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Marvin Tancer, Howard Robin, Nassim Usman, Barry Polisky, Chandra Vargeese, Mark Egan, Patti Ketchner, and Bruce Leander


Sirna Therapeutics said last week that Marvin Tancer, CFO and vice president of operations, has left the company to pursue other opportunities.

In June 2001, Tancer joined Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals. The next year, he helped oversee the company’s $48 million private stock placement and transformation into RNAi therapeutics firm Sirna.

“We are grateful to Marvin for his contributions,” Sirna president and CEO Howard Robin said in a statement. “He has been a key player in Sirna’s transition to its strong position in RNA interference, and we wish him all the best for his future endeavors.”

A company spokeswoman told RNAi News that a search for a new CFO has begun, but it is unclear when one would be named.

Sirna also announced that it has promoted five of its executives, including Nassim Usman, former CSO and vice president of R&D. Usman is now senior vice president and COO, and will be responsible for business development and manufacturing.

Barry Polisky, formerly vice president of research at Sirna, is now the company’s senior vice president of research, and will report directly to Robin. Polisky is responsible for basic research and discovery efforts, said the company.

Sirna also said that it has promoted former director of chemistry Chandra Vargeese to the position of vice president of chemistry, and former director of manufacturing Mark Egan to vice president of manufacturing.

Finally, Sirna said that former director of finance and corporate controller Patti Ketchner has become a vice president and corporate controller.

“With these promotions, which are effective immediately, we are recognizing the achievements of these individuals,” Robin said. “These changes will enhance our ability to take on the challenges of clinical development and therapeutic application of chemically modified small interfering RNAs.”

Ambion has finished its search for a new CFO, company president Bruce Leander said this week.

As reported by RNAi News in October, Ambion began looking for its first CFO this autumn in order to meet the demands of its growing operations.

The company has roughly 300 employees.

An offer to a CFO candidate has been accepted, Leander said, but the individual has not yet resigned from his/her current position.

Leander said that an announcement naming the new CFO is expected to be released on or around Jan. 6.

Additional details were not available.

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