Korro Bio Names Khwaja to its Board of Directors
2 October 2020 - - US-based RNA therapeutics specialist Korro Bio, Inc has appointed Omar Khwaja, M.D., Ph.D. to its board of directors, the company said.

Dr. Khwaja brings research, translational and clinical development experience in neuroscience, neurogenetics and rare disease in both industry and academia.

He currently serves as the chief medical officer and head of research and development at Voyager Therapeutics.

Dr. Khwaja joins existing board members Nessan Bermingham, Ph.D., Jean-François Formela, M.D., Ali Behbahani, M.D., Hannah H. Chang, M.D., Ph.D. and Colin Walsh, Ph.D.

Prior to his role at Voyager Therapeutics, Dr. Khwaja served as the global head of neuroscience translational medicine and global head of rare diseases at Roche, during which he led the initiation of Roche's first clinical programs in gene therapy.

Working across multiple therapeutic modalities, his group led the development of therapeutics for a range of genetic and neurological disorders, including for spinal muscular atrophy and Huntington's disease. Before joining Roche, Dr. Khwaja was director of the clinical neurogenetics program at Boston Children's Hospital and served on the faculty of Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Khwaja received his M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, UK. Earlier in his career, he trained in pediatrics and clinical genetics in London, UK and Melbourne, Australia, and completed his neurology training at Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Children's Hospital, where he was chief resident.

He is a member of the Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom and a member of the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health. Dr. Khwaja currently serves as the chief medical officer of the SMA Foundation and chairs the CDKL5 Forum's scientific advisory board in addition to the advisory board of Pureos Bioventures.

Korro's proprietary platform, OPERA (Oligonucleotide Promoted Editing of RNA), harnesses the body's own RNA editing system to make a precise edit to a single-base.

Korro's therapeutic approach utilizes synthetic oligonucleotides to repair disease-causing mutations at the RNA level.

This approach can also be used to create therapeutically beneficial versions of proteins to improve patient outcomes. Korro's programmes target a broad portfolio of innovative RNA editing therapies in the liver, eye and central nervous system.

The company was founded in 2018 by Atlas Venture and is funded by Atlas Venture, New Enterprise Associates, Wu Capital, Qiming Venture Partners USA, Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company), Cormorant Asset Management, MP Healthcare Venture Management and Alexandria Venture Investments.