Focused on new solutions for sickle cell disease

Focused on new solutions for sickle cell disease

James McArthur, PhD

Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Imara

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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