Press Release

Arrakis Therapeutics Announces New Scientific Advisory Board Members

Addition of experts in drug discovery, biochemistry and RNA structure, Amanda E. Hargrove, Ph.D., and Adrian Whitty, Ph.D.

Waltham, MA – March 23, 2021 — Arrakis Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company pioneering the discovery of a new class of small molecule medicines that directly target RNA, announced today that it has appointed Amanda E. Hargrove, Ph.D., and Adrian Whitty, Ph.D., to its Scientific Advisory Board. The Arrakis SAB is now composed of eight members who provide scientific insight and expert guidance, complementing the company’s R&D expertise in discovering small molecules to target RNA.

“We are very pleased to welcome these esteemed scientific leaders to our Scientific Advisory Board as we continue to advance our mission to target RNA with small molecules to treat many diseases,” said Jennifer Petter, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Arrakis. “Each brings a unique perspective and deep expertise and will provide valuable insights to our work to develop breakthrough RNA-targeted medicines.”

“Arrakis’ small molecule approach to targeting RNA represents a promising path for discovering new medicines for patients across a range of diseases, and I look forward to collaborating with a team on the leading edge of a new field of drug discovery,” said Dr. Hargrove.

“Targeting RNA represents a major new frontier in small molecule drug discovery, and I welcome the opportunity to work with Arrakis’s talented scientists and SAB to help advance this exciting new technology to bring treatments to patients,” said Dr. Whitty.

Amanda E. Hargrove is Associate Professor of Chemistry at Duke University. Dr. Hargrove joined the Duke faculty in 2013 and her laboratory has focused on developing small molecule probes to investigate the structure and function of RNA molecules relevant to human disease. The lab works to understand the fundamental drivers of selective small molecule-to-RNA recognition and to use this knowledge to functionally modulate viral and oncogenic RNA structures. Congruent with the interdisciplinary nature of this program, Dr. Hargrove holds a secondary appointment in the Biochemistry Department and membership in the Duke Cancer Institute, the Pharmaceutical Sciences Training Program, and the Center for Biological and Tissue Engineering. Dr. Hargrove currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of Medicinal Research Reviews. Dr. Hargrove earned her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin followed by an NIH postdoctoral fellowship at the California Institute of Technology.

Adrian Whitty is Associate Professor of Chemistry and of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Boston University. Prior to joining the Boston University faculty in 2008, Dr. Whitty worked for 14 years at Biogen. He rose from Scientist to the position of Director in the Drug Discovery Department and Head of Physical Biochemistry, leading a department that encompassed quantitative biochemistry, assay development and compound profiling, structural biology, and molecular modeling. During his tenure at Biogen, Dr. Whitty participated in or led multiple drug discovery project teams. He also maintained an active research program in the areas of receptor signaling and protein-ligand binding. In addition, he directed the Biogen Idec Postdoctoral Program, developing a highly regarded reputation as a post-doctoral mentor. Dr. Whitty earned his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Chicago and B.Sc. in Chemistry from King’s College, University of London.

About Arrakis Therapeutics

Arrakis Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company pioneering the discovery of a new class of medicines that directly target RNA. Arrakis is building a proprietary pipeline of RNA-targeted small molecule (rSM) medicines focused on cancer and genetically validated targets in other disease areas. The company brings together scientific leaders in RNA structure, chemistry and biology, along with a highly experienced management team and the backing of leading life sciences investors. The company is located in Waltham, Massachusetts. For more information, please visit and engage with us on Twitter @ArrakisTx or on LinkedIn.


Media Contact:
Kathryn Morris
[email protected]

Investor Contact:
Will O’Connor
[email protected]

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