Kernal’s in-house immunology expert, Monia Draghi has been tracking the progress of synthetic mRNA for about a decade now. Even with her prior experience at pharma where she worked with other great scientific minds, she hadn’t seen a reasonable pathway for an effective therapy. That is, until she learned that Kernal’s approach and proprietary technology was delivering true onco-selectivity; then she had to be part of the team to see it through. Monia believes Kernal’s unencumbered (non-layered) development structure and multidisciplinary, problem-solving team is going to help break speed records in development.
She joins Kernal from the Pfizer Center for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI), where she identified and seeded external research opportunities with biopharma partners focused on treating autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. Prior to Pfizer, Monia worked at Compass Therapeutics in Cambridge, Mass. There, she led drug discovery teams from early conceptual stages to the nomination of multi-specific antibodies as clinical candidates for the treatment of cancer.
Earlier in her career, she was part of the team at Novartis Vaccine - Italy that developed Bexsero®, a vaccine against meningitis B, with FDA approval for ages 10 to 25. Monia holds a PhD in immunology from University of Padova-Italy on a Novartis Vaccine-sponsored Doctoral Fellowship and performed her post-doctoral training in immunology at Stanford University. She has authored several patents and published extensively in top-tier scientific journals.