- Former EVP of R&D and Chief Medical Officer at Alkermes joins Expansion to advance portfolio of medicines targeting RNA-mediated diseases
Expansion Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on advancing transformative medicines to patients with RNA-mediated diseases, announced today the appointment of Elliot Ehrich, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Ehrich previously served as Executive Vice President, Research and Development (R&D), and Chief Medical Officer of Alkermes Plc.
“With his impressive industry expertise and extensive R&D leadership skills, Elliot is the perfect person to serve as our Chief Medical Officer,” said Kevin Forrest, Ph.D., co-founder, president and chief executive officer of Expansion Therapeutics. “Elliot has been engaged in every aspect of bringing important medicines to patients globally from early discovery through approval. He will be instrumental as we grow our R&D organization operationally, and as we advance our scientific and clinical focus on small molecule medicines for expansion repeat disorders, a set of genetic diseases that currently have no satisfactory treatments.”
Dr. Ehrich is a Venture Partner of 5am Ventures, a venture capital firm that co-led the Expansion Series A financing with Kleiner Perkins, Novartis Venture Fund and Sanofi Ventures with participation from RA Capital Management and Alexandria Venture Investments.
For more than 18 years, Dr. Ehrich served as Chief Medical Officer and led the R&D division of Alkermes in senior roles of increasing responsibility. While at Alkermes, he directed the development and successful FDA registration of VIVITROL and ARISTADA and partnered development of RISPERDAL CONSTA and BYDUREON. He established a drug discovery effort at Alkermes, which has yielded a broad portfolio of proprietary drug development candidates in psychiatry, neurology and immuno-oncology.
Prior to joining Alkermes in 2000, Dr. Ehrich spent seven years at Merck & Co., Inc. overseeing the clinical development and registration of novel pharmaceuticals. Dr. Ehrich is a Fellow of the American College of Rheumatology and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, Rheumatology at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School of Rutgers University. He received a B.A. degree from Princeton University and was a predoctoral fellow in molecular genetics at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany. Following an M.D. degree at Columbia University, he completed a residency in internal medicine, subspecialty training in rheumatology and a postdoctoral fellowship in immunology at Stanford University. Dr. Ehrich has had numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals.
“I am thrilled to join the Expansion Therapeutics team at this exciting time in the company’s development and growth,” said Dr. Ehrich. “Expansion’s RNA-targeting platform represents a paradigm shift and early laboratory data indicates that it has the potential to yield important new treatments for severe RNA-meditated diseases. I am impressed with both the team and the science and look forward to advancing our novel programs into the clinic.”
Expansion Therapeutics is a drug discovery and development company pursuing the vast potential of small molecule medicines for RNA-mediated diseases. Based on exclusive worldwide rights to groundbreaking research from the laboratory of Matthew D. Disney, Ph.D., at The Scripps Research Institute, Expansion has assembled the intellectual property, know-how, and proprietary enabling technologies and tools necessary to facilitate the creation of potent and specific small molecule binders of RNA. Through this unique platform, Expansion is building a portfolio of novel RNA-targeted drug candidates with activity across a broad number of disease indications. The company’s initial development focus is on therapies for patients with expansion repeat diseases who currently have limited and unsatisfactory treatment options. Expansion is based in San Diego, California, and Jupiter, Florida.