AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mirna Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of microRNA (miRNA) therapeutics, today announced the appointment of Clay B. Siegall, Ph.D., co-founder, President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Board of Directors of Seattle Genetics, as an outside director to its board of directors.
“We are excited to have Dr. Siegall join our distinguished group of directors, as his broad pharmaceutical industry experience and achievements in building a successful oncology company will be invaluable to the Mirna team and our board, and will help guide Mirna as we continue to advance the development of microRNA-based therapeutics,” said Dr. Paul Lammers, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mirna.
“MicroRNA-based therapeutics are an exciting area of cancer research, and Mirna is well-positioned with a strong pipeline of product candidates,” said Dr. Siegall. “I am pleased to join the Mirna Board of Directors, given the company’s early involvement in the miRNA field, and I look forward to working with the team to advance its promising programs for patients in need.”
Dr. Clay Siegall co-founded Seattle Genetics in 1998 and, under his leadership, the company has built a diverse pipeline of antibody-based therapies to address unmet medical needs of cancer patients. Its first commercial product, ADCETRIS® (brentuximab vedotin) was approved in August 2011 and the company has a broad pipeline of other product candidates. Seattle Genetics has also entered into multiple strategic collaborations with leading biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies in oncology. Dr. Siegall has guided Seattle Genetics’ capital-raising activities, securing more than $675 million through public and private financings, including the company’s initial public offering in 2001. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Alder BioPharmaceuticals, a private biotechnology company. Dr. Siegall was with the Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute from 1991 to 1997 and the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health from 1988 to 1991. He is an author on more than 70 publications and holds 15 patents. Dr. Siegall received a Ph.D. in Genetics from George Washington University and a B.S. in Zoology from the University of Maryland.
miRNAs are approximately 20-25 nucleotides long and affect gene expression by interacting with messenger RNAs. Unlike siRNAs, miRNAs are encoded in the human genome and are used as natural regulators of global gene expression. More than 1,400 miRNAs are encoded in the human genome and comprise approximately 2% of all mammalian genes. Since each miRNA appears to regulate the expression of tens to hundreds of different genes, miRNAs can function as “master-switches,” efficiently regulating and coordinating multiple cellular pathways and processes. By coordinating the expression of multiple genes, miRNAs are responsible for guiding proper embryonic development, immunity, inflammation, as well as cellular growth and proliferation. Misregulation of miRNAs appears to play a fundamental role in the occurrence, growth and dissemination of many cancers, and replacement of down regulated miRNAs in tumor cells results in a positive therapeutic response.
About Mirna Therapeutics
Mirna Therapeutics is a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of microRNA (miRNA) therapeutics. The Company has a foundational intellectual property portfolio on the therapeutic use of miRNAs developed by its own scientists as well as in-licensed from other institutions. Mirna’s IP portfolio contains >300 miRNAs with applications in oncology and other diseases. Oncology-directed miRNAs include those that are key tumor suppressors in cancer, such as miR-34 and let-7 that have proven to block tumor growth in a number of different pre-clinical animal studies. The Company, founded in 2007, is located in Austin, Texas, and has received significant funding from private investors as well as the State of Texas, both through the State’s Emerging Technology Fund and from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). For more information, visit www.mirnarx.com.