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Brings 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries and a deep understanding of global regulatory strategy and commercial regulatory affairs
BOSTON, Nov. 17, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Imara Inc. (Nasdaq: IMRA), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing and commercializing novel therapeutics to treat patients suffering from rare inherited genetic disorders of hemoglobin, today announced the appointment of Lynette Hopkinson as Senior Vice President of Regulatory. Ms. Hopkinson joins Imara with 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, where she led global regulatory teams in strategy for multiple clinical development candidates and marketed products.
“We are delighted to welcome Lyn to Imara; her expertise and understanding of global regulatory strategy and commercial affairs will be important as we continue to advance IMR-687 across multiple indications globally,” said Rahul Ballal, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Imara. “Lyn also brings deep expertise in rare diseases, including most recently in cystic fibrosis, and importantly in CRISPR Cas-9 programs in sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia. Lyn is a key and timely addition to our leadership team.”
“I’m thrilled to join Imara at such an exciting time. The recent advancement of IMR-687 into Phase 2b clinical trials for patients with sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia is a critical milestone and I look forward to collaborating with the leadership team on global regulatory and clinical strategy going forward,” said Ms. Hopkinson.
Prior to joining Imara, Ms. Hopkinson served as Vice President, Global Head of Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Regulatory Strategy and Commercial Regulatory Affairs at Vertex Pharmaceuticals. In this role, she oversaw early and late-stage development programs, as well as line-extension programs for marketed products, and managed a strategy team of global and regulatory leads responsible for the development and execution of regulatory strategy plans, as well as a team of commercial regulatory leads responsible for supporting multiple CF product launches. Ms. Hopkinson also served as Vertex’s Vice President, Head of North America Regulatory Strategy and Commercial Affairs for marketed products as well as clinical development candidates, including the CRISPR Cas-9 programs in sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia. Before Vertex, Ms. Hopkinson held Regulatory Affairs roles of increasing responsibility at Eisai, Inc. and Genentech, Inc., including supporting the approvals of multiple new drugs including Halaven®, Fycompa®, Belviq® and Lucentis®. Ms. Hopkinson received her B. Pharm and Management Advancement certificate from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.
IMR-687 is a highly selective and potent small molecule inhibitor of PDE9. PDE9 selectively degrades cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), an active signaling molecule that plays a role in vascular biology. Lower levels of cGMP are found in people with SCD and beta-thalassemia and are associated with reduced blood flow, increased inflammation, greater cell adhesion and reduced nitric oxide mediated vasodilation.
Blocking PDE9 acts to increase cGMP levels, which is associated with reactivation of fetal hemoglobin (HbF), a natural hemoglobin produced during fetal development. Increased levels of HbF in RBCs have been demonstrated to improve symptomology and substantially lower disease burden in both patients with SCD and patients with beta-thalassemia.
Imara Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company dedicated to developing and commercializing novel therapeutics to treat patients suffering from rare inherited genetic disorders of hemoglobin. Imara is currently advancing IMR-687, a highly selective, potent small molecule inhibitor of PDE9 that is an oral, once-a-day, potentially disease-modifying treatment for sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia. IMR-687 is being designed to have a multimodal mechanism of action that acts on red blood cells, white blood cells, adhesion mediators and other cell types. For more information, please visit www.imaratx.com.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects, as well as any other statements regarding matters that are not historical facts, may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements relating to the Company’s plans, strategies and prospects. The words “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “target,” “will,” “would” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including factors discussed in the “Risk Factors” section of the Company’s most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, which is on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission and in other filings that the Company makes with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the future. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date hereof, and the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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