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Press Releases

Akcea Therapeutics Canada Appoints Nelly Komari, B. Pharm., MSc. as Medical Director

October 4, 2017

OTTAWA, Oct. 04, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Akcea Therapeutics Canada is pleased to announce the appointment of Nelly Komari, B. Pharm., MSc., as Medical Director.  Akcea Therapeutics Canada, the Canadian subsidiary of Akcea Therapeutics, Inc., an affiliate of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is focused on developing and commercializing drugs to treat patients with serious cardiometabolic diseases caused by lipid disorders.

Akcea recently announced the filing of a New Drug Submission (NDS) to Health Canada for volanesorsen, an investigational medicine for the treatment of familial chylomicronemia syndrome (FCS). Health Canada has also granted priority review for the volanesorsen NDS.

“Nelly joining as our medical director is further demonstration of our commitment to Canadians with FCS, their families and their physicians and our ongoing investment in Canada,” said Jared Rhines, general manager of Akcea Therapeutics Canada. “Along with her scientific acumen, breadth and depth of relevant experience, Nelly is driven by a tremendous passion to help improve the health of patients. She will be instrumental in building bridges between Akcea and the Canadian medical community to enable optimal treatment for patients and their caregivers. Nelly’s rich experience, educational background, and professional interests in the field of lipid disorders will undoubtedly be an enormous benefit to Canadian patients suffering from devastating lipid disorders.” 

As the medical director for Akcea Therapeutics Canada, Mrs. Komari will lead the company’s medical affairs function and work directly with the Canadian healthcare community to improve patient care for Canadians suffering with lipid disorders. Working with leading healthcare providers involved in treating patients with lipid disorders, she will be responsible for developing and implementing programs and initiatives that will serve to bridge Akcea’s science and the medical community.

Mrs. Komari brings nearly 20 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry in Canada and has an extensive knowledge of both the cardiovascular and thrombosis therapeutic areas in Canada and has strong relationships with the associated communities and academic physicians. Prior to joining Akcea, Mrs. Komari held several strategic positions at Sanofi, including Medical Advisor, and was a member of Sanofi’s global medical launch team. Most recently, Mrs. Komari was involved in the Canadian launch of the cholesterol fighting drug Praluent, a PCSK9 inhibitor. She received her pharmacy degree from Laval University in Quebec City and holds a graduate diploma in clinical pharmacy from the same university.

ABOUT VOLANESORSEN, FCS AND FPL
Volanesorsen, a product of Ionis’ proprietary antisense technology, is in development for two rare metabolic disorders: familial chylomicronemia syndrome (FCS) and familial partial lipdystrophy (FPL). Volanesorsen is designed to reduce the production of ApoC-III, a protein produced in the liver that plays a central role in the regulation of plasma triglycerides and may also affect other metabolic parameters.

FCS is a severe, rare disorder characterized by extremely elevated levels of triglycerides, symptoms such as abdominal pain that affect daily living, and the risk of recurrent, potentially fatal, acute pancreatitis. People with FCS are unable to effectively metabolize large, triglyceride-rich lipid particles called chylomicrons due to a deficiency in lipoprotein lipase, an enzyme that helps to break down triglycerides. Patients with FCS have triglyceride levels that can reach 10 to 20 times that of healthy individuals which can often lead to repeated episodes of acute pancreatitis, which can be fatal. There is currently no effective therapy available.  Additional information on FCS is available at www.fcsfocus.com and through the FCS Foundation at http://www.livingwithfcs.org and the LPLD Alliance at www.lpldalliance.org.

FPL is a severe, rare genetic metabolic disorder characterized by an inability of the body to store fat in normal locations. This results in high levels of triglycerides in the bloodstream, abnormal fat distribution around and within organs, such as the liver and heart, and a range of metabolic abnormalities, including severe insulin resistance. People with FPL are at increased risk of acute pancreatitis in addition to other long-term, progressive manifestations, such as premature cardiomyopathy, atherosclerosis, and liver disease. Additional information on FPL is available through Lipodystrophy United at www.lipodystrophyunited.org.

ABOUT AKCEA THERAPETICS CANADA
Akcea Therapeutics Canada, based in Ottawa Ontario, is the Canadian subsidiary of Akcea Therapeutics, an affiliate of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Akcea is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing drugs to treat patients with serious cardiometabolic diseases caused by lipid disorders. Akcea’s connections to Canada are considerable where several world-renowned scientists in lipidology have played a critical role in the clinical trials for volanesorsen.  Evidence of the potential for volanesorsen to benefit individuals with FCS began with a Phase 2 study in Canada, and the overall clinical program has included six trial sites in Canada. Many patients enrolled in the landmark, multi-national, Phase 3 APPROACH study in FCS were from Canada. Akcea Therapeutics Canada is a member of Innovative Medicines Canada, the industry association representing Canada’s research-based pharmaceutical companies.

Akcea is advancing a mature pipeline of four novel drugs including volanesorsen, AKCEA-APO(a)-LRx, AKCEA-ANGPTL3-LRx and AKCEA-APOCIII-LRx, all with the potential to treat multiple diseases. All four drugs were discovered and are being co-developed with Ionis, a leader in antisense therapeutics, and are based on Ionis’ proprietary antisense technology. The most advanced drug in its pipeline, volanesorsen, is under regulatory review in the U.S., EU and Canada for the treatment of familial chylomicronemia syndrome, or FCS, and is currently in Phase 3 clinical development for the treatment of familial partial lipodystrophy, or FPL. Akcea is building the infrastructure to commercialize its drugs globally with a focus on lipid specialists as the primary call point. Akcea’s global headquarters is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Additional information about Akcea is available at www.akceatx.com.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENT
This press release includes forward-looking statements regarding the business of Akcea Therapeutics, Inc., its subsidiary, Akcea Therapeutics Canada, and the therapeutic and commercial potential of volanesorsen and other products in development. Any statement describing Akcea’s goals, expectations, financial or other projections, intentions or beliefs is a forward-looking statement and should be considered an at-risk statement. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, particularly those inherent in the process of discovering, developing and commercializing drugs that are safe and effective for use as human therapeutics, and in the endeavor of building a business around such drugs. Akcea’s forward-looking statements also involve assumptions that, if they never materialize or prove correct, could cause its results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Although Akcea’s forward-looking statements reflect the good faith judgment of its management, these statements are based only on facts and factors currently known by Akcea. As a result, you are cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These and other risks concerning Akcea’s programs are described in additional detail in its final prospectus for its initial public offering and its most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q, which are on file with the SEC.

In this press release, unless the context requires otherwise, “Akcea,” “Company,” “we,” “our,” and “us” refers to Akcea Therapeutics. Akcea Therapeutics™ is a trademark of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Ionis Pharmaceuticals™ is a trademark of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Media and Investor Contact:

Kathleen Gallagher                                                                                                        
Head of Communications, Akcea Therapeutics Canada
(617)-207-8509
kgallagher@akceatx.com 

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Source: Akcea Therapeutics, Inc.