Aileron Therapeutics Appoints Veterans of Life Sciences Industry and Wall Street to its BOD; Nobel Laureate and Venerated

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Aileron Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company that has defined a new class of drugs called Stapled Peptides, today announced the appointments of three veterans of the life sciences industry and Wall Street to its Board of Directors (BOD), as well as three internationally renowned research professionals to its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). These advisors will serve as a strategic asset to Aileron as the company continues to advance several drug development programs utilizing its Stapled Peptide™ technology.

The newly appointed members of Aileron’s BOD include:

  • Julian Adams, Ph.D., president, research & development, Infinity Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Adams brings more than 25 years of drug discovery and development to Aileron’s Board. Prior to joining Infinity in 2003, Dr. Adams was senior vice president, drug discovery and development at Millennium Pharmaceuticals where he had global responsibility for multiple drug discovery programs, including the successful discovery and development of Velcade® (bortezomib), a proteasome inhibitor for cancer therapy. Earlier in his career at Boehringer Ingelheim, Dr. Adams successfully discovered the drug Viramune® (nevirapine) for HIV.
  • Scott Kapnick, managing partner and member of the Board of Highbridge Capital Management, LLC, and chief executive officer of Highbridge Principal Strategies, LLC. Highbridge is a global leading alternative investment and asset management organization with total assets under management of approximately $27 billion. The Principal Strategies Group manages a series of alternative asset investment funds, including ones invested in credit related securities and private equity. Prior to joining Highbridge, Mr. Kapnick held various roles during his 21-year tenure at Goldman Sachs, most recently serving as a management committee member, partner, and co-chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs International.
  • John H. McArthur is the Dean Emeritus and the George Fisher Baker Professor of Business Administration Emeritus at the Harvard Business School. He has held numerous corporate directorships, committee memberships and consulting posts in major business, government, education and health care organizations around the world over the decades, including Chase Manhattan Corporation, GlaxoSmithKline plc, HCA, Inc., Rohm and Haas Company, Bell Canada Enterprises, and the Thomson Reuters Founders Share Trust.

The newly appointed members of Aileron’s SAB include:

  • Stephen W. Fesik, Ph.D., is the Orrin H. Ingram, II Chair in Cancer Research and a professor of biochemistry, pharmacology, and chemistry at Vanderbilt University. He is also a member of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, the Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology, and the Center for Structural Biology. Dr. Fesik’s lab is focused on cancer drug discovery using fragment-based approaches and structure-based design. Prior to joining the Vanderbilt faculty in 2009, Dr. Fesik had a 26-year career at Abbott Laboratories where he was a pioneer in the applications of NMR spectroscopy to drug design. He most recently served as divisional vice president of cancer research at Abbott and led a group responsible for several cancer drug discovery programs. Dr. Fesik has published more than 240 papers, trained 36 postdoctoral fellows, served as a member of the Editorial Boards for a number of premier scientific journals, and has won many awards.
  • Robert H. Grubbs, Ph.D., Victor and Elizabeth Atkins professor of chemistry, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif. Dr. Grubbs is a world-renowned organic chemist whose work on catalysts has led to a wide variety of applications in medicine and industry. Dr. Grubbs was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2005 for the development of ruthenium-catalyzed metathesis of olefins, a powerful synthetic method to create carbon-based linkages within a single compound or between two different compounds. This chemistry is widely used by the chemical and pharmaceutical industries in a variety of processes, including Aileron’s Stapled Peptide Technology, and enables the discovery of novel drugs having unique properties for the treatment of various diseases.
  • Michael Hanley, Ph.D., currently CEO and chairman of Celtaxys, brings more than 20 years of experience in the life science industry including drug discovery, product development, and production. He was most recently the chief scientific officer for Amylin Pharmaceuticals. Earlier, Dr. Hanley consulted to healthcare investors and biotechnology companies including Cell Therapeutics, Zymogenetics, Elan Pharmaceuticals, and Chiron. Dr. Hanley held faculty positions at Imperial College, London, the Medical Research Council Laboratories, Cambridge, and the University of California at Davis, where he was professor of biological chemistry.

“We feel very fortunate to attract this incredible group of individuals to Aileron,” commented Joseph A. Yanchik III, president and chief executive officer of Aileron. “We believe that building a company to develop breakthrough therapeutics requires unconventional thinking from individuals who are leaders in their fields and are not constrained by the customary tenets of the rapidly changing bio-pharmaceutical industry. Each one of these advisors brings unique insight and expertise to Aileron that will be invaluable as we mature as an organization and continue to advance our Stapled Peptide pipeline.”

About Aileron Therapeutics

Aileron Therapeutics has defined a new class of drugs called Stapled Peptides. The company’s proprietary Stapled Peptides platform is a breakthrough approach to creating drugs for highly sought after biological targets using its novel peptide stabilizing technologies. Aileron’s Stapled Peptides have demonstrated their unique ability to penetrate cells throughout the body and modulate intracellular and extracellular protein-protein interactions, critical control points for most human diseases. With the support of leading venture capital firms and pharmaceutical venture investors, as well as a collaboration with Roche, Aileron is developing a portfolio of Stapled Peptide drugs for the treatment of cancer, infectious disease, metabolic disease and immune/inflammatory diseases. For more information, please visit


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