News Release Details

PepGen Announces Appointment of James McArthur, Ph.D., as President and Chief Executive Officer

February 4, 2021

Seasoned biotech executive with deep experience and proven track record in successfully leading rare disease companies through rapid growth and development


Boston, Mass. and Oxford, UK (February 4th, 2021) – PepGen, a biotechnology company focused on transforming the care of patients with neuromuscular diseases through the enhanced delivery of therapeutic oligonucleotides, today announced the appointment of James McArthur, Ph.D., as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Dr. McArthur brings more than 25 years of experience as a co-founder of numerous biotech companies focused on rare disease therapeutics.  He joins the PepGen team at a time of rapid growth following its successful $45 million Series A financing at the end of 2020, which was led by RA Capital Management with participation from Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI), CureDuchenne Ventures, and the University of Oxford.

“James, a well-regarded and highly experienced leader in the rare disease space, is the perfect fit for our company as we build towards the future,” said Caroline Godfrey, Ph.D., Academic Co-Founder, Senior Vice President of Discovery, and founding CEO of PepGen. “His expertise in guiding biotechnology companies across all stages of development will help us to accelerate our enhanced delivery oligonucleotide (EDO) therapeutics towards the clinic. We are incredibly grateful to have his leadership during this transformative time for PepGen.”

Dr. McArthur commented, “I’m excited and energized to lead this outstanding team of scientists and drug developers as we continue to work towards improving the lives of patients with serious neuromuscular and neurodegenerative diseases. The company has a world-class academic foundation based on 10 plus years of innovation from the labs of Professor Matthew Wood at the University of Oxford and Dr. Michael Gait at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge.  Caroline and the team have made impressive progress in validating the safety and efficacy of this next-generation technology. I’m delighted to be able to lead PepGen through this next phase of growth and development.”

Dr. McArthur joins PepGen from RA Capital Management, where he served as a Venture Partner. He previously co-founded Imara, a public company developing therapies for sickle cell disease and β-thalassemia, and served as CEO and Board Director. Dr. McArthur also served as co-founder and President of Research and Development at Cydan, a rare disease accelerator. He is an experienced company builder and leader, having also co-founded Vtesse and Tiburio and held leadership positions at Nightstar and Synovex/Adheron, companies which were all acquired and/or went public. In addition, Dr. McArthur has held senior research leadership roles at several gene and stem cell therapy companies as well as advisor roles at a number of venture capital firms. Dr. McArthur was a post-doctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of California, Berkeley and received a Ph.D. in Molecular Oncology and a BSc in Biochemistry from McGill University in Montreal.

“On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I’m thrilled to welcome James to the PepGen team,” said Ramin Farzaneh-Far, M.D., Venture Partner at RA Capital Management and PepGen’s Executive Chairman. “PepGen’s novel EDO technology enables unprecedented delivery of transformative nucleic acid therapeutics for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and other neuromuscular indications with high unmet medical need. With James’ leadership and industry knowledge, PepGen is very well positioned for accelerated growth and pipeline expansion, and the delivery of transformative oligonucleotide therapies to patients.”

Chris Ashton, Ph.D., an Advisor at Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI) and member of PepGen’s Board, commented, “James’ tremendous leadership and experience is an excellent fit for PepGen’s mission to transform the treatment of genetic disorders. The company is poised to unlock previously unachievable treatment strategies across a broad range of indications, and we are excited to have James join for the next chapter of PepGen’s journey.”


About PepGen

PepGen, Inc. is a biotechnology company focused on transforming the care of patients with neuromuscular diseases through the peptide-mediated delivery of nucleic acid therapeutics. Recognizing a deep need for a paradigm shift in genomic medicine, PepGen’s proprietary enhanced delivery oligonucleotides (EDOs) aim to realize the clinical potential of these therapeutics by providing reliable, safe and efficacious delivery to critical disease targets. PepGen raised a $45 million Series A in December 2020 with RA Capital Management as the lead investor; Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI), CureDuchenne Ventures and the University of Oxford also participated in the round. The company was founded in 2018 with an initial seed investment from OSI. For more information, visit


Media Contact:

Jennifer Arcure

VERGE Scientific Communications