Peter S. Linsley, Ph.D., has been appointed chief scientific officer of AVI BioPharma, Inc., effective May 1, 2011. Dr. Linsley is recognized industry-wide for his RNA- and microRNA-focused research as well as his work in advancing scientific discoveries into clinical development. He will be charged with continuing AVI’s strategy to create a world-class executive leadership team.
Prior to joining the company, Dr. Linsley was chief scientific officer of Regulus Therapeutics, a joint venture of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Isis Pharmaceuticals, created to focus on the discovery and development of drug candidates that target microRNAs. At Regulus, Dr. Linsley led the company’s R&D efforts and built a scientific base for some of the first strategic transactions in the microRNA therapeutic arena. Previously he was executive director of Cancer Biology at Merck Research Laboratories, where he led efforts to implement RNA interference technologies that culminated in Merck’s 2007 acquisition of Sirna Therapeutics, Inc.
“Peter’s rare combination of RNA-specific thought-leadership and drug discovery expertise positions him to play an integral role in establishing AVI’s PMO-based chemistry as a leading medical technology,” said Chris Garabedian, chief executive officer of AVI BioPharma. “We welcome Peter to our team as we look to expand and advance our pipeline of morpholino drug candidates to target a variety of disease areas.”