Akcea Therapeutics, Inc., an affiliate of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., has appointed William Andrews, MD, FACP, as chief medical officer, effective immediately. Dr. Andrews will lead medical, clinical and regulatory functions in support of the company's two commercial-stage products TEGSEDI (inotersen) and WAYLIVRA (volanesorsen) and will also guide development of the multiple clinical-stage therapeutics in the pipeline. Former CMO Louis St. L. O'Dea, MB, BCh, BAO, FRCP(C), will serve as an advisor to the company to ensure a smooth transition.
Dr. Andrews brings two decades of life sciences experience in clinical development, medical affairs and medical/commercial strategy, including more than 13 years in rare diseases, and seven product launches. Most recently he served as chief medical officer at Acer Therapeutics, where he managed and led clinical development programs for rare diseases including Vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a fatal connective tissue disorder, and rare metabolic and oncology disorders.
"We are pleased to have Will join our leadership team as we continue to optimize our commercial and business strategies for TEGSEDI and WAYLIVRA and to progress our promising pipeline of novel drugs positioned to address major areas of unmet need in global health. His depth of experience in rare diseases will be especially valuable during this pivotal time at the company," said Damien McDevitt, Ph.D., chief executive officer at Akcea. "On behalf of the entire team and board, I also want to thank Louis for his years of dedicated service to Akcea and helping position us well for future successes."