News & Events

Disc Medicine Appoints Jay T. Backstrom, M.D., M.P.H., to its Board of Directors and Rahul Khara, Pharm.D., J.D., as General Counsel

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (January 4, 2022) – Disc Medicine, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of novel treatments for patients suffering from serious hematologic diseases, today announced the appointment of Jay T. Backstrom, M.D., M.P.H., to its Board of Directors, and the appointment of Rahul Khara, Pharm.D., J.D., as General Counsel. Dr. Backstrom was most recently Executive Vice President, Head of Research and Development at Acceleron Pharma and Dr. Khara was most recently Vice President, Legal and Chief Compliance Officer, also at Acceleron Pharma.

“I’m delighted to welcome Jay and Rahul, both experienced executives, to the Disc Medicine team,” said Chief Executive Officer John Quisel, J.D., Ph.D. “In his highly accomplished career, Jay has successfully shepherded numerous therapies in the hematology field through critical stages of clinical development and regulatory approval, and we look forward to benefiting from his expertise as we prepare to bring our own pipeline of novel experimental therapies for hematologic diseases into multiple patient studies. As our company and portfolio evolves, Rahul’s extensive legal experience across a broad range of areas including corporate governance, compliance and commercialization will be invaluable.”

“I’m thrilled to join the Board of Disc Medicine at this exciting chapter in the company’s story as it transforms into a hematology company with multiple clinical programs in development,” said Dr. Backstrom, “I’m impressed by the team’s dedication to innovation, scientific rigor, and making a difference in patients’ lives, and I look forward to sharing my experience as Disc realizes its vision of building a leading hematology company.”

“I am excited to join the leadership of Disc Medicine and to lead the legal and compliance functions as we transform and grow into a fully-integrated biotechnology company,” said Dr. Khara.  

Dr. Backstrom joins the Disc Medicine Board with over 30 years of experience in research and development. He recently served as Executive Vice President, Head of Research and Development at Acceleron and was previously Chief Medical Officer (and Head of Regulatory Affairs) at Celgene, which he joined in 2008 as Vice President of Clinical Research and Development, with a focus in hematology and oncology. Prior to Celgene, he served as Vice President of Global Medical Affairs and Safety at Pharmion. Dr. Backstrom began his career at Marion Merrell Dow and continued as part of its successor companies including Hoechst Marion Roussel. Prior to his professional career in the biotech industry, Dr. Backstrom served as Staff Physician and Medical Director of the Samuel U. Rodgers Community Health Center in Kansas City, Missouri. Dr. Backstrom holds an M.D. from Temple University School of Medicine and received post-graduate training in Internal Medicine at Temple University Hospital. He also earned a Master’s in Public Health from Saint Louis University School of Public Health.

Dr. Khara joins Disc Medicine from Acceleron where he served as Vice President, Legal and Chief Compliance Officer. In this role, he led the commercial legal and compliance functions. While at Acceleron, Dr. Khara led or supported a wide range of legal matters including facilitating the launch of Reblozyl® (luspatercept-aamt), Acceleron’s first commercial product, building the company’s commercial compliance program, and the successful acquisition of the company by Merck. Prior to Acceleron, Dr. Khara worked at the law firms of Arnold & Porter LLP and Sidley Austin LLP, where he helped biopharma companies in various stages of development navigate legal issues related to the clinical development of new assets, launch of new drug products, business development transactions, compliance, and enforcement. Dr. Khara received a Pharm.D. from the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.

About Disc Medicine

Disc Medicine is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that is dedicated to transforming the lives of patients with hematologic disorders. We are building a portfolio of innovative, first-in-class therapeutic candidates that affect fundamental pathways of red blood cell biology. Disc Medicine is committed to developing treatments that empower and bring hope to the many patients who suffer from hematologic disease. For more information, please visit www.discmedicine.com

Media Contact

Peg Rusconi
Verge Scientific Communications
prusconi@vergescientific.com

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