Orna Therapeutics Expands Leadership Team with Key Executive Hires

 Robert Mabry, Ph.D. joins as Chief Scientific Officer from Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Nishla Keiser, Ph.D., J.D. appointed as Chief Legal and Strategy Officer from Intellia Therapeutics 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. December 16, 2021 – Orna Therapeutics, a biotechnology company dedicated to designing and delivering a new class of fully engineered circular RNA therapeutics (oRNATM), today announced the appointments of Robert Mabry, Ph.D. as Chief Scientific Officer, and Nishla Keiser, Ph.D., J.D. as Chief Legal and Strategy Officer. Dr. Mabry brings deep experience in global drug discovery to the Orna team with extensive experience in managing teams across multiple therapeutic areas and a demonstrated track record of accelerating leads to IND. He most recently served as Head of Global Biologics at Takeda Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Keiser is a seasoned biopharma executive with experience developing and integrating legal and intellectual property strategies with portfolio, regulatory and other corporate priorities in multiple biotechnology fields including nucleic acid and protein therapeutics. Dr. Keiser most recently served as Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel at Intellia Therapeutics. 

“We are excited to welcome Robert and Nishla to the Orna leadership team,” said Tom Barnes, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Orna Therapeutics. “Robert’s extensive experience in driving innovative drug discovery and development in oncology and other therapeutic areas across multiple modalities will help Orna treat a broad range of diseases with our oRNA technology, and Nishla’s expertise in corporate development and building a robust intellectual property strategy and function will strengthen the path forward for our novel oRNA technologies. The combined expertise and leadership of these two highly accomplished individuals will serve Orna well as we head into a pivotal year for the company.” 

Robert Mabry, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer 

Dr. Mabry has contributed to the research and development of multiple biologic programs, including several currently under clinical evaluation and the approval of Sintilumab, a PD-1 mAb. He joins Orna from Takeda Pharmaceuticals, where he led the discovery and optimization of biological candidates and provided strategic support in overseeing their scientific operations. Prior to Takeda, Dr. Mabry served as Vice President, Protein Sciences for Cogen Therapeutics, now Repertoire Immune Medicines. During his time as head of department, he was responsible for protein engineering, antibody technology, protein production and analytics. Dr. Mabry has also held positions at Jounce Therapeutics, Adimab, ZymoGenetics, and ImClone Systems. He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. in Biology and Biochemistry from Baylor University. 

Nishla Keiser, Ph.D., J.D., Chief Legal and Strategy Officer 

Dr. Keiser joins Orna from Intellia Therapeutics, where she held many key roles, including Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel and Chief IP Counsel. During her time at Intellia, Dr. Keiser provided strategic legal advice as a member of the executive leadership team and was responsible for building and managing the company’s legal team. Prior to Intellia, she focused on patent litigation and intellectual property counseling for branded and innovative biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett and Dunner. She received her J.D. from Suffolk University Law School, where she graduated with academic distinction as summa cum laude. Dr. Keiser received her Ph.D. from the Division of Biological Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she also received B.S. degrees in Biology, Chemistry, and Chemical Engineering. 

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.

Media Contact
Liza Moore
Verge Scientific Communications