SHANGHAI and WARREN, N.J., March 29, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Laekna Therapeutics, a clinical-stage global biotechnology company,announced today the appointment of Jeff Porter, Ph.D. as the Chairman of its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). Dr. Porter has over 25 years of global R&D leadership and strategic expertise, having most recently served as Vice President, Global Head of Chemical Biology & Therapeutics for the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR). He will work with several other senior industrial and academic leaders to provide scientific governance and guide Laekna Therapeutics in developing the next generation of medicines to treat cancer and liver fibrosis.

“Dr. Porter is an outstanding scientist and R&D leader with extensive experience in drug discovery and target research,” said Dr. Chris Lu, Chief Executive Officer of Laekna Therapeutics. “We are honored to have Dr. Porter join us and lead our Scientific Advisory Board. We expect to harness his profound scientific and strategic insights to bolster and accelerate the development of our pipeline.”

“Laekna Therapeutics has an exciting and globally competitive pipeline of potential new therapies and early projects, ” said Dr. Porter. “Chris is a respected long-time former co-worker and I am very much looking forward to working with him and his Laekna team to discover and develop transformative new treatments for cancer and fibrotic disease.”

As a senior member of the Leadership team at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) from its inception, Jeff developed an enabling target and lead discovery approach focused on biological pathways, a fundamental tool for the success of NIBR. The diverse research group he led developed a dynamic multidisciplinary platform that merged pathway biology and disease area expertise with enabling technology. Their efforts led to numerous seminal discoveries, from fundamental insights to novel targets and clinical candidates that showed benefits in early proof of concept human trials and beyond. Examples include the discovery of multiple key targets/drug candidates in the core pathways of Developmental biology as well as the ‘drug-ability’ of RNA splicing.

Prior to Novartis, Jeff worked with Ontogeny (now Curis, Inc.) for over 5 years, starting as a staff scientist and advancing to serve as its Vice President of Research. He received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and performed postdoctoral work in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Johns Hopkins.

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