CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: DRNA), a leading developer of investigational ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi) therapeutics, today announced several changes to its board of directors (BOD), including the elevation of J. Kevin Buchi to chairman of the board; the appointment of industry experts Marc Kozin, professional board member, and Anna Protopapas, president and chief executive officer of Mersana Therapeutics, to the Dicerna BOD; and the departures of former Chairman David Madden and Director Brian Halak. The changes are effective immediately and reflect Dicerna’s ongoing growth and transition toward a fully integrated pharmaceutical company.
“As Dicerna grows and matures, our board continues to evolve with the elevation of Kevin Buchi as chairman and the timely appointments of Marc Kozin and Anna Protopapas. These appointments will help Dicerna advance our GalXC™-based pipeline and further strengthen the company’s position in the promising field of RNAi therapeutics,” said Douglas M. Fambrough, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Dicerna. “At the same time, we thank David Madden, who has been our board chairman since 2009, and our long-serving Director Brian Halak. Our growth thus far would not have been possible without David and Brian’s sage counsel and guidance.”
Mr. Buchi, the former president and chief executive officer of Cephalon, Inc. and TetraLogic Pharmaceuticals, joined the Dicerna board of directors in August 2018. He previously served as corporate vice president of Global Branded Products at Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited from 2011 to May 2012, after Cephalon’s acquisition by Teva in October 2011. Mr. Buchi joined Cephalon in 1991 and, during his tenure, held various leadership positions, including chief financial officer and chief operating officer, before becoming Cephalon's chief executive officer in December 2010. In addition, Mr. Buchi currently serves as a director of Amneal Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Benitec Biopharma Ltd., and previously served on the boards of several pharmaceutical companies, including EPIRUS Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., Alexza Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Forward Pharma A/S.
“I am pleased to assume the chairmanship of the Dicerna board of directors at such a pivotal time. Dicerna has cemented important strategic partnerships with several major pharmaceutical and biotech companies, while advancing a promising pipeline of GalXC-based therapies,” commented Mr. Buchi. “I look forward to helping this vibrant company achieve additional milestones.”
Marc Kozin is a professional board member. Previously, Mr. Kozin was a career strategy consultant, having served as president of L.E.K. Consulting's North American practice for 15 years from 1997-2012. Mr. Kozin has over 30 years of experience in corporate and business unit strategy consulting, merger and acquisition advisory services, and value management both domestically and internationally. He also has deep industry expertise advising biopharmaceutical, life sciences, and medical technology companies and led the development of L.E.K.'s industry leading life science strategic planning practice.
Mr. Kozin serves on the boards of several companies, including UFP Technologies, Inc., HealthCare Royalty Partners, and The Greenlight Fund. Mr. Kozin has also served on the boards of Medical Simulation Corporation, Dyax, OvaScience, and, until their recent acquisition by Novartis, Endocyte. Mr. Kozin previously served on the board of governors at New England Medical Center and the board of DukeEngage for several years. Mr. Kozin received his B.A. with distinction, magna cum laude, in Economics from Duke University. He was also awarded an MBA with distinction from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Anna Protopapas is president and chief executive officer of Mersana Therapeutics, a clinical-stage antibody drug conjugate company, which she joined in March 2015. Prior to Mersana, Ms. Protopapas was president of Millennium Pharmaceuticals, where she led Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.’s $1.3 billion oncology business. Ms. Protopapas also served as the executive vice president of Global Business Development for Takeda Pharmaceuticals, where she oversaw global acquisitions, partnering, licensing, and venture investing. In this role, she led Takeda’s $12 billion acquisition of Nycomed, a critical step in the company’s globalization. Ms. Protopapas was a member of Takeda’s executive committee and was elected a corporate officer in 2011. Earlier, Ms. Protopapas was an executive officer at Millennium Pharmaceuticals and served in various senior leadership positions, playing an integral role in the company’s transformation from a genomics start-up to a fully integrated oncology leader.
Anna has served on the board of directors of Ariad Pharmaceuticals from May 2015 to February 2017 when it was sold to Takeda for $5.2 billion. Anna also served on the board of Bioverativ from January 2017 to January 2018 when it was sold to Sanofi for $11.6 billion. She earned her bachelor’s degree in science and engineering from Princeton University, a master’s in chemical engineering practice from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.
About Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative, subcutaneously delivered RNAi-based therapeutics for the treatment of diseases involving the liver, including rare diseases, viral infectious diseases, chronic liver diseases, and cardiovascular diseases. Dicerna is leveraging its proprietary GalXC™ RNAi technology platform to build a broad pipeline in these core therapeutic areas, focusing on target genes where connections between target gene and diseases are well understood and documented. Dicerna intends to discover, develop and commercialize novel therapeutics either on its own or in collaboration with pharmaceutical partners. For more information, please visit www.dicerna.com.
Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements
This press release includes forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements. Applicable risks and uncertainties include risks relating to Dicerna’s clinical and preclinical research and other risks identified under the heading "Risk Factors" included in the Company’s most recent Form 10-Q filing and in other future filings with the SEC. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release reflect Dicerna's current views with respect to future events, and Dicerna does not undertake and specifically disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.