RARE Daily

Damien McDevitt Appointed CEO of Akcea Therapeutics

March 24, 2020

Rare Daily Staff

Rare disease biotech Akcea Therapeutics, a majority-owned affiliate of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, said that its board of directors has appointed Damien McDevitt as CEO, effective immediately.

McDevitt has served as interim CEO of Akcea since September 2019 and will continue to serve as a member of the Akcea board of directors.

“With his experience at both Ionis and Akcea, Damien has the perspective and insight to lead Akcea at a time when the company is positioned to make rapid progress in advancing its global development and commercialization strategies,” said B. Lynne Parshall, chairman of the board at Akcea. 

Parshall also noted that during McDevitt’s tenure as interim CEO, Akcea has expanded its senior leadership team, struck a global licensing deal with Pfizer for it mid-stage experimental therapeutic to reduce triglycerides in patients with hypertriglyceridemia, type 2 diabetes, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and made significant progress in building the pipeline.

McDevitt’s career spans more than 30 years, including most recently as chief business officer for Ionis Pharmaceuticals. Prior to Ionis, he was a senior vice president at Acadia Pharmaceuticals, and spent more than two decades at GlaxoSmithKline that included leadership roles within research and development. McDevitt is an author of 70 scientific publications and published patents. He attended Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, where he earned his Ph.D. and undergraduate degree, both in microbiology.

Akcea and Ionis market Tegsedi for the treatment of polyneuropathy caused by hereditary transthyretin-mediated amyloidosis, and Waylivra in the European Union where it has conditional approval as an adjunct to diet in adult patients with genetically confirmed familial chylomicronemia syndrome (FCS).

Photo: Damien McDevitt, CEO of Akcea

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