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NextRNA Therapeutics Strengthens Board of Directors with Appointment of Lori Friedman, PhD

September 26 2023

BOSTON, September 26, 2023 (BUSINESS WIRE) – NextRNA Therapeutics, a biotechnology company unlocking the potential of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) to develop transformative medicines for multiple diseases with an initial focus on oncology and neurology, today announced the appointment of Lori Friedman, PhD, to its Board of Directors. Dr. Friedman is currently Chief Scientific Officer of ORIC Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and formerly served as head of translational oncology for Genentech Research and Early Development (gRED).

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Lori Friedman to NextRNA’s Board of Directors. As we continue to advance our small molecule programs that aim to disrupt the disease-driving interactions between lncRNAs and RNA-binding proteins (RBPs), Lori’s deep drug discovery and development experience and expertise is a strategic enhancement to our Board,” said Dominique Verhelle, PhD, MBA, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of NextRNA. “Beyond her notable industry leadership, Lori’s enthusiasm to translate promising biology into innovative therapeutics is an ideal match with NextRNA’s vision to bring a new class of small molecule medicines to patients in need.”

Dr. Friedman commented, “I am delighted to join NextRNA’s board and partner closely with Dominique, my fellow board members, and the NextRNA team as the company’s pipeline continues to advance and mature. lncRNAs represent a vast and promising class of targets to address cancer and neurological diseases, among numerous other diseases. I’m extremely impressed with the robust target and drug discovery engine NextRNA has built; both to uncover functionally relevant lncRNA-RBP interactions and to determine optimal targeting of either the lncRNA or the RBP with small molecules. I believe NextRNA’s novel approach and its powerful discovery engine lay the groundwork to translate the promise of lncRNA therapeutics from bench to bedside.”

As Chief Scientific Officer at ORIC Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage oncology company focused on developing treatments that address mechanisms of therapeutic resistance, Dr. Friedman leads discovery research, preclinical development sciences, and manufacturing. Prior to ORIC, Dr. Friedman spent 15 years at Genentech, where she held roles of increasing responsibility including head of translational oncology for gRED, where her team advanced more than 20 programs into clinical development. Dr. Friedman also sat on cross-functional leadership teams tasked with strategic and technical review of Genentech’s oncology pipeline projects as well as in-licensing opportunities. Prior to Genentech, Dr. Friedman held various scientific leadership roles at Exelixis. She is an inventor on 28 issued patents and author on 99 peer-reviewed publications.

Dr. Friedman earned a PhD in molecular and cell biology from UC Berkeley and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Cambridge University in England. She was previously a director on the board of Jiya Acquisition Corp., an advisor on several scientific advisory boards, and is currently on the board of Project Scientist, a non-profit organization serving girls in STEM.

About NextRNA Therapeutics

NextRNA is a biotechnology company unlocking the potential of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) to develop transformative medicines for multiple diseases, with an initial focus on oncology and neurology. The company is utilizing its proprietary engine to identify lncRNAs and their interacting proteins responsible for disease and to develop selective small molecules to disrupt these interactions.

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Liz Melone