Orna Therapeutics Bolsters Leadership Team with Key Executive and Board Appointments

 Thomas Ebeling, former Novartis Chief Executive Officer, joins Board of Directors 

William Shen, former Biogen and BMS BD executive, joins as Chief Business Officer 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. March 9, 2022 – Orna Therapeutics, a biotechnology company dedicated to designing and delivering a new class of fully engineered circular RNA therapeutics (oRNATM), today announced the appointment of Thomas Ebeling to the Board of Directors and William Shen, Ph.D., as Chief Business Officer. Both appointments provide the opportunity to advance Orna’s strategy and expand relationships to create an entirely new class of RNA medicines poised to change the way we treat disease. 

Earlier in his career, Mr. Ebeling served as Chief Executive Officer of Novartis Pharmaceuticals. Under his leadership, he was responsible for more than doubling the company’s revenues, after which he became Chief Executive Officer of their Consumer Health Division. Most recently, he served as Chief Executive Officer of ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE. Mr. Ebeling also served on the Boards of Bayer and Lonza and now serves as an Advisor to MPM Capital. Dr. Shen joins Orna from his former role as Chief Operating Officer of Virtuoso Therapeutics with more than 19 years of experience in R&D, venture capital, and business development. Prior to Virtuoso, Dr. Shen served as Vice President, Head of Business Development at Biogen. Under his leadership, Biogen completed more than 15 transactions in 2020, including partnerships with Denali Therapeutics and Sage Therapeutics, two of the largest neuroscience deals that year. Dr. Shen also served as the M&A Lead at Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), where he led the acquisition of IFM Therapeutics and Cardioxyl Pharmaceuticals, as well as the option agreement to acquire Promedior. 

“We are delighted to welcome both Thomas and Will to Orna,” said Tom Barnes, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Orna Therapeutics. “Thomas’ previous leadership and proven track record of success at Novartis combined with Will’s extensive experience in business development at industry-leading organizations will be invaluable as Orna extends its reach through strategic partnerships, while advancing our goal to change the face of immuno-oncology.” 

“I am thrilled to join this highly accomplished team at Orna,” said Dr. Shen. “Excitement in RNA therapies has reached new heights over the past few years by demonstrating countless opportunities to help patients in need. Orna’s circular RNA is an entirely new class of RNA therapeutic that holds great potential to overcome challenges seen in traditional linear mRNA therapies and meet the needs of even more patients. I look forward to working closely with our experienced team to expand relationships and make this potential a reality.” 

“Orna has the opportunity to bring its novel circular RNA technology to a broad range of indications, starting with cancer,” said Mr. Ebeling. “I am proud to be working with other members of the board to bring this potentially revolutionary therapeutic class to the hands of patients who need new solutions.” 

Thomas Ebeling, Board of Directors 

Thomas Ebeling is an Advisor at MPM Capital and serves as a member of Orna’s Board of Directors. From 2009 to 2018, Mr. Ebeling served as Chief Executive Officer of ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE, a German mass media and digital company. Prior to his leadership at ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE, Mr. Ebeling held senior and executive leadership roles at Novartis, including Chief Executive Officer of the global pharmaceutical company, Chief Executive Officer of their Consumer Division, and General Manager of Novartis Nutrition. Before Novartis, he was the General Manager of Pepsi-Cola, Germany. He has been a member of the supervisory board for Bayer AG (2012-2019) and for Lonza (2013-2017) and currently serves as the Chairman of GfK’s Board of Directors. Mr. Ebeling is also on the Board of Directors of Qiagen and Cullinan and is a member of the Advisory Board of the UBS Oncology Impact Fund by MPM Capital. Mr. Ebeling received a degree in Psychology in Hamburg, Germany. 

William Shen, Ph.D., Chief Business Officer 

Dr. Shen joins Orna from Virtuoso Therapeutics, where he served as Chief Operating Officer. Prior to Virtuoso, Dr. Shen served as Vice President, Head of M&A at Biogen from 2019 to 2021 and Interim Head of Corporate Development for most of 2020, overseeing M&A, BD&L, Strategy, and Alliance Management. Prior to Biogen, Dr. Shen also served as an M&A Lead at BMS. Before joining the industry as a business development executive, Dr. Shen was a venture investor at venBio and Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation and earned a doctorate in 

Chemical Engineering from Stanford University, an MBA from the Wharton School, and a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Florida. 

About Orna Therapeutics

Orna Therapeutics is a biotechnology company dedicated to designing and delivering a new class of fully engineered circular RNA (oRNAᵀᴹ) therapeutics with the potential to change the way we treat disease. Orna’s proprietary platform combines novel technology to design circular RNA transcripts that drive protein expression with validated and unique delivery solutions. oRNAᵀᴹ has many advantages over traditional mRNA approaches, including simplified production, improved formulatability, and superior protein expression – making it a highly disruptive, new class of RNA therapeutics with vast potential to change patient’s lives. To learn more visit: and follow Orna Therapeutics on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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