RARE Daily

Electra Names Kathy Dong CEO

December 11, 2023

Rare Daily Staff

Electra Therapeutics, a clinical stage biotechnology company developing antibody therapies against novel targets for immunological diseases and cancer, appointed Kathy Dong as its president and CEO.

The appointment of Dong comes as the company released positive clinical results for its lead drug candidate, ELA026, for the treatment of the rare and life-threatening inflammatory disease, secondary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (sHLH).

Dong succeeds Adam Rosenthal, who was co-founder will continue to serve as a member of Electra’s board of directors and CEO of Star Therapeutics, the company that spun out Electra.

Dong brings more than 15 years of biopharmaceutical executive experience to Electra. She has worked in corporate development, business operations, portfolio management, and product commercialization.  Since 2019, she was chief operating officer of Star Therapeutics, where she held strategic and operational responsibilities across the Star portfolio, including building Electra Therapeutics and Vega Therapeutics from discovery stage into the clinic. Prior to joining Star Therapeutics, she served as vice president of commercial development at True North Therapeutics where she played a key role in building the market for the first approved therapy for the rare autoimmune disorder, cold agglutinin disease. Following True North’s acquisition by Bioverativ/Sanofi, she headed new product planning for the complement franchise at Sanofi.

Dong spent nine years at Gilead Sciences, where she led the launch and market development of numerous products in Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, including Sovaldi and Harvoni, two of the most successful launches in biopharmaceutical history as measured by first-year revenue. She earned her PharmD and MBA at the University of New Mexico, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship through Rutgers University.

“This is a time of strong momentum for the company, particularly as the first clinical data for ELA026 was just presented at the American Society of Hematology annual meeting, showing a very encouraging response rate in difficult-to-treat subsets of patients with sHLH,” said Dong. “We also see broad opportunities ahead as we apply our deep expertise to develop antibodies against novel targets that address immune dysregulation in immunological diseases and cancer.”

The company today at the ASH meeting reported that data from 10 patients in the ongoing phase 1b clinical study showed favorable safety results and an overall response rate of 70 percent in patients treated with its experimental therapy ELA026. An overall response rate of 88 percent was seen in eight patients with evaluable data.

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