23andMe Announces the Appointment of Joseph R. Arron, M.D., Ph.D. as Chief Scientific Officer
Dec 3, 2021
Dr. Arron brings nearly two decades of scientific leadership in biotech drug discovery and development to 23andMe’s Therapeutics team
SUNNYVALE, CA – November 30, 2021 – 23andMe Holding Co. (Nasdaq: ME) (“23andMe”), a leading consumer genetics and therapeutics company, today announced the appointment of Joseph R. Arron, M.D., Ph.D., as the company’s new Chief Scientific Officer. In this role, Dr. Arron will determine and prioritize 23andMe’s therapeutic programs and indications, including drug discovery and target validation efforts, and build out a pipeline that yields clinical stage programs. Dr. Arron will report to Kenneth Hillan, Head of Therapeutics at 23andMe.
“We are excited to have Joe join as our Chief Scientific Officer, as he brings a proven track record of innovation in drug discovery and translational biology to 23andMe,” said Hillan. “His expertise in investigating the pathogenic mechanisms underlying different diseases, combined with his stellar track record of leading and enabling teams to translate genetic discoveries into products, are skills we’re excited for him to bring to bear at 23andMe.”
In addition to prioritizing 23andMe’s drug discovery pipeline, Dr. Arron is charged with leading the company’s scientific teams across multiple therapeutic areas, including immuno-oncology, immunology, respiratory, and cardiovascular disease, among others. Dr. Arron will lead 23andMe’s therapeutics discovery strategy from early discovery to the IND-enabling studies stage.
“The Therapeutics team 23andMe has built and its engine for drug discovery are truly remarkable. I’m excited to join this incredibly impressive group of scientists and professionals to advance human genetics-based drug discovery,” said Dr. Arron. “The human genome was mapped 20 years ago and has held the promise to unlock the underlying causes of disease by studying human genetics. Now we have to do the hard work of linking genes to targetable molecular mechanisms, and use that information to develop novel therapeutics and advance these to clinical proof of concept. 23andMe is trying to make this vision a reality, and I hope to help carry forward the company’s mission.”
Dr. Arron previously served as Vice President and Senior Fellow, Immunology Research at Genentech. Dr. Arron joined Genentech in 2006, where his laboratory discovered pathogenic mechanisms and molecular bases for heterogeneity in respiratory disorders, enabling target and biomarker discovery for numerous investigational molecular therapies that resulted in over 75 publications.
In addition to supervising translational research in his laboratory, Dr. Arron assumed increasing responsibilities, ultimately overseeing 21 laboratories responsible for target and biomarker discovery, translational research, and preclinical therapeutic development in inflammatory, autoimmune, fibrotic, and ophthalmic diseases.
Dr. Arron earned an undergraduate degree from Princeton University, completed a combined M.D./Ph.D. degree at Cornell University Medical College and the Rockefeller University, and conducted postdoctoral studies at Stanford University School of Medicine.
23andMe, headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA, is a leading consumer genetics and therapeutics company. Founded in 2006, the company’s mission is to help people access, understand, and benefit from the human genome. 23andMe has pioneered direct access to genetic information as the only company with multiple FDA authorizations for genetic health risk reports. The company has created the world’s largest crowdsourced platform for genetic research, with 80 percent of its customers electing to participate. The 23andMe research platform has generated more than 180 publications on the genetic underpinnings of a wide range of diseases, conditions, and traits. The platform also powers the 23andMe Therapeutics group, currently pursuing drug discovery programs rooted in human genetics across a spectrum of disease areas, including oncology, respiratory, and cardiovascular diseases, in addition to other therapeutic areas. More information is available at www.23andMe.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including, without limitation, statements regarding the future performance of 23andMe’s businesses in consumer genetics and therapeutics and the growth and potential of its proprietary research platform. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included or incorporated in this press release, including statements regarding 23andMe’s strategy, financial position, funding for continued operations, cash reserves, projected costs, plans, and objectives of management, are forward-looking statements. The words “believes,” “anticipates,” “estimates,” “plans,” “expects,” “intends,” “may,” “could,” “should,” “potential,” “likely,” “projects,” “predicts,” “continue,” “will,” “schedule,” and “would” or, in each case, their negative or other variations or comparable terminology, are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. These forward-looking statements are predictions based on 23andMe’s current expectations and projections about future events and various assumptions. 23andMe cannot guarantee that it will actually achieve the plans, intentions, or expectations disclosed in its forward-looking statements and you should not place undue reliance on 23andMe’s forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties (many of which are beyond the control of 23andMe), or other assumptions that may cause actual results or performance to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements contained herein are also subject to other risks and uncertainties that are described in 23andMe’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2021 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on November 10, 2021 and in the reports subsequently filed by 23andMe with the SEC. The statements made herein are made as of the date of this press release and, except as may be required by law, 23andMe undertakes no obligation to update them, whether as a result of new information, developments, or otherwise.