CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Scholar Rock, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines for the treatment of serious diseases in which signaling by protein growth factors plays a fundamental role, today announced the appointment of Rhonda M. Chicko as Chief Financial Officer. Ms. Chicko is an accomplished financial executive with over 25 years of experience in enhancing performance and developing systems, processes, and procedures to streamline operations for early-stage and high growth companies within the biotechnology and financial services sectors. Most recently, she was Vice President, Finance at Editas Medicine, Inc. where she helped build the finance team. Prior to joining Editas, Ms. Chicko spent 10 years at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in financial roles of increasing responsibility, culminating as Senior Director, Finance and Tax. Earlier in her career, Ms. Chicko held a range of positions at investment management and accounting firms, including Wellington Management Company, LLP and PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP.
“I am thrilled to welcome Rhonda to the Scholar Rock leadership team as our Chief Financial Officer,” said Nagesh Mahanthappa, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Scholar Rock. “Rhonda’s deep understanding of the financial needs of development stage biotech companies will be invaluable to us as we prepare to enter clinical development and plan for our next stage of growth.”
“I cannot imagine a more momentous time to join Scholar Rock, and I look forward to helping the company execute on its business goals and transition to a clinical-stage company,” said Ms. Chicko. “I am excited to work with such a talented team that is focused on developing innovative medicines that can make a difference in the lives of patients.”
Scholar Rock also announced the appointment of the following professionals to key corporate roles and its leadership team:
- Junlin Ho, J.D., is appointed Vice President, Head of Corporate Legal. Ms. Ho has over 10 years of legal experience, most recently as Associate General Counsel, Corporate and Securities at Foundation Medicine, Inc. Previously, she was Associate General Counsel, Corporate at ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. and a corporate attorney in the life sciences practice at Ropes & Gray, LLP.
- Ryan Iarrobino is appointed Vice President, Clinical Operations. Mr. Iarrobino has over 18 years of industry experience in the areas of clinical operations and clinical data management. He has led numerous successful clinical programs for small molecules and biologics at Syntimmune, Inc., Dyax Corporation, and earlier in his career, at leading contract research organizations, Averion International Corporation (now part of Icon, Plc) and Parexel International.
- Catherine Hu is appointed Executive Director, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications. Prior to Scholar Rock, Ms. Hu was Director of Investor Relations at Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and previously a sell-side analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Deutsche Bank and Credit-Suisse.
In addition, Scholar Rock announced the promotion of the following members of its leadership team:
- Gregory Carven, Ph.D., is promoted to Senior Vice President, Antibody Discovery and Protein Sciences. He joined Scholar Rock in November 2014. Dr. Carven is a recognized leader in the discovery and development of antibody therapeutics, a highlight of which includes the co-invention of the anti-PD-1 therapy, Keytruda® (pembrolizumab).
- Atsuko Polzin, Ph.D., J.D., is promoted to Vice President, Intellectual Property. She joined Scholar Rock in September 2016 and has significant expertise in strategic global intellectual property and complex patent portfolio management. Previously, Dr. Polzin was head of intellectual property and senior counsel R&D at Novartis Influenza Vaccines and an IP Attorney at Choate, Hall and Stewart, LLP.
- Dodzie Sogah, Ph.D., is promoted to Vice President, Corporate Development and Strategy. Prior to joining Scholar Rock in March 2016, Dr. Sogah held positions of increasing responsibility in business development at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., business planning and program management at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and strategic consulting at Bain & Company.
“This expansion and advancement of our leadership team strengthens our path forward at this pivotal time in Scholar Rock’s evolution. Each of these individuals contributes a critical set of skills to our company as we accelerate our growth to realize the vision of Scholar Rock to build a pipeline of innovative medicines,” said Dr. Mahanthappa.
About Scholar Rock
Scholar Rock is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines for the treatment of serious diseases in which signaling by protein growth factors plays a fundamental role. Scholar Rock is creating a pipeline of novel product candidates with the potential to transform the lives of patients suffering from a wide range of serious diseases, including neuromuscular disorders, cancer, fibrosis and anemia. Scholar Rock’s newly elucidated understanding of the molecular mechanisms of growth factor activation enabled it to develop a proprietary platform for the discovery and development of monoclonal antibodies that locally and selectively target these signaling proteins at the cellular level. By developing product candidates that act in the disease microenvironment, the company intends to avoid the historical challenges associated with safely and effectively inhibiting growth factors for therapeutic effect. Scholar Rock is focused on biologically validated growth factors to aim for a more efficient development path.
Safe Harbor Statement
Various statements in this release concerning Scholar Rock’s future expectations, plans and prospects, including without limitation, its expectations regarding the contributions of any member of its management team, including such member’s ability to affect Scholar Rock’s development or growth plans, constitute forward-looking statements for the purposes of the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including, without limitation, any member of the management team not having the skills necessary to make substantial contributions to Scholar Rock, and Scholar Rock’s ability to obtain additional funding to support its business activities and establish and maintain strategic business alliances and new business initiatives. Any forward-looking statements represent Scholar Rock’s views only as of today and should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any subsequent date. Scholar Rock explicitly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements unless required by law.