Press Release

Arrakis Therapeutics Appoints Jacques Dumas, Ph.D., as Senior Vice President, Drug Discovery

Industry leader brings broad expertise across R&D value chain and proven track record with approved drug products  

Waltham, MA – February 5, 2020 – Arrakis Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company pioneering the discovery of a new class of small molecule medicines that directly target RNA, today announced that Jacques Dumas, Ph.D., has joined the company as Senior Vice President, Drug Discovery. He is a senior biopharmaceutical R&D leader with more than twenty years of experience leading teams across the R&D continuum, including drug discovery, preclinical development, chemistry, manufacturing and controls (CMC), and managing external partnerships. Dr. Dumas has deep expertise in oncology and infectious diseases, including co-inventing two approved oncology products. At Arrakis, he will be instrumental in evolving the company’s R&D capability as it builds a pipeline of novel RNA‑targeted small molecule (rSM) medicines.

“Jacques has an impressive track record of driving the discovery of innovative medicines. His expertise is ideally suited to Arrakis as we build out our drug discovery team and advance our initial product candidates toward the clinic,” said Michael Gilman, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Arrakis. “Jacques’ exceptional experience across all aspects of the R&D value chain will help us realize the full potential of our platform and deliver a powerful new class of small molecule medicines to patients.”

“I believe that Arrakis’ pioneering approach to targeting RNA with small molecules holds tremendous potential for developing high-impact medicines that can address challenging disease targets that have been difficult to reach with conventional approaches,” said Dr. Dumas. “I share the passion of the Arrakis team to translate its unique expertise and discovery platform to create new medicines that can target diseases in a bold, new way.”

Dr. Dumas most recently served as Chief Scientific Officer of Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals where he led teams conducting drug discovery, preclinical development, CMC and commercial manufacturing. While at Tetraphase, he contributed to regulatory submissions for Xerava®, a novel, fully-synthetic tetracycline antibiotic approved in the US and EU and managed a pipeline of projects at earlier stages of development. Previously, he was Chief Scientific Officer at Idenix Pharmaceuticals, focusing on novel nucleosides for antiviral and oncology applications. Jacques transitioned to Vice President at Merck Research Laboratories after Merck’s acquisition of Idenix. Prior to Idenix, Dr. Dumas worked at AstraZeneca, most recently as Vice President and Head of Strategy, Infection Innovative Medicines, with responsibility for disease area strategy and external collaborations. Earlier in his career, he worked at Bayer Healthcare for fifteen years in Medicinal Chemistry and is a co-inventor of two marketed oncology products, Nexavar® and Stivarga®. Dr. Dumas received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Paris IV University in France and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Stanford University.

About Arrakis Therapeutics
Arrakis Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company pioneering the discovery of a new class of medicines that directly target RNA. The company has developed a proprietary platform to identify new RNA targets and drug candidates to treat diseases unaddressed by today’s medicines. 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. 

Nexavar® and Stivarga® are registered trademarks of Bayer.

Xerava® is a trademark of Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals.

# # #

Media Contact:
Kathryn Morris
[email protected]

Back to Top