Dicerna Announces New Executive Leadership Appointments

LEXINGTON, Mass. – Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: DRNA) (the “Company” or “Dicerna”), a leading developer of investigational ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi) therapeutics,  announced the appointment of Rob Ciappenelli as Chief Strategy Officer, the promotion of Marc Abrams, Ph.D., to Senior Vice President, Discovery Research and the addition of Kristen Sheppard, Esq., to Dicerna’s executive leadership team as Senior Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications.

“As we advance our innovative pipeline and position Dicerna for the next phase of growth, we believe these new executive appointments reinforce our strong focus on operational execution across our organization and the effective communication of Dicerna’s performance and strategy to all our stakeholders,” said Douglas Fambrough, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer at Dicerna. “I am excited to welcome Kristen to our executive management team and look forward to Rob’s and Marc’s additional leadership in furthering Dicerna’s mission as a biopharmaceutical leader in RNAi innovation.”

Rob Ciappenelli, Chief Strategy Officer

In his new role as Chief Strategy Officer, Mr. Ciappenelli will be responsible for overseeing Dicerna’s cross-functional product-creation efforts and pipeline expansion, as well as continued high-performance alliance management in support of Dicerna’s collaborative partnerships.

Mr. Ciappenelli brings to the role more than 30 years of global experience across the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and healthcare consulting industries and most recently served as Dicerna’s Chief Commercial Officer. During his career, Mr. Ciappenelli has managed company portfolios ranging from early development candidates to in-market products for rare diseases, neurological disorders and diseases of the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems. He has extensive experience in establishing and building new product planning initiatives, leadership and development programs and managing global strategic operations. Prior to joining Dicerna, Mr. Ciappenelli led commercial and strategic operations for Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Shire plc and Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Mr. Ciappenelli earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.

Marc Abrams, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Discovery Research

In his new role as Senior Vice President, Discovery Research, Dr. Abrams will be responsible for ensuring continued high productivity from Dicerna’s discovery research engine and generating new pipeline candidates.

Dr. Abrams joined Dicerna in 2014 as Senior Director, Preclinical Development and has held roles of increasing responsibility related to optimizing the pharmaceutical properties of Dicerna’s GalXC™ technology platform and identifying and advancing new RNAi targets for Dicerna and its collaborative partners. Prior to Dicerna, Dr. Abrams led RNAi discovery and early development programs in oncology, as well as liver, cardiovascular, viral and autoimmune diseases at Sirna Therapeutics and Merck.

Dr. Abrams earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Thomas Jefferson University, a Master of Science in biology from the University of Rochester and a Bachelor of Science in bioscience and biotechnology from Drexel University.

Kristen Sheppard, Esq., Senior Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications

Ms. Sheppard joins Dicerna with more than 20 years of experience in building and leading investor relations, corporate communications and public affairs functions across the biotechnology, medical device and technology sectors. Ms. Sheppard joins Dicerna from Akebia Therapeutics, Inc. where she served as Senior Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications. Prior to Akebia, Ms. Sheppard was Vice President, Investor Relations and Counsel at NxStage Medical, Inc. from 2008 through its acquisition by Fresenius Medical Care in 2019 and also served most recently as the company’s Associate General Counsel. Prior to NxStage, Ms. Sheppard held senior leadership roles in investor relations for publicly traded and pre-IPO companies within the technology sector and also served as senior government affairs and public policy counsel to various healthcare entities.

Ms. Sheppard earned her Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of New Hampshire. She is a member of the New Hampshire Bar Association.

About Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: DRNA) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing medicines that are designed to leverage ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi) to silence selectively genes that cause or contribute to disease. Using our proprietary GalXC™ and GalXC-Plus™ RNAi technologies, Dicerna is committed to developing RNAi-based therapies with the potential to treat both rare and more prevalent diseases. By silencing disease-causing genes, Dicerna’s GalXC platform has the potential to address conditions that are difficult to treat with other modalities. Initially focused on disease-causing genes in the liver, Dicerna has continued to innovate and is exploring new applications of its RNAi technology with GalXC-Plus, which expands the functionality and application of our flagship liver-targeted GalXC technology to tissues and cell types outside the liver, and has the potential to treat diseases across multiple therapeutic areas. In addition to our own pipeline of core discovery and clinical candidates, Dicerna has established collaborative relationships with some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, including Novo Nordisk A/S, Roche, Eli Lilly and Company, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Between Dicerna and our collaborative partners, we currently have more than 20 active discovery, preclinical or clinical programs focused on cardiometabolic, viral, chronic liver and complement-mediated diseases, as well as neurodegenerative diseases and pain. At Dicerna, our mission is to interfere – to silence genes, to fight disease, to restore health. For more information, visit www.dicerna.com.


Amy Trevvett
+1 617-612-6253
[email protected]

Kristen Sheppard, Esq.
+1 617-514-2275
[email protected]