BOSTON and OXFORD, United Kingdom, Feb. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- PepGen, an emerging biotechnology company focused on transforming the care of patients with neuromuscular diseases through the enhanced delivery of therapeutic oligonucleotides, today announced the formation of its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). Company founder Matthew Wood, M.D., Ph.D. will lead the board as Chairman, and is joined by Art Krieg, M.D., Elizabeth McNally, M.D., Ph.D., Charles Thornton, M.D., Jonathon Watts, Ph.D., and Brenda Wong, M.D. This eminent group of scientists, clinicians and thought leaders will bring cutting-edge neuromuscular disease and oligonucleotide delivery expertise to PepGen as the company advances its enhanced delivery oligonucleotide (EDO) therapeutics towards the clinic.
"It is truly an honor to announce these distinguished and prominent experts as new members of PepGen's Scientific Advisory Board," said James McArthur, Ph.D., PepGen's Chief Executive Officer. "Their scientific vision and deep understanding of oligonucleotide therapeutics and the neuromuscular disease space will be critical as we look to deliver our innovative technology to multiple areas of high unmet need. With Rare Disease Day approaching on February 28th, the establishment of this prominent SAB truly underlines our commitment to patients as we drive towards the clinic in Duchenne muscular dystrophy and Type 1 myotonic dystrophy."
Matthew Wood, M.D., Ph.D., commented "We anticipate PepGen will dramatically change the treatment landscape for individuals living with neuromuscular disease. I am proud to join my academic and clinical colleagues on PepGen's Scientific Advisory Board and look forward to supporting the company in the role of Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board as it brings the promise of oligonucleotide therapeutics to fruition."
Members of the PepGen SAB include:
Matthew Wood, M.D., Ph.D. – Professor Wood is a Non-Executive Director and Academic Co-Founder of PepGen. He is also a Professor of Neuroscience in the Department of Paediatrics, Deputy Head of the Medical Sciences Division (Innovation) at the University of Oxford, as well as the Director of the MDUK Oxford Neuromuscular Centre and the Oxford Harrington Centre for Rare Disease. Over the past decade, Professor Wood has catalyzed major advances in the development of oligonucleotide therapies for a number of neuromuscular disorders.
Art Krieg, M.D. – Dr. Krieg served as the Founder and Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) at Checkmate Pharmaceuticals, a clinical stage biotechnology company developing novel oligonucleotides for cancer immunotherapy. Prior to Checkmate, Dr. Krieg was CSO at Sarepta Therapeutics, Chief Executive Officer at RaNA Therapeutics, and CSO of Pfizer's Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Unit. He brings more than 35 years of expertise in the oligonucleotide field, having served on the scientific advisory boards of several companies, driven multiple novel oligonucleotides from discovery to clinical development with the Coley Pharmaceutical Group, and published over 250 scientific papers.
Elizabeth McNally, M.D., Ph.D. – Dr. McNally is a human geneticist and cardiologist with experience in neuromuscular disorders. She serves as the Director of the Center for Genetic Medicine and is the Elizabeth J. Ward Professor of Genetic Medicine, and a Professor of Medicine (Cardiology), Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at Northwestern University. Dr. McNally's research is focused on the genetics of cardiovascular and neuromuscular disorders, and she works extensively with individuals and families to understand the genetic mechanisms that cause these inherited diseases. She received her M.D. and Ph.D. from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and completed her fellowship in Cardiovascular Medicine at Brigham & Women's Hospital.
Charles Thornton, M.D. – Dr. Thornton is the Saunders Family Distinguished Professor in Neuromuscular Research in the Department of Neurology, the Center for RNA Biology, and the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Rochester Medical Center. He is recognized worldwide as a thought leader in myotonic dystrophy, and brings deep clinical experience to PepGen's SAB. His academic research is focused on understanding the root causes and downstream pathologies of neurogenetic diseases, and on developing therapeutics to transform patient care and outcomes in this field. Dr. Thornton received his M.D. from the University of Iowa College of Medicine and completed fellowships in Experimental Therapeutics and Neuromuscular Disease at the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry.
Brenda Wong, M.D. – Dr. Wong is the Director of the Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Center at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. With more than 20 years of experience in pediatric neurology, Dr. Wong received her medical degree from the National University of Singapore and is board certified in Pediatrics in the U.K. She completed her fellowship in Neurology at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and directed the Comprehensive Neuromuscular Center for 19 years before relocating to Massachusetts to pursue her passion in Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies, becoming the founding director of the Duchenne Program.
Jonathon Watts, Ph.D. – Dr. Watts is an Associate Professor at the RNA Therapeutics Institute, part of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. His academic research is focused on advancing new medicinal chemistry approaches for several classes of oligonucleotides and developing novel tools for sequencing and synthetic biology. Prior to his role at UMass Medical, Dr. Watts was an Associate Professor in Chemical Biology at the University of Southampton, UK, where he received the 2013 Young Investigator Award from the Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society. He brings over 15 years of oligonucleotide research experience to PepGen's SAB, and developed two new oligonucleotide analogues as part of his Ph.D. studies at McGill University in Canada.
PepGen, Inc. is a biotechnology company focused on transforming the care of patients with neuromuscular diseases through the peptide-mediated delivery of nucleic acid therapeutics. Recognizing a deep need for a paradigm shift in genomic medicine, PepGen's proprietary enhanced delivery oligonucleotides (EDOs) aim to realize the clinical potential of these therapeutics by providing reliable, safe and efficacious delivery to critical disease targets. PepGen raised a $45 million Series A in December 2020 with RA Capital Management as the lead investor; Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI), CureDuchenne Ventures and the University of Oxford also participated in the round. The company was founded in 2018 with an initial seed investment from OSI. For more information, visit https://www.pepgen.com/.
SOURCE PepGen LTD