Company co-founder and scientific leader will drive future growth of chemoproteomic product engine and pipeline programs –

Boston, Mass., November 2, 2021 – Jnana Therapeutics, a biotechnology company utilizing its next generation chemoproteomic platform to target well-validated but hard-to-drug targets, today announced the promotion of Joel Barrish, Ph.D., a co-founder of the company, to President and Chief Scientific Officer from his previous role as Chief Scientific Officer.

Since co-founding Jnana, Dr. Barrish has led the research team in the creation of RAPID, the company’s high throughput screening-enabled chemoproteomic platform fueling its pipeline and partnership deals. He was instrumental in the evolution of the RAPID platform, initially deployed to target the solute carrier (SLC) family of metabolite transporters, to an expanded set of protein classes that have been considered hard-to-drug with small molecules. Dr. Barrish also led the advancement of the company’s pipeline, including its lead program in preclinical development designed to provide a novel oral approach to address phenylketonuria (PKU) by inhibiting the SLC transporter SLC6A19.

“Joel’s exceptional expertise and leadership have been critical for building our RAPID platform and pipeline, R&D organization and company strategy,” said Joanne Kotz, Ph.D., co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Jnana Therapeutics. “We congratulate him on this well-deserved promotion to lead the important next stage of Jnana’s growth, unlocking previously undruggable targets to improve the lives of patients.”

Dr. Barrish co-founded Jnana in 2017 and has served as the company’s Chief Scientific Officer since its inception. Dr. Barrish joined Jnana from Achillion Pharmaceuticals, where he served as Chief Scientific Officer. Prior to Achillion, he had a nearly 30-year career at Bristol-Myers Squibb which culminated in global leadership of discovery chemistry across therapeutic areas. In that role, he worked with teams responsible for advancing more than 40 compounds into clinical development. His leadership resulted in notable achievements in kinase inhibitor drug discovery in immunology and cancer, including Sprycel (dasatinib), which he co-invented.


RAPID (Reactive Affinity Probe Interaction Discovery) is Jnana’s proprietary, high throughput screening-enabled chemoproteomic platform used to discover small molecules to address undruggable targets with unprecedented speed and efficiency.  This next generation platform enables the discovery of any druggable site – orthosteric and allosteric – across the surface of a target protein by assessing the binding of small molecule ligands to the protein in its endogenous biological context in live cells.  Once druggable sites have been discovered, RAPID utilizes a high-throughput screen against a library of drug-like molecules to efficiently identify chemical matter as the starting point for a drug discovery program

About Jnana Therapeutics

Jnana Therapeutics is a biotechnology company utilizing RAPID to address well-validated but hard-to-drug targets, including the solute carrier (SLC) family of metabolite transporters. Jnana is focused on developing best-in-class therapies to treat a wide range of diseases, including rare and immune-mediated diseases and cancer. Headquartered in Boston, Jnana is founded by world-renowned scientists and backed by leading life science investors. For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter and on LinkedIn.

Media Contact:
Kathryn Morris
The Yates Network
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