To the Builders Blazing our Path to Amazing Medicines

July 19th, 2021
by Michael Gilman, PhD
CEO, Arrakis

Arrakis has gone through many significant transitions since its founding in 2015. We’ve evolved and matured scientifically. We’ve added investors and partners. And, of course, people come and go. Today, we reach a bittersweet transition at Arrakis. We bid our head of research and employee #005, Jim Barsoum, au revoir, as he marches bravely into […]

Want A Great Team? Pick Great Leaders.

July 19th, 2021
by Jennifer Petter, PhD
Founder and CSO, Arrakis

Back in 2015, I felt compelled to set out in a new direction in drug discovery. I was in my third year as VP of Chemistry for Celgene. This was a great gig – good people, good science. However, it required a level of travel that began to seem excessive. My kids were old enough […]

A Look Back

July 16th, 2021
by James Barsoum, PhD
Senior Vice President of Biology, Arrakis

49 years ago, when I was 16 years old, I wanted to do exactly what I am doing now. The only subject in school that held my interest was biology. As soon as I learned about DNA and RNA, I wanted to be a molecular biologist. I wanted to use molecular biology to create drugs. […]

Reaching cruising altitude: new discovery tools to target RNA

August 31st, 2020
by Herschel Mukherjee
Scientist II, Chemistry, Arrakis

The majority of small molecule drugs induce their therapeutic effects by seeking out and binding to their intended target while avoiding most other molecules in the dense milieu of the cell interior. In doing so, biological processes that rely on a specific target can be selectively modulated, ultimately producing the desired therapeutic effect. Understanding the […]

A new drug approval for the vanguard of RNA-targeted small molecules

August 27th, 2020
by Jennifer Petter, PhD
Founder and CSO, Arrakis

A few years ago, at Arrakis Therapeutics, we set out to conquer a strange new territory, drugging RNA structures with small molecules. We have overcome many obstacles on this mission, inventing new concepts and methods where necessary and re-engineering known concepts and methods where possible. But we have not been the only people on this […]

BioCentury This Week Podcast:
Consummating a deal under lockdown: Roche and Arrakis

May 5th, 2020
by Podcast

In a special podcast interview with BioCentury’s Editor in Chief Simone Fishburn, James Sabry, Global Head of Pharma Partnering at Roche and Mike Gilman CEO of Arrakis discuss consummating this deal while under lockdown of COVID-19.

Following our pole star to a transformative collaboration

April 8th, 2020
by Michael Gilman, PhD
CEO, Arrakis

It is an axiom of effective navigation, on earth or water or in interstellar space, that you need a fixed point to guide you. A beacon that shines clearly, never changes, never moves. If you drift off course, it pulls you back, keeps you on track. Locking your eyes on the pole star is critically […]

Arrakis achieves escape velocity

April 18th, 2019
by Michael Gilman, PhD
CEO, Arrakis

When last we spoke (here and here), Arrakis had just achieved liftoff with a $38M Series A financing in February 2017, and we were awash in fascinating and, in some cases, vexing questions. Two of my own questions that stand out upon rereading those posts from two years ago are: Is medicinal chemistry truly limited […]

Data‐driven Guideposts for Targeting RNA: Sequence, Structure and Interactions

August 1st, 2018
by Chris Burge, PhD
Professor of Biology and Biological Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

RNA’s fundamental role in biology has made it a burgeoning area for technology development and application, including as an intervention point for drug development. Virtually every step in the expression of a human gene involves RNA, from transcription through processing, localization and, ultimately, translation – the final step on the way from DNA to protein. […]

A Transition at Arrakis

June 26th, 2018
by Michael Gilman, PhD
CEO, Arrakis

Earlier this spring, Russ Petter – our Founder and CSO, very much the heart and soul of Arrakis, and a guy I’ve known for nearly twenty years – told me he had something he wanted to talk to me about and how about we do it over dinner. I didn’t think twice about it at […]

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