BOSTON, June 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Akcea Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKCA), a majority-owned affiliate of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., today announced that Kia Motesharei, Ph.D., has joined the company as Senior Vice President of Business Development & Corporate Strategy. In this role Dr. Motesharei will drive business development activities at Akcea as well as continue to enhance the corporate strategy in conjunction with the Akcea leadership team.
"As Akcea continues to build momentum including expanding our pipeline, advancing our global commercialization strategies and further strengthening our leadership team, we are pleased to have Kia join as the latest addition to our team," said Alex Howarth, chief operating officer at Akcea. "His depth of transactional expertise including in the rare disease sector will be invaluable and help us optimize and execute our corporate strategy moving forward."
Dr. Motesharei has more than 20 years of business and corporate development and strategy experience with multinational companies. He has a successful track record of more than 100 transactions which include research and strategic alliances, product and technology licensing, distribution, divestitures, and merger and acquisition agreements with major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in the U.S., Europe, Japan, China, Latin America and the Middle East. Dr. Motesharei joins Akcea following a six-year tenure at Merck KGaA, where he most recently served as Vice President and Global Head of Licensing and Business Development, Neurology & Immunology. In his roles at Merck KGaA, he led and managed a transaction team executing more than 60 agreements with pharmaceutical, biotechnology and academic institutions. Prior to Merck KGaA, he was Vice President of Business Development & Alliance Management at Dyax Corp., a biopharmaceutical company specializing in rare disease, which was acquired by Shire and subsequently acquired by Takeda. Before that, Dr. Motesharei served as Chief Business Officer at the French biotechnology company Genfit and Vice President of Corporate Development at ActivX.
He received his B.A. in chemistry from The Colorado College and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles. He completed his postdoctoral training at The Scripps Research Institute as a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Fellow.
"Leveraging my experience within the rare and orphan disease area, I look forward to working with the executive leadership and the rest of the dedicated team at Akcea to bring life-changing therapies to patients suffering from genetic and rare diseases, who often lack treatment options," said Dr. Motesharei.
ABOUT AKCEA THERAPEUTICS, INC. Akcea Therapeutics, Inc., a majority-owned affiliate of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: IONS), is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing medicines to treat patients with serious and rare diseases. Akcea is commercializing TEGSEDI® (inotersen) and WAYLIVRA® (volanesorsen), as well as advancing a mature pipeline of novel medicines, including AKCEA-APO(a)-LRx, vupanorsen (AKCEA-ANGPTL3-LRx), AKCEA-APOCIII-LRx, and AKCEA-TTR-LRx, with the potential to treat multiple diseases. All six medicines were discovered by Ionis, a leader in antisense therapeutics, and are based on Ionis' proprietary antisense technology. TEGSEDI is approved in the U.S., E.U., Canada and Brazil. WAYLIVRA is approved in the E.U. and is currently in Phase 3 clinical development for the treatment of people with familial partial lipodystrophy, or FPL. Akcea is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, and is building the infrastructure to commercialize its medicines globally. Additional information about Akcea is available at www.akceatx.com and you can follow the Company on Twitter at @akceatx.
FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENT This press release includes forward-looking statements regarding the business of Akcea Therapeutics, Inc. Any statement describing Akcea's goals, expectations, financial or other projections, intentions or beliefs, including the commercial potential of Akcea's medicines in development is a forward-looking statement and should be considered an at-risk statement. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, particularly those inherent in the process of discovering, developing and commercializing medicines that are safe and effective for use as human therapeutics, and in the endeavor of building a business around such medicines. Akcea's forward-looking statements also involve assumptions that, if they never materialize or prove correct, could cause its results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Although Akcea's forward-looking statements reflect the good faith judgment of its management, these statements are based only on facts and factors currently known by Akcea. In particular, we caution you that our forward-looking statements are subject to the ongoing and developing circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which may have a material adverse effect on our business, operations and future financial results. As a result, you are cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These and other risks concerning Akcea's programs are described in additional detail in Akcea's quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and annual reports on Form 10-K, which are on file with the SEC. Copies of these and other documents are available from the company.
In this press release, unless the context requires otherwise, "Ionis," "Akcea," "Company," "Companies," "we," "our," and "us" refers to Ionis Pharmaceuticals and/or Akcea Therapeutics
Ionis Pharmaceuticals™ is a trademark of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Akcea Therapeutics®, TEGSEDI® and WAYLIVRA® are trademarks of Akcea Therapeutics, Inc.