BOSTON, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Imara Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing and commercializing novel therapeutics to treat patients suffering from rare inherited genetic disorders of hemoglobin, known as hemoglobinopathies, today announced the appointment of Joelle Lufkin as its Senior Vice President of Development. Ms. Lufkin joins the Imara management team, bringing more than 20 years of global experience overseeing all phases of clinical trials and drug development across multiple therapeutic areas. At Imara, she will provide leadership to advance IMR-687 for sickle cell disease (SCD) and beta-thalassemia.
“We are excited to welcome Joelle to Imara as we advance IMR-687 through later-stage clinical trials as a potentially disease-modifying treatment for sickle cell disease and expand clinical development for beta-thalassemia,” said Rahul Ballal, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Imara. “Joelle is an accomplished leader who has driven the advancement of programs from clinical proof of concept through regulatory approval across several therapeutic areas. Her deep experience in drug development and clinical operations leadership will be instrumental in delivering on our mission to develop and commercialize novel oral therapeutics for patients suffering from rare blood disorders around the world.”
Before joining Imara, Ms. Lufkin was Vice President of Clinical Development at Flexion Therapeutics, overseeing clinical operations, data management, biostatistics and medical writing across the company’s pipeline programs. At Flexion, she led the clinical development program for Zilretta® from the product’s investigational new drug (IND) application through approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Previously, she served in clinical operations and clinical trial management roles of increasing responsibility at Synta Pharmaceuticals and Cubist Pharmaceuticals. At Cubist, she was part of the team that successfully developed Cubicin® through FDA approval. Ms. Lufkin earned her B.S. in biology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and her M.P.H. in epidemiology/biostatistics from Boston University School of Public Health.
“I’m thrilled to join Imara at such an important point in the development of IMR-687,” said Ms. Lufkin. “I look forward to joining this experienced management team as we move forward with our plans to execute two global clinical programs that we believe will allow us to demonstrate the utility for a novel oral therapeutic in sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia. I also look forward to supporting other potential future pipeline efforts.”
Imara Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company dedicated to developing and commercializing novel therapeutics to treat patients suffering from rare inherited genetic disorders of hemoglobin, known as hemoglobinopathies. Imara is currently advancing IMR-687, a highly selective, potent small molecule inhibitor of PDE9 that is an oral, once-a-day, potentially disease-modifying treatment for sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia. IMR-687 is being designed to have a multimodal mechanism of action that acts on red blood cells, white blood cells, adhesion mediators and other cell types. For more information, please visit www.imaratx.com.