CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Idera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:IDRA), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for orphan patient populations with B-cell lymphomas and autoimmune diseases, today announced the addition of three new management team members to support the Company’s progress in its development pipeline. The Company has appointed Kathryn Haviland, Vice President Rare Diseases; Joseph Lobacki, General Manager of Oncology; and Walter Strapps, Ph.D., Executive Director of RNA Therapeutics.
“Kate, Joe and Walter will play a critical role as we continue to advance and expand our pipeline of oncology and orphan therapeutics derived from our proprietary nucleic acid technology platforms,” said Sudhir Agrawal, D. Phil., Chief Executive Officer of Idera Pharmaceuticals. “Each of these individuals bring a breadth of biopharmaceutical industry expertise in orphan disease product development and global commercial strategy.”
Kathryn Haviland has joined the Company as Vice President Rare Diseases and will be focusing on advancing Idera’s orphan autoimmune and rare diseases programs through clinical development to commercialization. Ms. Haviland joins Idera from Sarepta Therapeutics, where she served as Head of Commercial Development and was responsible for strategic product development and commercial planning of Sarepta’s lead investigational product, eteplirsen, for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. As part of establishing a commercial plan at Sarepta, Ms. Haviland built and maintained relationships with key opinion leaders and patient advocacy groups and collaborated with the orphan disease community. Prior to Sarepta, Ms. Haviland was Executive Director of Commercial Development at PTC Therapeutics where she was responsible for establishing and executing PTC’s commercial strategy and building its corporate infrastructure. Before joining PTC, Ms. Haviland held positions with increasing responsibilities at Genzyme. Ms. Haviland holds a BA in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology and Economics from Wesleyan University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Joseph Lobacki has joined Idera as General Manager of Oncology and is charged with establishing Idera’s presence in the oncology community and developing Idera’s oncology franchise. Mr. Lobacki previously served as an independent consultant to multiple clinical-stage biopharmaceutical companies providing guidance to research, clinical and regulatory groups on lead programs in oncology and rare diseases and initiation of commercial strategies. Prior to his consulting work, Mr. Lobacki was the Senior Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer at Micromet, Inc. prior to its acquisition by Amgen, Inc. Prior to Micromet, Inc., Mr. Lobacki held positions of increasing responsibility at several life science companies, including serving as the Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Transplant and Oncology business at Genzyme Corporation, SangStat Medical Corporation, Cell Pathways, Inc., Rhone-Poulenc Rorer and Lederle Laboratories. Mr. Lobacki earned a BS in Biology from Boston College and a BS in Pharmacy from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy. He holds several issued and pending patents for novel therapeutic approaches to neoplastic diseases.
Walter Strapps, Ph.D., has joined Idera as Executive Director of RNA Therapeutics and is responsible for building and advancing Idera's Gene Silencing Oligoneucleotides (GSOs) research platform. Prior to Idera, Dr. Strapps was the Director, RNAi Therapeutics at Merck & Co., Inc. where he led siRNA lead identification and lead optimization efforts. Dr. Strapps holds a B.Sc. in Biology from McGill University and an M.A., M.Phil and Ph.D. in Genetics and Development from Columbia University.
About Idera Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Idera Pharmaceuticals is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing a novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of genetically defined forms of B-cell lymphoma and orphan autoimmune diseases. Idera’s proprietary technology involves creating novel nucleic acid therapeutics designed to inhibit over-activation of Toll-like Receptors (TLRs). In addition to its TLR programs, Idera is developing gene silencing oligonucleotides (GSOs) that it has created using its proprietary technology to inhibit the production of disease-associated proteins by targeting RNA.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included or incorporated in this press release, including statements regarding the Company’s strategy, future operations, collaborations, intellectual property, cash resources, financial position, future revenues, projected costs, prospects, plans, and objectives of management, are forward-looking statements. The words “believes,” “anticipates,” “estimates,” “plans,” “expects,” “intends,” “may,” “could,” “should,” “potential,” “likely,” “projects,” “continue,” “will,” and “would” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Idera cannot guarantee that it will actually achieve the plans, intentions or expectations disclosed in its forward-looking statements and you should not place undue reliance on the Company’s forward-looking statements. There are a number of important factors that could cause Idera’s actual results to differ materially from those indicated or implied by its forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause such a difference include: whether results obtained in clinical trials such as the results described in this release will be indicative of the results that will be generated in future clinical trials, including in clinical trials in different disease indications ; whether products based on Idera’s technology will advance into or through the clinical trial process on a timely basis or at all and receive approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration or equivalent foreign regulatory agencies; whether, if the Company’s products receive approval, they will be successfully distributed and marketed; and such other important factors as are set forth under the caption “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013. Although Idera may elect to do so at some point in the future, the Company does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements and it disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.