Douglas M. Fambrough III, Ph.D., is President and Chief Executive Officer of Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Dr. Fambrough co-founded Dicerna in 2007 and has served as the company’s chief executive officer since 2010. Prior to joining Dicerna as CEO, Dr. Fambrough specialized in financing innovative life science technology companies as a general partner with Oxford Bioscience Partners, a Boston-based venture capital firm. In this exclusive interview with the Wall Street Transcript, Dr. Fambrough details his strategic vision for curing multiple diseases.
In 2003, Dr. Fambrough and two other investors created Sirna Therapeutics, a first-generation RNA interference — RNAi — pioneer; he served on Sirna’s board of directors until the company was acquired by Merck for $1.1 billion in 2006. Other investments include Solexa, developer of the dominant ultra-high-throughput DNA sequencing platform, acquired by Illumina for $600 million; and Xencor, Inc. (NASDAQ:XNCR), a pioneer in antibody engineering technology. Before joining Oxford, Dr. Fambrough was a genomic scientist at the Whitehead/MIT Center for Genome Research — now known as the Broad Institute. Dr. Fambrough graduated from Cornell University and obtained his Ph.D. in genetics at the University of California, Berkeley.
His company has a high profile partner in the development of an innovative new treatment.
“Dicerna has a technology that can temporarily turn off the activity of an individual gene. So if that gene is active in disease and contributing to a disease process, we can cause that gene to be turned off for as long as the drug is present in the body. We do this specifically in the liver. We are developing therapies directed toward liver metabolic diseases and other conditions that affect the liver.”
“It is competitive, and a large company can move more quickly and more effectively in a large competitive area than we could as a small company. Boehringer, while it may not be the household name of Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), is the world’s largest private pharmaceutical company, and it has a particular focus on chronic liver disease, particularly NASH, or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. This makes them an excellent partner for us in developing these potential therapies for NASH.”
Read the complete interview in the Wall Street Transcript.