Akcea Therapeutics Promotes Damien McDevitt to CEO

Xconomy Boston — 

Akcea Therapeutics (NASDAQ: AKCA) has appointed Damien McDevitt as its chief executive officer. McDevitt had been serving as the Boston company’s interim CEO since September 2019, when CEO Paula Soteropoulos, president Sarah Boyce, and chief operating officer Jeff Goldberg left in a sudden management shakeup.

Akcea is advancing a group of experimental rare disease drugs discovered by Carlsbad, CA-based Ionis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: IONS). Akcea spun out from Ionis as a public company in 2017 but Ionis owns the majority of the biotech’s shares. McDevitt joined Ionis as its chief business officer in June 2018 from Acadia Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ACAD), where he served as senior vice president, corporate development. His experience also includes business development roles at GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK).