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Annabelle Biscans, PhD

Biography

I am an Associate Principal Scientist in the Oligonucleotide Chemistry team at AstraZeneca R&D, Sweden. My work mainly focuses on the development of safe and efficient oligonucleotide therapeutics to treat diseases with unmet clinical needs. Over the past 9 years, I acquire a robust expertise in designing and developing novel chemical modalities to improve oligonucleotide therapeutic delivery. Before joining AstraZeneca in 2020, I was a postdoctoral associate at the RNA Therapeutics Institute, USA in Anastasia Khvorova’s lab, one of the pioneers in oligonucleotide therapeutics research. There, I made major contributions to the development of novel chemical platforms for enhancing the delivery and uptake of siRNA therapeutics. I was able to design and identify novel conjugated siRNAs that enable safe, sustainable and robust silencing in various extra-hepatic tissues including muscle, heart, and lung. This crucial discovery allows for the targeting of several new targets for therapeutic intervention and advance the oligonucleotide therapeutics field. In 2015, I obtained my PhD in chemistry from the University of Montpellier (France), where my work focused on the chemical synthesis of RNA prodrugs for the development of new therapeutic oligonucleotides. I established and optimized synthetic methods to successfully synthesize novel 2’-modified siRNAs and demonstrated that incorporation of 2’-biolabile moieties can be efficiently used to improve siRNA stability and uptake without major toxicity.

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