline in the coming years. Sirnaomics recognizes that oncology is a key therapeutic area where siRNA technologies can make a very meaningful impact. David’s addition to the management team will help establish Sirnaomics as a leader among the new crop of biotech companies that will be entering the global healthcare market,” stated Dr. Michael Molyneaux, CMO of Sirnaomics, Inc.
Dr. Evans’ background has been on building and leading scientific research teams focused on target/drug discovery and early stage drug development efforts. His prior biotechnology industrial experience includes Millennium Pharmaceuticals (Manager, Novel Assay Technologies), Serono Pharmaceuticals (Head, High Throughput Screening), TGEN Cancer Drug Development Lab (Head, Cancer Drug Discovery), Dharmacon (Sr Director, RNAi discovery and therapeutic services) and Frederick National Lab for Cancer Research (Head, In Vitro Screening group). David has also been actively involved with GRL, an innovation incubator with several successful companies in its portfolio. “I am excited to be joining Sirnaomics as their new Chief Scientific Officer. The company is a leader in the field of RNAi therapeutic delivery and we have many opportunities ahead to bring innovative therapeutics to patients with disease. I am looking forward to working with our exceptional team to bring new products to the clinic,” said Dr. David Evans.
About Sirnaomics Clinical Programs
The leading compound of Sirnaomics STP705 is composed of two siRNA oligonucleotides, targeting TGF-β1 and COX-2 mRNA respectively, and formulated in nanoparticles with Histidine-Lysine Co-Polymer (HKP) peptide. Each individual siRNA was demonstrated to inhibit the expression of their target mRNAs and combining the two siRNA’s produces a synergistic effect that diminishes pro-fibrogenic and pro-inflammatory factors. Molecular analyses of the effects of administering the combination demonstrated that the inhibition of these targets had effects on downstream gene products associated with fibrosis including α-SMA, Col1A1, and Col3A1. Additional data suggests that reductions in TGF-β1 and COX-2 led to proapoptotic effects in fibroblasts. These observations suggest that STP705 has the potential for broad application in many inflammatory and fibrotic disease states. STP705 has already entered Phase 2a clinical study in USA and received clinical study approval from Chinese FDA for treatment of hypertrophic Scar. In addition, STP705 has received two orphan drug designations for treatments of Liver Fibrosis: Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) and Liver Cancer: Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) later last year. The company is moving forward to file INDs for novel siRNA therapeutics for treatment of CCA and Non-melanoma Skin Cancer (NMSC) this year. Other clinical indications for human fibrotic diseases and cancers using different RNAi therapeutic compounds are under development by Sirnaomics.
About Sirnaomics, Inc.
Sirnaomics, Inc., a leading privately held biopharmaceutical company for discovery and development of RNAi therapeutics, is a Delaware corporation headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA, with subsidiaries in Suzhou and Guangzhou, China. The company’s mission is to alleviate human suffering and advance patient care in areas of high unmet medical need. Members of the senior management team have extensive experience in the biopharmaceutical, financial, clinical and business management arenas in both the USA and China and the company is supported with funding from private investors, corporate partnerships and government grants. Sirnaomics has developed a strong portfolio of intellectual property with an enriched product pipeline. The therapeutic areas of interest include fibrotic diseases and oncology. Learn more at www.sirnaomics.com.