Aro Biotherapeutics Appoints Biotechnology Executive Dr. Christopher Mirabelli to its Board of Directors and Nucleic Acid Therapeutics Expert Dr. Masad Damha to its Scientific Advisory Board
Philadelphia, PA, October 13, 2020 --- Aro Biotherapeutics today announced the appointments of Christopher K. Mirabelli, Ph.D., to its Board of Directors and Masad J. Damha, Ph.D., to its Scientific Advisory Board. Drs. Mirabelli and Damha will provide strategic and scientific counsel on the development of novel Centyrin-RNA therapeutic candidates.
“We are excited to welcome Chris, a well-recognized leader in drug development, to our Board of Directors. As the founder of multiple successful biotechnology companies, and an industry veteran with demonstrated experience in the development of new therapies, his insight and guidance will be invaluable as we advance the development of our pipeline of Centyrin-based therapeutic candidates,” said Susan Dillon, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Aro.
Dr. Mirabelli has spent over 35 years in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries as a research scientist, senior executive, and venture capital investor. Currently, he is a managing director of the venture capital firm HealthCare Ventures. Dr. Mirabelli is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors of Leap Therapeutics, where he was the Chief Executive Officer from its founding in 2015 until 2020. Previously, Dr. Mirabelli was Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of LeukoSite from its founding in 1993 until its acquisition by Millennium Pharmaceuticals in 1999. Dr. Mirabelli was also a Co-Founder of Ionis Pharmaceuticals. He began his industry career in R&D at SmithKline & French Laboratories, and earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology from Baylor College of Medicine and his B.S. in Biology from State University of New York (SUNY) at Fredonia.
“I am looking forward to serving on Aro’s Board of Directors and working with Sue and her team to further advance their proprietary drug-targeting technology,” commented Dr. Mirabelli. “The use of antibodies to target drugs to sites of disease in patients has many limitations. Aro’s novel approach to overcoming these barriers is unique, and I’m excited to contribute to the continued development of their pipeline of next-generation biotherapeutic candidates.”
“We are pleased to have Masad join Aro’s Scientific Advisory Board. His work in nucleic acid drug discovery and development has been at the forefront of oligonucleotide research, and his scientific insights will be instrumental as we continue to leverage the promise of Centyrins to achieve new therapeutic mechanisms of action,” said Karyn O’Neil, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Aro.
Dr. Damha is a Distinguished James McGill Professor of Chemistry at McGill University. His research group focuses on synthesis and structural analyses of chemically modified oligonucleotides directed toward biomedical and diagnostic applications. His 200+ publications and dozens of issued patents have been widely cited and used in both fundamental sciences and oligonucleotide-based therapeutic applications. Dr. Damha is the recipient of several awards from the Canadian Society for Chemistry, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (Governor General of Canada), and McGill’s Fessenden Professorship in Science Innovation. He is currently President of the International Society of Nucleosides, Nucleotides, Nucleic Acids, and he has served as President of the Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society. Dr. Damha was awarded a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry and B.Sc. in Chemistry from McGill University.
Dr. Damha commented, “I am very pleased to join Aro Biotherapeutics’ Scientific Advisory Board and contribute to the development of innovative therapies that enable efficient and specific delivery of nucleic acid conjugates that address important disease targets.”
About Aro Biotherapeutics
Aro is a biotechnology company focused on the research and development of a new generation of protein biologics called Centyrins. The company is developing a wholly-owned pipeline of Centyrins and is working with leaders in the industry on leveraging Centyrins for tissue-specific targeting of therapeutics, including nucleic acid drugs for a diverse set of diseases. For more information, visit
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