SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Blade Therapeutics, a private biopharmaceutical company advancing novel anti-fibrotic therapies to meet important patient needs, today announced the appointments of Ramona Doyle, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer, and Prabha Ibrahim, Ph.D., as Chief Technology Officer. In their new roles, Dr. Doyle will lead clinical development strategy and execution, while Dr. Ibrahim will be responsible for directing preclinical research, including IND-enabling studies. Blade is expanding its leadership team as the Company advances its therapeutic development pipeline, including Blade’s flagship program focused on a small molecule cysteine protease inhibitor, which is expected to enter IND-enabling studies by year-end 2017.
“We are thrilled to add two seasoned professionals to our executive team, each of whom has played key roles in the success of product development programs across diverse therapeutic areas,” Blade’s Chief Executive Officer Wendye Robbins, M.D., stated. “At Blade, we are building a leading company in anti-fibrotic therapies, an area with significant unmet need, and we believe Ramona’s and Prabha’s expertise and insights will be invaluable as we advance our programs towards the clinic.”
Dr. Doyle is Board-certified in Pulmonary and Critical Care and brings extensive experience in clinical trial design and execution, as well as regulatory and commercial strategy. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Therapeutics at the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), where she helped design and launch a strategic overhaul of this California state agency tasked with disbursing $3 billion research dollars. Previously, she served as Senior Group Medical Director for Respiratory Product Development at Genentech, leading an international team of scientists and clinicians developing programs in five different disease areas. In 2014, Dr. Doyle was the Roche R&D lead for the acquisition of InterMune, Inc., and its drug Esbriet® (pirfenidone) for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Prior to her tenure at Genentech, she was Director of Medical Affairs at Gilead, where she led the respiratory and cardiovascular disease franchise.
Dr. Doyle received her BA degree from the University of the South (Sewanee), BA and M.Sc. degrees from Oxford University in England, and her MD degree from Emory University in Atlanta. She completed her training in internal medicine, as well as a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine, at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center. She was on the faculty at Stanford University School of Medicine for 12 years, during which time she served as the Medical Director of the Lung and Heart-Lung Transplantation Program and founded a program in pulmonary hypertension. Dr. Doyle is also a clinical professor of medicine at UCSF.
Dr. Ibrahim brings 24 years of experience in drug discovery and development, having contributed to the nomination of multiple development candidates and filing of 16 INDs, including for one approved drug and multiple late-stage compounds. She most recently served as Chief Technology Officer of Afferent Pharmaceuticals, and continued in this capacity following the company’s acquisition by Merck. Previously, Dr. Ibrahim served in senior leadership positions at Plexxikon Inc., most recently as Senior Vice President of Chemistry and Nonclinical Development. During her tenure, she was instrumental in the discovery and development of products including Zelboraf® (vemurafenib), the company’s first oncology drug approved for metastatic melanoma. Prior to this, Dr. Ibrahim held the positions of Senior Research Scientist and Group Leader at CV Therapeutics, Inc. She started her career as a medicinal chemist at Amgen.
Dr. Ibrahim received her B.Sc. degree from RDM College, Sivaganga, India, and her M. Sc. degree from The American College, Madurai, India. She also earned her Ph.D. degree in organic chemistry from the University of Victoria and was a Welch Foundation Fellow at Rice University, Houston.
About Blade Therapeutics
Blade Therapeutics is a private biopharmaceutical company advancing novel anti-fibrotic therapies to meet important patient needs. Blade has assembled a critical mass of fibrosis expertise and a top-tier leadership team and world-class network of advisors with unparalleled experience in anti-fibrotic drug R&D. Blade ’s lead program is a small molecule inhibitor targeting an intracellular cysteine protease that has been shown to be associated with fibrosis across diverse indications. The Company anticipates selection of the development candidate for this program for entry into IND-enabling studies by year-end 2017. For its foundational programs, Blade is leveraging insights from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Laboratory of Hal Dietz, M.D.) to discover new therapeutic approaches that can broadly modulate fibrosis, and thereby contribute to the treatment of diverse diseases. Lead investors in Blade include MPM Capital, Deerfield, Osage Partners, as well as the venture funds of Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Novartis. Please visit http://www.blademed.com/ for more information.