23andMe Holding Co. (ME) Appoints Joseph R. Arron as Chief Scientific Officer
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23andMe Holding Co. (Nasdaq: ME), a leading consumer genetics and therapeutics company, today announced the appointment of Joseph R. Arron, M.D., Ph.D., as the company’s new Chief Scientific Officer. In this role, Dr. Arron will determine and prioritize 23andMe’s therapeutic programs and indications, including drug discovery and target validation efforts, and build out a pipeline that yields clinical stage programs. Dr. Arron will report to Kenneth Hillan, Head of Therapeutics at 23andMe.
“We are excited to have Joe join as our Chief Scientific Officer, as he brings a proven track record of innovation in drug discovery and translational biology to 23andMe,” said Hillan. “His expertise in investigating the pathogenic mechanisms underlying different diseases, combined with his stellar track record of leading and enabling teams to translate genetic discoveries into products, are skills we’re excited for him to bring to bear at 23andMe.”
In addition to prioritizing 23andMe’s drug discovery pipeline, Dr. Arron is charged with leading the company’s scientific teams across multiple therapeutic areas, including immuno-oncology, immunology, respiratory, and cardiovascular disease, among others. Dr. Arron will lead 23andMe’s therapeutics discovery strategy from early discovery to the IND-enabling studies stage.
“The Therapeutics team 23andMe has built and its engine for drug discovery are truly remarkable. I’m excited to join this incredibly impressive group of scientists and professionals to advance human genetics-based drug discovery,” said Dr. Arron. “The human genome was mapped 20 years ago and has held the promise to unlock the underlying causes of disease by studying human genetics. Now we have to do the hard work of linking genes to targetable molecular mechanisms, and use that information to develop novel therapeutics and advance these to clinical proof of concept. 23andMe is trying to make this vision a reality, and I hope to help carry forward the company’s mission.”
Dr. Arron previously served as Vice President and Senior Fellow, Immunology Research at Genentech. Dr. Arron joined Genentech in 2006, where his laboratory discovered pathogenic mechanisms and molecular bases for heterogeneity in respiratory disorders, enabling target and biomarker discovery for numerous investigational molecular therapies that resulted in over 75 publications.
In addition to supervising translational research in his laboratory, Dr. Arron assumed increasing responsibilities, ultimately overseeing 21 laboratories responsible for target and biomarker discovery, translational research, and preclinical therapeutic development in inflammatory, autoimmune, fibrotic, and ophthalmic diseases.
Dr. Arron earned an undergraduate degree from Princeton University, completed a combined M.D./Ph.D. degree at Cornell University Medical College and the Rockefeller University, and conducted postdoctoral studies at Stanford University School of Medicine.
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