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Ionis founder Stanley T Crooke to retire

Published on: 18/12/20

Ionis Pharmaceuticals has announced that its founder, Dr Stanley T Crooke, will retire from the company and its board of directors effective June 2021.

Dr Crooke is stepping down to focus on his scientific interests and the n-Lorem Foundation, a non-profit organisation he founded to provide free individualised antisense treatments to patients living with ultra-rare diseases. He will continue to serve as a scientific advisor to Ionis, including providing advice regarding Ionis' research and development programmess and guiding the core antisense research group he founded at the company.

Ionis was founded by Dr Crooke over 30 years ago, who is credited with being the pioneer of RNA-targeted therapeutics. Under his leadership, Ionis developed its novel antisense technology and created one of the largest, most advanced pipelines in the industry. He has personally led the development of more than 20 marketed drugs throughout his career and supported the creation and growth of several companies based on Ionis' antisense technology.

Dr Crooke has received numerous honours and awards for his pioneering work in RNA-targeted therapeutics including the prestigious Massry Prize, the Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society Lifetime Achievement Award, the American Chemical Society's E.B. Hershberg Award for Important Discoveries in Medicinally Active Substances, the Prix Galien Best Biotechnology Award for Spinraza, the Scrip Lifetime Achievement Award, and BIO's Helix Award for the most important innovation. He has also published nearly 600 scientific publications, edited more than 20 books, and is a named inventor on numerous patents.

Brett P Monia, Ionis Chief Executive Officer, said: “Thanks to Stan's vision and perseverance, thousands of patients are benefiting from the transformative and life-changing antisense medicines discovered and developed by Ionis.

“We are pleased that Stan will continue to provide advice and counsel to Ionis and applaud his efforts to use the technology that was created at Ionis to bring hope and therapies to the patients who will benefit greatly from the n-Lorem foundation.”

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