Press Release

Arrakis Therapeutics Appoints Erik Spek, Ph.D., J.D., as Vice President, Legal and Intellectual Property

Waltham, MA – July 15, 2020 – Arrakis Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company pioneering the discovery of a new class of small molecule medicines that directly target RNA, today announced that Erik Spek, Ph.D., J.D., has joined the company as Vice President, Legal and Intellectual Property. Dr. Spek is an experienced biotech executive who has been a leader in corporate legal affairs and intellectual property for biotech companies, including Vedanta Biosciences and Epizyme, Inc. In his role on the Arrakis management team, Dr. Spek will oversee all corporate legal matters and lead Arrakis’ intellectual property strategy.

“Erik brings exceptional expertise in building legal and intellectual property strategies for biotech companies with proprietary technology platforms, and he is an ideal addition to our team as we continue to realize the full potential of Arrakis’ platform and advance novel RNA-targeted small molecule medicines to patients,” said Michael Gilman, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Arrakis.

“I was drawn to Arrakis for its promising platform, talented team, notable progress to date, and the opportunity to bring new RNA-targeted therapies to patients,” said Dr. Spek. “I am thrilled to be joining Arrakis at this exciting point as it advances its initial product candidates toward the clinic. We have both the scientific leadership and the resources to realize our vision of bringing RNA-targeted small molecule medicines to patients, and I look forward to working with the team to build on recent progress and cement our leadership in this exciting field.”

Dr. Spek joins Arrakis from Vedanta Biosciences, where he was Senior Vice President and Head of Legal Affairs and Intellectual Property. At Vedanta, in addition to being responsible for all legal affairs, Erik developed a fundamental patent portfolio in the microbiome field and successfully defended a key European patent against multiple opponents. Prior to Vedanta, he served as Director of Intellectual Property for Epizyme, Inc. Previously, he worked as Boston-based IP law firm Wolf Greenfield, focusing on legal matters for a variety of bio and pharma related technologies. He earned his B.S. in Chemistry and Philosophy from Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. Dr. Spek received a J.D. from Suffolk Law School, a Ph.D. in biophysical chemistry from New York University, and conducted his postdoctoral research in biological engineering at MIT.

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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