John Maraganore is well known and widely admired throughout the biotechnology industry. At Alnylam, he led the conversion of siRNAs from compelling cell biology to a powerful new drug discovery platform, forever changing the scientific world.
John did his undergraduate studies and Ph.D. at his hometown university, the University of Chicago. When he started researching protein structure and function and enzymology his sophomore year, he fell in love with science and began to see much of his time dedicated to research. He credits his father for his keen interest in medicine, and his mother for his optimism, a trait that is absolutely critical for a CEO and in the world of drug discovery and development.
After observing the fascinating emergence of antisense technology at Ionis, John joined Alnylam with the belief that he could be involved with the creation of a whole new class of medicines, RNAi therapeutics. Over the years, John has helped bring three rare disease medicines to the market. He shares the same motivation for this development as Stan – helping patients.
When John and Stan first met each other there was immediate chemistry and respect. The two worked well together and eventually co-founded Regulus Therapeutics, focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines targeting microRNAs. Although, over the years, they grew into fierce rivals with a few drugs that were in direct competition with each other. This eventually led to a falling out between the two and a halt in collaboration.
As Stan was working on n-Lorem, he knew that his organization’s aspirations of providing personalized medicine were bigger than his rivalry with John. So, Stan reached out to John through email and the rest was history. John had been watching the n-Lorem story from afar; graciously, he knew that the two must come together to help nano-rare families. John supports n-Lorem as the co-chair of the Advisory Council and has been a generous donor to aid efforts surrounding the discovery and development of personalized medicines for nano-rare patients. Together, n-Lorem and Alnylam can be thought of as ‘Corps of Discovery’, with the common goal of helping patients.