CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Verve Therapeutics, a next-generation cardiovascular company developing therapies that safely edit the adult human genome to permanently reduce a person’s risk of coronary artery disease, today announced the appointment of Andrew Geall, Ph.D., to its scientific advisory board. Dr. Geall is one of the world’s foremost experts on non-viral delivery of genetic medicines, with over 20 years of professional experience in the development of drug delivery systems. He is vice president of formulations, analytics and chemistry at Avidity Biosciences, where he has helped advance development of the company’s antibody-oligonucleotide conjugate delivery platform.
“Throughout his impressive career, Andy has been a pioneer in innovating new solutions to the challenge of delivering therapeutic nucleic acids — and thereby advancing some of the most promising medicines of the coming decades,” said Sekar Kathiresan, M.D., co-founder and chief executive officer of Verve. “Andy’s unique knowledge of lipid-mediated delivery systems will be a tremendous asset to Verve as we pursue development of transformative gene-editing therapies to treat heart disease.”
Prior to his role at Avidity, Dr. Geall worked in the vaccine division of Novartis from 2008 to 2015. In his role as RNA vaccine platform leader, Dr. Geall helped create a global team investigating mRNA therapeutics and served as principal investigator on a Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) contract to develop self-amplifying mRNA vaccines. Previously, Dr. Geall was the global siRNA formulation team leader at Novartis Pharmaceuticals AG, where he was responsible for the design and implementation of the siRNA delivery strategy. Dr. Geall received his pharmacy degree and his Ph.D. in non-viral gene delivery at the University of Bath.
Dr. Geall joins esteemed scientists Eugene Braunwald, M.D., Penny M. Heaton, M.D., and Daniel J. Rader, M.D., on the company’s scientific advisory board.
- Dr. Braunwald is regarded as one of the world’s preeminent cardiologists, having led foundational research into physiology of the heart and the etiology and treatment of heart disorders. He formerly served as clinical director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and is currently a cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a distinguished professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
- Dr. Heaton is chief executive officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute, leading the institute’s work to optimize therapeutics, vaccines, and monoclonal antibody candidates for global populations. She has previously led vaccine research and development efforts for companies including Novartis, Merck, and Novavax.
- Dr. Rader is the Seymour Gray Professor of Molecular Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, where he has led research elucidating novel biological pathways in lipoprotein metabolism, atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. He holds leadership positions at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Penn’s Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, and the Penn Medicine Biobank.
“I’m honored to join such illustrious colleagues on Verve’s scientific advisory board and to have the opportunity to collaborate with the team,” said Dr. Geall. “Verve’s therapeutic ambition is tremendously exciting, and I look forward to deploying my knowledge of lipid nanoparticle drug delivery in the service of improving treatment for heart disease, which remains the leading cause of death for both men and women around the globe.”
About Verve Therapeutics
Verve Therapeutics is a biotechnology company created with a singular focus: to protect the world from heart disease. Verve is developing therapies to safely edit the genome of adults and confer lifelong protection from coronary artery disease, the most common form of heart disease and the leading cause of death worldwide. Founded by world-leading experts in cardiovascular medicine and gene editing, Verve is backed by a top-tier syndicate of investors, including GV (formerly Google Ventures), ARCH Venture Partners, F-Prime Capital, and Biomatics Capital. Verve is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.VerveTx.com.