Akcea Therapeutics Announces Appointment of Edward Fitzgerald to Board of Directors
Mr. Fitzgerald Adds Corporate Finance Expertise to Board

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Akcea Therapeutics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: IONS), today announced the appointment of Edward Fitzgerald to the company's board of directors.  Mr. Fitzgerald, former executive vice president and chief financial officer of ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, joins Akcea's board of directors as chair of the board's audit committee.  Mr. Fitzgerald's appointment, along with recently announced independent board member additions, increases the company's board depth, bringing relevant experience to Akcea at an important time in the company's growth towards a commercial-stage company.  

Akcea Therapeutics, Inc. (PRNewsFoto/Ionis Pharmaceuticals)

"We are very pleased to welcome Ed to Akcea's board of directors.  We believe he is uniquely suited to chair our board's audit committee given his strong track record and extensive experience in executive management and in developing and executing global financial strategy, including establishing financial and operational goals, investment strategies and action plans needed to meet business objectives, particularly in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry," said Paula Soteropoulos, president and chief executive officer of Akcea.  "Ed's experience in the industry and his financial knowledge will be very valuable to Akcea as we prepare to commercialize volanesorsen and continue to advance our pipeline of cardiometabolic drugs toward the market." 

Mr. Fitzgerald has over 35 years of business, financial and accounting experience, with 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry.  He has been an independent business advisor since 2016.  From 2010 to 2016, Mr. Fitzgerald served as executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer of ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an international biopharmaceutical company, and served as the company's senior vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer from 2002 to 2010.  At ARIAD, Mr. Fitzgerald managed the growth and expansion of the company from a research-stage organization to an international commercial company with operations in the U.S. and multiple countries in Europe, managing over $1.2 billion in capital raises and other financings.  Prior to ARIAD, Mr. Fitzgerald served as senior vice president, chief financial officer and secretary of AltaRex, Inc., a development stage biotechnology company, from 1998 to 2002.  From 1992 to 1997, he held management positions at BankBoston Corporation in its mergers & acquisitions group and its consumer lending group.  From 1989 to 1992, Mr. Fitzgerald was a partner in the audit and business advisory practice of Arthur Andersen & Co.

With the addition of Edward Fitzgerald, Akcea's board of directors now consists of seven members, including Christopher Gabrieli, Elaine Hochberg, Sandford Smith, Stanley Crooke, Lynne Parshall and Paula Soteropoulos. 

Akcea Therapeutics is a late-stage pharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing drugs to treat patients with serious cardiometabolic diseases caused by lipid disorders.  Akcea is advancing a mature pipeline of four novel drugs with the potential to treat multiple diseases, including volanesorsen, AKCEA-APO(a)-LRx, AKCEA-ANGPTL3-LRx and AKCEA-APOCIII-LRx, which are all based on antisense technology developed by Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The most advanced drug in its pipeline, volanesorsen, has completed a Phase 3 clinical program 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 assembling the infrastructure to commercialize its drugs globally with a focus on lipid specialists as the primary call point.  Akcea is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Additional information about Akcea is available at

This press release includes forward-looking statements regarding the business of Akcea Therapeutics, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, 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 Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.'s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, which is on file with the SEC.

In this press release, unless the context requires otherwise, "Ionis," "Akcea," "Company," "Companies," "we," "our," and "us" refers to Ionis Pharmaceuticals and/or Akcea Therapeutics.

Ionis Pharmaceuticals™ is a trademark of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Akcea Therapeutics™ is a trademark of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


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