Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has appointed Paula Soteropoulos as president and chief executive officer of Akcea Therapeutics, the Isis-owned, lipid franchise subsidiary responsible for the development and commercialization of Isis' lipid drugs, ISIS-APOCIIIRx, ISIS-APO(a)Rx, ISIS-ANGPTL3Rx, and their more potent LICA follow-ons. LICA is Isis' new conjugation technology designed to enhance the potency of antisense drugs to particular targets, including the liver.
In this position, Ms. Soteropoulos will use her expertise in commercializing drugs for severe, rare and cardiovascular diseases in global markets to advance Isis' novel lipid franchise through development and commercialization. She will also serve as a member of Isis' leadership team, in which she will provide commercial expertise to Isis' research and development activities.
Prior to joining Akcea Therapeutics, Ms. Soteropoulos held a number of leadership positions in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical arena. Most recently Ms. Soteropoulos was senior vice president and general manager of cardiometabolic, rare diseases and strategic alliances at Moderna Therapeutics, Inc. Prior to Moderna, Ms. Soteropoulos spent 21 years at Genzyme Corporation where she was instrumental in advancing new products from discovery through clinical development and commercialization with significant roles driving strategy, sales and marketing, and business development. Additionally, she led manufacturing process development, strategic capacity planning and supply chain development. In her most recent role at Genzyme as vice president and general manager of Genzyme's Cardiovascular division, Ms. Soteropoulos was responsible for moving Genzyme's oral cholesterol drug to profitability and spearheading the global launch of Kynamro.
Akcea Therapeutics is a newly formed, wholly owned subsidiary of Isis Pharmaceuticals located in Cambridge, Mass. Isis established Akcea to develop and commercialize the drugs in Isis' lipid franchise, including ISIS-APOCIIIRx, the most advanced drug currently in a Phase III study in patients with familial chylomicronemia, a severe and rare disease that is responsible for extremely elevated levels of triglycerides; ISIS-APO(a)Rx for patients with high levels of Lp(a), an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, currently in a Phase II study in patients with high Lp(a) levels; and ISIS-ANGPTL3Rx, currently in early clinical development as a broad dyslipidemia agent. In total, Akcea will be responsible for the development and commercialization of these three antisense drugs and their more potent LICA follow-on drugs.
Source: Isis Pharmaceuticals