Agios Appoints Rahul Ballal and Cynthia Smith to Board of Directors
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Aug. 15, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Agios Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AGIO), a leader in the field of cellular metabolism pioneering therapies for genetically defined diseases, today announced the appointments of Rahul Ballal, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Imara, and Cynthia Smith, former chief commercial officer of ZS Pharma, to its board of directors.
“Agios is committed to assembling a top-notch, diverse board dedicated to realizing the company’s long-term success and creating value for patients, shareholders, our team and all our stakeholders,” said Brian Goff, chief executive officer of Agios. “Rahul and Cynthia are seasoned biopharmaceutical executives with critical expertise to help us maximize Agios’ potential. Cynthia’s track record of success in commercial and corporate strategy will serve us well through our current and future product launches, and Rahul’s vast operational and business development experience as well as important insights into the opportunities and challenges of creating medicines in our therapeutic focus areas will provide immediate benefits as we continue to advance our mission to make an impact for people with rare and genetically defined diseases.”
Dr. Ballal is a biopharmaceutical executive with more than 15 years of experience in business development, strategic transactions and company financing, as well as significant therapeutic area expertise in hemolytic anemias. He has served as Imara’s president and chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors since June 2018. Dr. Ballal joined Imara from Northern Biologics, where he served as chief business officer, and Versant Ventures, where he served as an entrepreneur-in-residence. Previously, Dr. Ballal was vice president of business development at Flexion Therapeutics. Prior to Flexion, he held business development and leadership positions at Novartis Venture Fund, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Redmind Inc. He holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Georgetown University, an M.S. in bioinformatics from Johns Hopkins University and a B.S. in biology from Brown University.
Ms. Smith is a biopharmaceutical executive with 25 years of experience leading companies through complex transformations, including the transition from clinical development to commercialization and successfully launching products in a number of therapeutic areas. Most recently, she served as chief commercial officer of ZS Pharma. Previously, Ms. Smith was vice president of market access and commercial development at Affymax, where she played a key role in launching the company’s initial renal medication. Prior to joining Affymax, she held several leadership positions at Merck in market access, corporate and commercial strategy, public policy and external affairs. Before working in the biopharmaceutical industry, Ms. Smith served as a healthcare policy analyst in the White House Office of Management and Budget. Ms. Smith currently serves on the boards of Protara Therapeutics, Spero Therapeutics and Akebia Therapeutics. She holds an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, an M.S. in public policy from the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University and a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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