CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 11, 2017 – Axcella, a biotechnology company pioneering transformative amino acid-based therapeutics for a range of severe diseases, announced today that Ivana Magovcevic-Liebisch, Ph.D., J.D., has joined the company as Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy and Corporate Development Officer. She comes to Axcella with nearly two decades of senior management experience and will oversee business strategy and development, as well as all corporate legal activities, including intellectual property and commercial planning efforts.
“Axcella’s drug development approach represents a unique opportunity to unlock the full potential of amino acid therapeutics,” said Dr. Magovcevic-Liebisch. “I feel privileged to be part of Axcella’s growing team and look forward to building on its promising science and establishing new complementary partnerships.”
“We are thrilled to welcome Ivana to Axcella’s senior leadership team. She brings an exceptional combination of extensive expertise in business development, drug commercialization, intellectual property and corporate strategy, making her a critical addition to our senior leadership team as we move into late-stage development and commercialization,” added Robert Connelly, President and Chief Executive Officer of Axcella.
Before joining Axcella, Dr. Magovcevic-Liebisch was Senior Vice President and Head of Global Business Development at Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., where she led and executed over $5 billion in business development transactions ranging from licensing to the acquisition of drug candidates, commercial products and companies. She previously worked at Dyax Corp. for a dozen years in management roles of increasing scope and responsibility, including Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. While at Dyax, Dr. Magovcevic-Liebisch established the commercial infrastructure of the company’s first FDA-approved drug, Kalbitor®, for treatment of hereditary angioedema attacks. She began her career as Director of Intellectual Property and Patent Counsel at Transkaryotic Therapies, Inc.
Dr. Magovcevic-Liebisch is currently a director on the boards of biotech companies Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation (AGTC) and Alivio Therapeutics. She is also a trustee of the Wentworth Institute of Technology and an overseer of the Boston Ballet, Boston Museum of Science and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She holds a Ph.D. in Genetics from Harvard University and a J.D. in High Technology law from Suffolk University Law School.
Axcella is pioneering revolutionary amino acid-based therapeutics as powerful signaling molecules with broad mechanisms of action applicable to a range of severe diseases. Amino acids critically and uniquely regulate a wealth of essential disease pathways and biologies. Leveraging its unique platform, Axcella seeks to transform the traditional drug discovery process by significantly accelerating the speed of candidate generation to clinical validation within months. The company has translated its discoveries into compounds that have been tested in multiple clinical studies to date, with lead programs in NAFLD/NASH, intractable epilepsies and atrophic diseases, and a rich pipeline of drugs for rare genetic diseases. Axcella was founded by Flagship VentureLabs and has received financing from Flagship Pioneering, alongside co-investors Fidelity Research & Management Group, Gurnet Point Capital and Nestlé Health Science. Axcella is based in Cambridge, Mass. For more information, visit www.axcellahealth.com.