Ryszard Kole Honored by Marquis Who’s Who for Excellence in Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals


    CHAPEL HILL, NC, November 29, 2017 — Dr. Ryszard Kole has been included in Marquis Who's Who. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.

A distinguished scientist and former executive for Sarepta Therapeutics, previously AVI Biopharma, Dr. Ryszard Kole celebrates a career that has spanned more than five decades in all areas of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. Today, he is a consultant in the field and an industry-recognized expert whose work history is impressive and extensive. During his career, Dr. Kole served as the senior vice president of discovery for AVI BioPharma, distinguished scientist at Sarepta, and for 25 years as a professor of pharmacology at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. In addition, he is regarded as the scientific founder and president of Ercole Biotech, a research stage biopharmaceutical company that developed therapeutic drugs.

While at UNC Dr. Kole's studies were focused on a cellular process called mRNA splicing, which modulates the flow of genetic information in all human cells from the DNA in the nucleus to generation of mRNA in the cytoplasm, followed by production of functional proteins. In muscle disorders such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), blood disorders such as thalassemia, lung disorders such as cystic fibrosis, potentially cancer, as well as other diseases, defects in DNA lead to aberrant mRNA splicing and prevent proper production of essential proteins leading to disease and untimely death of affected patients. Dr. Kole and his group discovered that by using short fragments of chemically modified RNA, or oligonucleotides, one may manipulate RNA splicing, restoring the production of desirable, lifesaving proteins, ameliorating the disease.

In 2008 Ercole Biotech and its underlying knowhow were acquired by AVI BioPharma under Dr. Kole's leadership. This invention of oligonucleotide induced modulation of pre-mRNA splicing is now being tested at Sarepta Therapeutics and other companies in a series of clinical trials for the treatment of DMD and other disorders. Notably Dr. Kole's technology provided a foundation for a recent approval of Eteplirsen, or Exondys 51, a life-saving drug for the treatment of DMD. The oligonucleotide splicing modulation technology is not limited to DMD or genetic disorders but is a platform technology applicable to a variety of indications.

In his academic career Dr. Kole authored over 100 scientific publications, trained over 40 graduate and post-doctoral students, and is a co-inventor on over 30 national and international patents. He is an active member of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy and Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society.

When asked of his professional success, Dr. Kole credits his lifelong passion for science and the education that serves as a foundation for his work. Prior to his careers in industry and academia and establishing himself professionally, he earned a Master of Science from the University of Warsaw in 1969, a Ph.D. from the Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the Polish Academy of Science in 1976, followed by postdoctoral training in biology and genetics at Yale University. With no intention of slowing down in his professional pursuits Dr. Kole plans to continue his consulting work and further pursue novel approaches to the treatment of important diseases.

Since 1899, when A. N. Marquis printed the First Edition of Who's Who in America , Marquis Who's Who has chronicled the lives of the most accomplished individuals and innovators from every significant field of endeavor, including politics, business, medicine, law, education, art, religion and entertainment. Today, Who's Who in America remains an essential biographical source for thousands of researchers, journalists, librarians and executive search firms around the world. Marquis publications may be visited at the official Marquis Who's Who website at www.marquiswhoswho.com.

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