CAMBRIDGE, Mass. & LAUSANNE, Switzerland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Anokion SA, a Swiss biotechnology company focused on treating autoimmune disease by restoring normal immune tolerance, today announced that Deborah Geraghty, Ph.D., has been promoted from chief operating officer to the role of president and chief executive officer, reporting to the Board of Directors, following John Hohneker, M.D.’s, retirement from the company. In addition, Raj Manchanda, Ph.D., has been promoted to chief development officer (CDO) after serving as Anokion’s chief technical operations officer since 2019.
“Anokion’s science has the potential to represent transformative medicines for people with autoimmune diseases, and I, along with the rest of the Board, am delighted to appoint Deb to this critically important leadership role at such an exciting time in Anokion’s evolution. Our great confidence in Deb reflects her track record of success in both private and public companies and our appreciation of her knowledge, passion for patients and drive,” said Mike Clayman, M.D., chairman of the Anokion Board of Directors. “We would like to thank John for his years of dedication and numerous contributions to helping bring Anokion to where it is today, and we wish him all the best in his retirement.”
“By leveraging new scientific insights in the biology of autoimmunity, Anokion has the opportunity to create durable, disease-modifying medicines for both rare and prevalent autoimmune disorders that work by re-educating critical immune pathways in the body,” said Dr. Geraghty. “Since our founding, we have established a leading platform that targets natural pathways in the liver to restore immune tolerance, executed a transformative collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb, and progressed a pipeline led by two clinical-stage programs for celiac disease and multiple sclerosis. It has been incredible to work alongside John and this talented team, including Raj, who has been a key player in the company’s success and is highly deserving of promotion to CDO. I am honored to lead Anokion forward in an effort to help to translate our scientific approach into new medicines that can impact people in the U.S. and around the world.”
Dr. Geraghty joined Anokion in 2018, bringing more than 20 years of extensive experience in the life sciences industry across corporate and portfolio strategy, commercial and finance. Prior to Anokion, Dr. Geraghty was senior vice president of corporate strategy at Dimension Therapeutics, where she played a leading role in private and public financing execution, portfolio strategy and growth and the acquisition of the company by Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. Before Dimension, Dr. Geraghty co-founded and was vice president, project and portfolio development at Cydan Development, an orphan drug accelerator. Earlier in her biotech career, Dr. Geraghty served as head of portfolio advancement at Aileron Therapeutics and as director of new product marketing at Infinity Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Geraghty was a founder of Back Bay Strategies and held multiple positions at Kendall Strategies, Feinstein Kean Healthcare and Genzyme Corp. Dr. Geraghty serves on the Board of Directors of ReAlta Life Sciences, Inc. and the Medical University of South Carolina Foundation for Research Development. She holds a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Vermont, an MBA from the Carroll School at Boston College and earned a B.S. in biology from Union College.
Dr. Manchanda has been named CDO after serving as Anokion’s chief technical operations officer. Dr. Manchanda brings over 23 years of pharmaceutical development and program management experience to Anokion. Previously, he was CDO at Frequency Therapeutics where he had oversight of drug development and manufacturing, portfolio and project management, infrastructure-building, and execution of global clinical development and regulatory strategy. Prior to Frequency, Dr. Manchanda was vice president, neurodegeneration and early-stage therapeutics asset development at Biogen. While at Biogen, he was instrumental in leading the CMC development for approval and commercialization for Tecfidera™. Earlier in his career, Dr. Manchanda held leadership positions at Diatide, Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, Perkin Elmer Life and Analytical Sciences and URL Pharmaceuticals. During his 23 years in the pharmaceutical industry, he has worked on over 25 INDs and six NDAs, including two drug development programs that received Fast Track designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Manchanda received his Ph.D. in chemistry from Yale University and was an Anna Fuller postdoctoral fellow at MIT. Dr. Manchanda has also completed the Advanced Management Program from the Sloan School of Management at MIT.
Anokion SA is a Swiss biotechnology company that aims to make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients suffering from autoimmune diseases by restoring normal immune tolerance. The company is focused on both prevalent and rare autoimmune diseases, including celiac disease, multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes. Anokion’s distinct approach leverages the company’s immune-based platform, which targets natural pathways in the liver to restore immune tolerance and address the underlying cause of autoimmune disease. For more information, please visit http://www.anokion.com/.