LAUSANNE, Switzerland, & CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Anokion (“Anokion” or the “Company”), a privately held biopharmaceutical company developing novel tolerance-inducing therapeutics for autoimmune diseases, today announced that Deborah Geraghty, Ph.D., former senior vice president, corporate strategy at Dimension Therapeutics, Inc., has been appointed chief business officer. Dr. Geraghty will join the executive leadership team and her role will include business and corporate development, strategic planning, program management, and communications. In addition, Stephan Kontos, Ph.D., co-founder and currently vice president of research, has been promoted to chief scientific officer, and Tony Rossomando, Ph.D., has been hired as vice president, technical operations.
“We are thrilled that Deb is joining the leadership team at Anokion,” said John Hohneker, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Anokion. “She is a highly regarded biopharma executive with a strong track record in creating new, innovative companies and building portfolios of important novel therapies through pipeline development and strategic transactions. With Deb’s addition, the promotion of Stephan to CSO, and Tony’s appointment, the team is well-positioned to realize the potential of Anokion’s innovative and advancing pipeline, offering the potential for meaningful clinical benefit to patients living with severe autoimmune diseases.”
Dr. Geraghty stated, “It’s an exciting time to join Anokion. As our immune tolerance platforms have matured, they have shown strong promise in treating diseases for which there remain significant unmet medical need. I look forward to contributing to the potential we have at hand to realize this new wave of innovation and the offer of new hope for patients and their families.”
Dr. Geraghty brings 20 years of extensive experience in the life sciences industry, serving in senior strategic, commercial, and portfolio positions. At Dimension, she played a lead role in the company’s Series B financing and initial public offering, and was responsible for driving growth of the company’s portfolio prior to its successful IPO and recent acquisition by Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. Previous to Dimension, Dr. Geraghty was founder and vice president, project and portfolio development at Cydan Development, an orphan drug accelerator that raised $26 million to identify and de-risk assets with therapeutic and commercial potential. Prior, Dr. Geraghty was head of portfolio advancement at Aileron Therapeutics, where she led strategic growth and commercial efforts, and was director, new product marketing, at Infinity Pharmaceuticals. She also founded Back Bay Strategies, and held multiple positions at Kendall Strategies, Feinstein Kean Healthcare, and Genzyme Corp. Dr. Geraghty serves on the medical and scientific advisory board of Global Genes, a leading rare disease patient advocacy organization. She earned a B.S. in Biology at Union College, an MBA from the Carroll School at Boston College, and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at the University of Vermont.
Stephan Kontos, Ph.D., a co-founder of Anokion, assumes the role of chief scientific officer from Jeff Hubbell, Ph.D., who will transition to chief scientific advisor for the Company. Dr. Kontos brings more than 10 years of drug and platform discovery experience and will lead all aspects of research, discovery, and platform development at Anokion. He co-invented and translated the Company’s tolerance technology platform having served most recently as vice president of research. Dr. Kontos has published numerous peer-reviewed research articles in top tier journals, including Science Advances and PNAS, and is an inventor on multiple patents and patent applications. Dr. Kontos received his B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and moved to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne for his Ph.D. in Bioengineering.
Tony Rossomando, Ph.D., joins Anokion as vice president of technical operations and leads all aspects of the company’s CMC activities. Dr. Rossomando brings over 25 years of industry experience to Anokion and most recently was head of analytical development at Alexion, following its acquisition of Synageva Biopharma, where he oversaw the entire pipeline of development stage projects through phase 2. Prior to Synageva, Dr. Rossomando held positions of increasing responsibility at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Biogen, and Bayer Corp. He was instrumental in two successful IND submissions for neuropathic pain and mucopolysaccharidosis IIIB and played a pivotal role in the approval of Kanuma® for Lysosomal Lipase Deficiency in the United States, Europe, and Japan. Dr. Rossomando received his B.S. from SUNY Stony Brook and his Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Virginia and completed post-doctoral training at Cold Spring Harbor where he focused on cell-signaling control mechanisms and protein sciences.
Anokion, a spin-off from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), is focused on applying the company’s antigen-specific immune tolerance technology to treat autoimmune and allergic diseases and reduce the immunogenicity of therapeutic proteins. As a platform technology, Anokion’s approach to antigen-specific immune tolerance can be translated to virtually any protein in numerous clinical indications. Anokion’s investors include Versant Ventures, Novo Ventures, Novartis Venture Fund and a group of individual investors. For more information, please visit www.anokion.com.