BOSTON — Jnana Therapeutics, a biotechnology company targeting the solute carrier (SLC) family of metabolite transporters to treat underserved diseases, today announced that it has expanded its leadership team with the appointment of two accomplished biopharmaceutical executives: Nick Pullen, PhD, as Senior Vice President, Head of Biology, and Brian Danieli as Vice President, Head of Finance and Operations. These new executives join Jnana at a significant time in the company’s evolution as it advances its first SLC transporter-targeted therapies toward clinical development.
Nick Pullen, PhD, Senior Vice President, Head of Biology
“Nick is an experienced and passionate leader in drug discovery and development with deep knowledge in several therapeutic areas, including renal disease and inflammation, that are highly relevant to our R&D work with SLC transporters,” said Joel Barrish, PhD, co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Jnana Therapeutics. “We are delighted to welcome Nick to our team and look forward to his contributions in building our research and development strategy and helping guide our lead programs toward the clinic.”
In the role of Senior Vice President, Head of Biology, Dr. Nick Pullen will work to further leverage Jnana’s RAPID platform to systematically target SLC transporters and develop novel small molecule drug candidates. Dr. Pullen is an experienced drug discovery and development leader with 20 years of experience and a proven track-record of therapeutic innovation across multiple disease areas. Before joining Jnana, he was Vice President, Integrative Sciences, Inflammation & Immunology, Cardiovascular & Fibrosis, at Bristol Myers Squibb and prior to this, he served as Executive Director, Inflammation & Immunology for Celgene. In both of these roles, Dr. Pullen was responsible for scientific and strategic leadership of externalized drug discovery programs applying novel technologies and scientific insights to the expansion of the Inflammation & Immunology portfolio as well as more broadly. Dr. Pullen brings extensive experience in Inflammation & Fibrosis, following a career at Pfizer which spanned more than 15 years and brought multiple development candidates to clinical evaluation and touched many disease areas including renal disease, IBD and NASH, a breadth of experience with significant pertinence to the emerging Jnana portfolio. Dr. Pullen received his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Southampton in the UK.
“The Jnana team have made remarkable progress in the development of technologies that open up the therapeutic opportunity afforded by targeting the SLC gene family. I am thrilled to be joining Jnana at this exciting stage in the company’s growth and to help them build a pipeline of small molecules targeting SLC transporters,” said Dr. Pullen.
Brian Danieli, Vice President, Head of Finance & Operations
“Brian’s extensive finance background and expertise will be a critical addition to the organization,” said Caroline Stark Beer, Jnana’s Chief Business Officer. “We’re very pleased to welcome Brian to Jnana and look forward to Brian’s financial and operational leadership as we enter a new stage of growth.”
As the Head of Finance and Operations of Jnana Therapeutics, Brian Danieli will expand the company’s finance and operations infrastructure to allow for growth to a clinical-stage drug developer. Mr. Danieli is an expert finance leader with more than 20 years of global experience with fast-growing biotechnology companies. He joins Jnana from Momenta Pharmaceuticals, where he led Financial Planning & Analysis. Previously, he served for more than 20 years in roles of increasing responsibility at Sanofi Genzyme. His most recent position at Sanofi Genzyme was Head of Finance for North America Rare Disease and Rare Blood Disorders, and he drove all aspects of strategic financial planning and operations for the North American region for two business units representing $2B in combined sales with over 500 employees and 12 products. In his roles at Sanofi Genzyme, Mr. Danieli spearheaded the integration of Bioverativ and Ablynx acquisitions, implemented financial modeling and assembled franchise performance metrics for investor audiences. Earlier in his career, he held financial positions at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and KPMG. He earned a BS in accounting from Boston College.
“I am eager to leverage my experience to support Jnana’s evolution in the next stage of its business,” said Mr. Danieli. “I see tremendous potential for Jnana’s platform to bring innovation to a range of diseases, and I am excited to be part of a team that is committed to bring novel medicines to make a difference in the lives of patients.”
About Jnana Therapeutics
Jnana Therapeutics is a biotechnology company focused on opening the solute carrier (SLC) family of metabolite transporters as a target class to develop transformational therapeutics. Jnana uses its RAPID platform, a proprietary, cell-based drug discovery approach, to systematically target SLC transporters and develop best-in-class therapies to treat a wide range of diseases, including immune-mediated, neurological and metabolite-dependent diseases. Headquartered in Boston, Jnana is founded by world-renowned scientists and backed by leading life science investors.