Sarep­ta snags its part­ner's CSO, Louise Rodi­no-Kla­pac, to lead new gene ther­a­py unit


Putting one more ar­row in its mus­cu­lar dy­s­tro­phy quiver, Sarep­ta has snagged a top ex­ec­u­tive from one of its part­ners to lead the com­pa­ny’s new­ly-cre­at­ed gene ther­a­py unit. Louise Rodi­no-Kla­pac is com­ing on board as vice pres­i­dent of gene ther­a­py.

Rodi­no-Kla­pac is com­ing from Sarep­ta’s part­ner Na­tion­wide Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal, where she was head­ing up the lab­o­ra­to­ry for gene ther­a­py re­search for mus­cu­lar dy­s­tro­phies. Her work has in­volved 11 in­ves­ti­ga­tion­al new gene ther­a­py drugs, and six that have reached hu­man tri­als. Sarep­ta is part­nered with the hos­pi­tal on a mi­cro-dy­s­trophin Duchenne gene ther­a­py that got IND clear­ance last No­vem­ber.

Doug In­gram

But Rodi­no-Kla­pac al­so has ties to an­oth­er Sarep­ta part­ner — she’s CSO of My­onexus, the com­pa­ny Sarep­ta li­censed five gene ther­a­pies from ear­li­er this month. The deal al­lowed Sarep­ta to edge in­to Limb-gir­dle mus­cu­lar dy­s­tro­phies, pay­ing My­onexus $60 mil­lion up­front with $45 mil­lion in po­ten­tial mile­stones — and snar­ing a buy­out op­tion at proof-of-con­cept.

She’s keep­ing her gig at My­onexus, too, ac­cord­ing to Sarep­ta’s state­ment.

“Mak­ing an im­pact on the lives of pa­tients af­fect­ed by mus­cu­lar dy­s­tro­phies has been cen­tral to my pro­fes­sion­al work,” said Rodi­no-Kla­pac. “Sarep­ta’s RNA plat­forms and mul­ti­ple gene ther­a­py pro­grams pro­vide sig­nif­i­cant op­por­tu­ni­ty to make a pro­found dif­fer­ence for pa­tients with neu­ro­mus­cu­lar dis­eases. I’m ex­cit­ed to join the Sarep­ta team lead­ing its gene ther­a­py de­vel­op­ment ef­forts, and share the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s ur­gency to ad­vance its ro­bust pipeline of po­ten­tial ther­a­pies.”

Sarep­ta’s CEO Doug In­gram had this to say:

Her ap­point­ment to lead our gene ther­a­py di­vi­sion per­fect­ly ex­em­pli­fies our strat­e­gy of quick­ly be­com­ing among the most mean­ing­ful glob­al ge­net­ic med­i­cine com­pa­nies by re­tain­ing and nur­tur­ing the field’s best and bright­est gene ther­a­py and neu­ro­mus­cu­lar sci­en­tists. It would be chal­leng­ing to find a sci­en­tist that has matched Dr. Rodi­no-Kla­pac’s record of ad­vanc­ing our un­der­stand­ing of gene ther­a­py and its ap­pli­ca­tion to neu­ro­mus­cu­lar con­di­tions while ac­cel­er­at­ing bench-side re­search in­to hu­man clin­i­cal tri­als.


Im­age: Louise Rodi­no-Kla­pac. NA­TION­WIDE CHIL­DREN’S HOS­PI­TAL
John Hood [file photo]

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