SAN DIEGO, Sept. 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Locana, a leading RNA-targeting gene therapy company, today announced the appointment of Kathie M. Bishop, Ph.D. as chief scientific officer. Dr. Bishop is a neuroscientist and drug development leader with 20 years of pharmaceutical industry experience covering a broad spectrum of therapeutic areas.
"We are delighted that Kathie has joined the Locana team," said Jeffrey M. Ostrove, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Locana. "Her neuroscience background and rare genetic disease experience are highly relevant to Locana's platform technology. With her stellar track record managing development programs from inception to drug approval, she is an ideal leader to advance Locana's technology and drug development efforts."
In her role as chief scientific officer of Locana, Dr. Bishop will lead all research, preclinical development and clinical development activities for programs addressing significant unmet needs. She will also play an integral role in overseeing and building collaborations with pharmaceutical and academic partners.
"I've experienced the profound benefit of novel therapies on patients with life-threatening diseases, and I'm eager to exploit the Locana platform to create the next-generation of gene therapies to help patients," said Dr. Bishop.
Most recently in her role as chief scientific officer at Otonomy, Dr. Bishop led neurotology research and development efforts focused on targeted medicines for the ear, including Ménière's disease, tinnitus and hearing loss. Prior to Otonomy, she served as chief scientific officer of Tioga Pharmaceuticals and was responsible for all scientific and drug development activities of a novel small molecule for the treatment of chronic pruritus.
Before Tioga, Dr. Bishop served in various leadership roles at Ionis Pharmaceuticals, and managed a portfolio of programs in the neurology franchise, which included SPINRAZA™ (nusinersen), the first approved treatment for patients with spinal muscular atrophy, which in 2017 was awarded the Prix Galien USA Award for the Best Biotechnology Product, widely regarded as the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in biopharmaceutical research. At Ionis, Dr. Bishop also led clinical-stage development programs for myotonic dystrophy and amytrophic lateral sclerosis. Prior to Ionis, she led research and development efforts at Ceregene, a company focused on the development of gene therapy products for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders and retinal diseases.
Dr. Bishop currently serves on the scientific advisory board of the Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation and is chief clinical officer of the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Foundation.
Dr. Bishop was a post-doctoral fellow in the Molecular Neurobiology Lab at the Salk Institute in La Jolla. She obtained her doctorate in Neuroscience from the University of Alberta, a bachelor degree in Psychology from Simon Fraser University, and a bachelor's in Cell Biology and Genetics from the University of British Columbia.
About Locana, Inc. Founded in 2016 and based in San Diego, California, Locana is an RNA-targeting gene therapy company with a platform technology to address a wide spectrum of human genetic diseases. Locana has advanced a powerful modular RNA targeting-effector approach to optimize and advance therapeutic candidates that is distinct from DNA-targeted approaches and nucleic acid-based RNA targeting. Locana intends to build a portfolio of therapies that address the root cause of genetic diseases driven by dysfunctional RNA behavior. For more information, visit www.locanabio.com.