Arbor Continues to Build Therapeutic Focus with Key Scientific Leaders

Thursday, 27. May 2021 14:00

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 27, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Arbor Biotechnologies, an early-stage life sciences company discovering and developing the next generation of genetic medicines, announced today that John Murphy, Ph.D., has joined as Chief Scientific Officer and Greg Hoffman, Ph.D., has joined as Vice President, Discovery & Platform. These appointments signal Arbor’s expansion from a gene editing discovery platform to a more therapeutic focus.

“I am thrilled that John and Greg are joining the Arbor team. John’s experience in discovery and development of innovative therapies, particularly in the gene therapy space, is a perfect fit for driving Arbor’s portfolio toward the clinic. Greg’s expertise in discovery and platform development for cell and gene therapy will push our proprietary discovery engine toward enabling meaningful therapeutics for patients,” said Devyn Smith, CEO. “Their joining the team will allow us to execute on our strategy focused on developing Genetic Medicines by tailoring our library of CRISPR-based genetic modifiers to repair the underlying pathology of genetic diseases.”

Dr. Murphy brings over 20 years of experience in biotech and pharma to the role of Chief Scientific Officer at Arbor. His experience includes work on viral and non-viral gene therapy, genetic medicines, antibodies, and small molecules, as well as preclinical and process sciences into Phase III clinical trials and following FDA approval.

Dr. Murphy joins Arbor from Pfizer, where he led the Discovery Biology Group in Rare Disease Research focused on hematology and rare neuromuscular diseases. He played key roles in developing Pfizer’s gene therapy collaborations with Spark, Bamboo, and Sangamo. Prior to Pfizer, Dr. Murphy spent 15 years at Bayer, where he was an inventor of Jivi, a marketed third generation FVIII product for treatment of hemophilia, and where he worked in process sciences and led a group focused on large molecule discovery for non-malignant hematology. Dr. Murphy began his career at Chiron working on gene therapies and non-viral delivery agents.

Prior to working in industry, Dr. Murphy discovered the v-kit oncogene with Dr. Peter Besmer. He has a B.A. in Biology from Brown University and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics from Columbia University, where he studied retroviral replication in Dr. Steve Goff’s lab. Dr. Murphy was a Damon Runyon Postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Harold Varmus’ lab at UCSF.

"Arbor's extensive portfolio of gene editing assets offers unique opportunities for us to tailor each therapy to a specific genetic disease,” said Dr. Murphy. “I am excited to contribute my drug development experience to develop Arbor's therapeutic pipeline.”

Dr. Hoffman comes to Arbor with extensive experience from Obsidian where he pioneered work in controllable cell and gene therapies. Previously, he was at Sana and Novartis, where he led teams building innovative technology platforms aimed at developing novel cell and gene therapies. Dr. Hoffman’s role will contribute to Arbor’s strong track record of innovation and will play a key role as Arbor transitions into therapeutics leading both the discovery and platform efforts. Dr. Hoffman earned his BA in Biochemistry and PhD Biophysics at Cornell. He was a LAM Foundation Postdoctoral fellow with John Blenis and Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Marc Kirschner at Harvard.

About Arbor Biotechnologies 

Arbor Biotechnologies is an early-stage life sciences company discovering and developing the next-generation of genetic medicines. Co-founded by Feng Zhang and David Walt, Arbor uses its proprietary discovery engine to uncover unique CRISPR-based genetic modifiers with differentiated genetic editing and delivery capabilities. Following its strategic partnership with Vertex Pharmaceuticals to accelerate the path to the clinic for Arbor’s technologies, Arbor recently announced an agreement with Lonza. These partnerships further validate the breadth of applications of Arbor’s gene editing platform that can be custom tailored to address the underlying pathology of each genetic disease. Arbor’s pipeline of genetic medicines is focused on bringing curative therapies to all patients with genetic disease.

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