Market Overview

Imara Announces Appointment of Kevin B. Johnson, Ph.D., MBA, as Senior Vice President of Regulatory and Quality


Imara Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, today announced
that Kevin B. Johnson, Ph.D., MBA, has been appointed Senior Vice
President of Regulatory and Quality. Dr. Johnson joins the company from
Sucampo Pharmaceuticals and Vtesse, Inc. where he served as Vice
President, Global Head of Regulatory and Quality, and Vice President,
Global Regulatory Affairs, respectively. Dr. Johnson brings more than 25
years of experience guiding the regulatory and product development
strategies for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies in all stages
of development and across a range of therapeutic areas.

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Senior Vice President of Regulatory and Quality, Imara (Photo: Business Wire)

Senior Vice President of Regulatory and Quality, Imara (Photo: Business Wire)

"Kevin's deep bench of knowledge guiding product candidates toward
approval and ensuring adherence to strict quality standards and controls
will be invaluable to Imara as we advance IMR-687 for sickle cell
disease into later-stage clinical trials," said Rahul D. Ballal, Ph.D.,
Chief Executive Officer of Imara. "In our search for a strong addition
to our senior management team, Kevin's experience in the area of rare
diseases and product approvals, coupled with his proven accomplishments
at some of the leading companies in the life sciences industry, made the
decision to bring him on board a simple one. We are thrilled to welcome
him to the company."

While at Sucampo and Vtesse, Dr. Johnson led global regulatory strategy
and implementation for rare disease development programs targeting
Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC), which received Breakthrough Therapy
designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and
Promising Innovative Medicine (PIM) designation from the Medicines and
Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Previously, he served as
Director, Global Regulatory Affairs for Rare Diseases and Gene Therapies
at GlaxoSmithKline as a member of the international team for the
European approval of the gene therapy Strimvelis® for ADA-SCID. Dr.
Johnson was also Principal Regulatory Consultant for the successful
Regenerative Medicine Advanced Therapy (RMAT) designation request for a
retinal gene therapy product at PharmaKnowledge.

He earned his MBA and a Ph.D. in Neurobiology from The University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his Bachelor's degree in Chemistry
from the University of South Florida. Dr. Johnson also holds a
Regulatory Affairs Certification (RAC) credential from the Regulatory
Affairs Professional Society.

About Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle cell disease is a rare, genetically inherited condition that
alters hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen
throughout the body. The altered hemoglobin distorts red blood cells
into a sickle, or crescent, shape. Painful episodes can occur when
sickled red blood cells, which are stiff and inflexible, get stuck in
small blood vessels. These episodes deprive tissues and organs of
oxygen-rich blood and can lead to vaso-occlusive crisis (VOC), acute
chest syndrome (ACS), and permanent damage to organs including the
liver, spleen, kidney and brain.

About Imara

, is dedicated to developing novel therapeutics for patients
with sickle cell disease and other hemoglobinopathies. Imara is
currently developing IMR-687, a highly selective, potent small molecule
inhibitor of PDE9, to treat patients with sickle cell disease. IMR-687
was specifically designed to treat patients with sickle cell disease by
both reducing red blood cell sickling and blockage of blood vessels that
are underlying causes of the pathology of sickle cell disease. The
company was launched out of orphan drug accelerator Cydan Development
with financing from life science investors NEA, Pfizer Venture
Investments, Lundbeckfond Ventures, Bay City Capital and Alexandria
Venture Investments.

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