Tag: Oligonucleotide

Ionis Chief Scientific Officer Frank Bennett receives Lifetime Achievement Award from Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society

CARLSBAD, Calif., Oct. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: IONS), the leader in antisense therapeutics, announced today that Frank Bennett, Ph.D., Ionis’ executive vice president and chief scientific officer, has been awarded the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society (OTS). Dr. Bennett was recognized by the OTS Award Committee for his important contributions to basic science and for being instrumental in the development of antisense oligonucleotide drugs that modulate splicing to correct severe genetic disease.

A founding member of Ionis, Dr. Bennett is responsible for continuing to advance antisense technology and expanding Ionis’ drug discovery platform. He is also the franchise leader for neurological programs at Ionis. Dr. Bennett is a co-recipient of the 2019 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences for his contributions to the discovery and development of SPINRAZA® (nusinersen) and a co-recipient of the inaugural Healy Center International Prize for Innovation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Dr. Bennett also received the 2018 Hereditary Disease Foundation’s (HDF) Leslie Gehry Brenner Prize for Innovation in Science for his leadership and continued commitment to developing antisense therapies for Huntington’s disease. He has been involved in the development of antisense oligonucleotides as therapeutic agents, including research on the application of oligonucleotides for inflammatory, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer, oligonucleotide delivery, pharmacokinetics and medicinal chemistry.

“I am deeply honored and humbled to be recognized by the Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society with the Lifetime Achievement Award. It represents an affirmation, not for me as an individual, but for everyone at Ionis who is committed to advancing science and to delivering transformative medicines to the patients who depend on us,” said Dr. Bennett.

Dr. Bennett will deliver his award lecture at the OTS 2021 meeting.

OTS also recognized research by Ionis scientists with the Paper of the Year Award. Frank Rigo, Ph.D., vice president, functional genomics and drug discovery, Sagar Damle, Ph.D., director, functional genomics and Karen Ling, research fellow, neuroscience drug discovery, were the authors of Directed RNase H cleavage of nascent transcripts causes transcription termination, which uncovers a new antisense mechanism and highlights Ionis’ commitment to remain leaders in RNA-targeted therapeutics.

About Ionis Pharmaceuticals
As the leader in RNA-targeted drug discovery and development, Ionis has created an efficient, broadly applicable, drug discovery platform called antisense technology that can treat diseases where no other therapeutic approaches have proven effective. Our drug discovery platform has served as a springboard for actionable promise and realized hope for patients with unmet needs. We created the first and only approved treatment for all patients, children and adults with spinal muscular atrophy as well as the world’s first RNA-targeted therapeutic approved for the treatment of polyneuropathy in adults with hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis. Our sights are set on all the patients we have yet to reach with a pipeline of more than 40 novel medicines designed to potentially treat a broad range of disease, including neurological, cardio-renal, metabolic, infectious, and pulmonary diseases.

To learn more about Ionis visit www.ionispharma.com or follow us on twitter @ionispharma.

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The Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society Looks Toward the Future After an Incredibly Successful Virtual Annual Conference

The Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society Looks Toward the Future After an Incredibly Successful Virtual Annual Conference

PR Newswire

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 1, 2020

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — This year’s annual Oligo Meeting was tremendously successful, with over 1,000 people representing 29 countries in attendance. The annual meeting brings together oligonucleotide experts from all over the world for cross-disciplinary exchange, fostering the development of ground-breaking new ideas. Areas of expertise span from chemistry and delivery to biology, immunology, and clinical medicine. Although unable to meet in person, moving the annual meeting to a virtual platform this year afforded an excellent opportunity for sharing the impressive work being done in our field.

A highlight of this years’ meeting was the announcement of two Lifetime Achievement Award winners, Dr. Ryszard Kole and Dr. Frank Bennett. The Award Committee felt it was fitting to have these individuals as a “double bill” since both made important contributions to basic science and were also instrumental in the development of antisense oligonucleotide drugs that modulate splicing to correct severe genetic disease.

Dr. Ryszard Kole is the founder of Ercole Biotech and a consultant to Sarepta. His activities span the gamut from biochemical assays, cell culture and animal studies, to clinical trials and methods of oligonucleotide delivery and improvements in oligonucleotide chemistry. Dr. Kole’s primary discovery was that pre-mRNA splicing provided a novel target for sequence-specific therapies of severe disorders such as thalassemia, cystic fibrosis, DMD, cancer, and inflammatory and metabolic disorders. It also represented a novel technology of oligonucleotide induced modulation of pre-mRNA splicing and exon skipping. [Dominski & Kole (1993) PMID: 8378346]. His approach has huge therapeutic potential since over 90% of human genes produce alternatively spliced mRNA and about 50% of genetic disorders are caused by errors in pre-mRNA splicing. Sarepta’s breakthrough drug for DMD, Exondys 51, is a direct result of Dr. Kole’s pioneering discoveries in oligonucleotide-induced modulation of pre-mRNA splicing.

Dr. Frank Bennett is the executive vice president and chief scientific officer at Ionis Pharmaceuticals and one of the founding members of the company. He is responsible for continuing to advance antisense technology and expanding the Ionis drug discovery platform. He has been involved in developing antisense oligonucleotides as therapeutic agents, including research on the application of oligonucleotides for inflammatory, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer, oligonucleotide delivery, pharmacokinetics, and medicinal chemistry. An inventor on more than 175 issued patents, Dr. Bennett has also published more than 230 papers in the field of antisense research and development.

Dr. Bennett is a co-recipient of the 2019 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences for his contributions to the discovery and development of SPINRAZA® (nusinersen) and a co-recipient of the inaugural Healey Center International Prize for Innovation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Dr. Bennett also received the 2018 Hereditary Disease Foundation’s (HDF) Leslie Gehry Brenner Prize for Innovation in Science for his leadership and continued commitment to developing antisense therapies for Huntington’s disease (HD).

OTS plans to host an in-person event from Sept.

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