Focused on new solutions for sickle cell disease

Focused on new solutions for sickle cell disease

ShiYin Foo, MD, PhD, MMSC

Acting Chief Medical Officer

ShiYin Foo brings 20 years of experience as a practicing physician and a catalyst in advancing innovative new programs through the various stages of drug development. She has expertise in a breadth of disease areas, including cardiorenal, immunology/inflammation and rare diseases, as well as an interest in novel and adaptive clinical trial designs.

Prior to joining Cydan, ShiYin was the Chief Medical Officer of Cardioxyl Pharmaceuticals and a translational medicine expert at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, where she was responsible for the establishment and development of multiple novel programs in heart failure and the cardiorenal space, including rare disease indications. ShiYin is the founder of Orchard Biomedical Consulting, which serves a variety of biotech and pharma partners in broad disease indications.

ShiYin received her MD and PhD in Immunology from Stanford University, and a MMSc in Clinical Science from the Clinical Investigator Training Program at Harvard Medical School. She was clinical faculty at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and a dual Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and in Cardiology.

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James McArthur, PhD

Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer

With expertise in genetic diseases, gene therapy, immunology, oncology, vascular biology and other areas, James ensures Cydan’s orphan drug development efforts are data driven and rooted in science. He brings the same scientific focus to the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) as a member of its Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Board. James also serves as CEO of Imara (, a spinout of Cydan and as a member of the Board of Directors of NightstaRx ( in the UK.

Before co-founding Imara in 2016, Vtesse in 2015 and Cydan in 2013, James founded and served as chief scientific officer of Synovex Co., where he led the development of treatments for rheumatoid arthritis and fibrotic diseases. Synovex, renamed Adheron, was acquired by Roche.  Previously, he was vice president of preclinical development for Phylogix Inc, a stem cell biology company, and acting head of research and principal scientist at Cell Genesys Inc, a leader in gene therapy. He also was a senior scientist at Somatix Therapy, which was acquired by Cell Genesys.

James was a postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley. He received his PhD in molecular oncology and BSc in biochemistry from McGill University in Montreal.

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