SCIENCE DRIVEN
PATIENT FOCUSED
Our mission is to create transformational therapies that will improve the lives of patients with devastating genetic diseases. Our commitment to bring life-changing therapies to these patients is guided by our core values of trust, collaboration, adaptability, dedication and excellence.
SCIENCE DRIVEN
PATIENT FOCUSED
Our mission is to create transformational therapies that will improve the lives of patients with devastating genetic diseases. Our commitment to bring life-changing therapies to these patients is guided by our core values of trust, collaboration, adaptability, dedication and excellence.

Experienced leadership team

Meet our management team with world recognized expertise in RNA biology, RNA-mediated disease and gene therapy. Together with our top-tier Board of Directors, we are excited to be developing a powerful new generation of genetic medicines.
James Burns, PhD
Chief Executive Officer
Board Member
James Burns, PhD
Chief Executive Officer
Board Member
James Burns joined Locanabio in December 2019 as the CEO and Director of the Board. Dr. Burns joins us from Casebia, where he served as the chief executive officer and led the team in discovering and developing new CRISPR/Cas9-based breakthrough therapeutics to treat blood disorders, blindness and heart disease. Prior to Casebia, he spent the bulk of his career at Sanofi-Genzyme, where he held several leadership roles with increasing responsibility, including North America Site head for R&D where he coordinated R&D operations across key therapeutic areas. Dr. Burns is a former board member of MassBio, a member of the National Academy of Engineering and is a member of the External Advisory Committee for the BioMedical Engineering Department at Boston University. He also served as the industry representative for the Food and Drug Administration General Plastic Surgery Panel. Dr. Burns earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Purdue University and Master of Science and Doctorate degrees in bioengineering from the University of Illinois-Chicago, where his thesis work focused on drug delivery. Following his graduate studies, he was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Florida.
John Leonard, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer
John Leonard, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer
John joined Locanabio in July 2021 as Chief Scientific Officer. John brings over 25 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical sector leading drug discovery research and early clinical development across multiple therapeutic areas and modalities. Most recently he served as the Head of Hematology and In Vivo Research and Translation at CRSPR Therapeutics, developing transformative ex vivo and in vivo gene editing therapies for hematological, neuromuscular and metabolic diseases. Prior to joining CRISPR, he led the Metabolic and Muscle Disease Research group in Sanofi’s Rare Disease Unit (formerly Genzyme), where he managed a diverse portfolio of novel therapeutics that included the 2nd generation SRT Venglustat. John started his industry career at Genetics Institute (later Wyeth) where his research in hematopoiesis, autoimmunity and immuno-oncology helped advance multiple programs into clinical development. John holds a joint honors degree in Biochemistry and Pharmacology from King’s College London and a Ph.D. in Neuroimmunology from the institute of Neurology, University of London. He is an inventor on multiple issued patents and author on more than 50 peer reviewed publications.
Kat Lange
Chief Financial Officer
Kat Lange
Chief Financial Officer
Ms. Lange joined Locanabio in September 2021 from J.P. Morgan where she was most recently an executive director in the healthcare investment banking group. During her time at J.P. Morgan, she executed more than $18 billion in equity and equity-linked financings and more than $27 billion in various business transactions. Ms. Lange joined J.P. Morgan in 2009 in their London office before transferring to the San Francisco office in 2013. She earned a master’s degree in management science from the Judge Business School at Cambridge University and a master’s and bachelor’s degree in natural sciences also from Cambridge University.
Edward (Ed) Conner, M.D.
Chair, Scientific Advisory Board
Edward (Ed) Conner, M.D.
Chair, Scientific Advisory Board
Ed is currently the Chair of our Scientific Advisory Board. Ed served as our Chief Medical Officer from 2021- 2022. He was formerly the Astellas Gene Therapies Site Lead and Division Head of Gene Therapy Medical & Development and was responsible for leading the global clinical development strategy for Astellas Gene Therapies. He served as the Chief Medical Officer at Audentes Therapeutics which was acquired by Astellas in January 2020. He brings more than 15 years of industry leadership experience in early and late stage clinical development across a broad range of disease areas, including rare diseases. Prior to Astellas, Ed was at Sangamo Therapeutics, Inc. where he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer and led the clinical development of the company’s pipeline of genomic therapies. Ed also served as Vice President, Global Clinical Development at Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. where he led the global clinical development efforts for two of the company’s rare disease product candidates and earlier in his career Dr. Conner served as Medical Director at Genentech, Inc. Dr. Conner completed his Internal Medicine residency training at the University of Michigan and was a fellow in Clinical Immunology and Allergic Diseases at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He earned a B.S. in Biology, cum laude, from Duke University and his M.D. from the University of California, San Francisco.
Holly Winter
Senior Vice President, Human Resources
Holly Winter
Senior Vice President, Human Resources
Holly Winter joined Locanabio in April 2020 and serves as our Senior Vice President, Human Resources. Holly has worked closely with the Locanabio leadership team to build a positive, dynamic, and diverse culture to support the growth of the company. Holly has over 20 years of human resources experience and she most recently served as Vice President, Human Resources at aTyr Pharma. She has held various human resources leadership roles at Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Aurora Biosciences. Holly holds a Masters in Human Resource Management from Cornell University and a Bachelors in Political Science from California State University Long Beach. Holly studied German and English language at the University of Salzburg, Austria. Holly served as a member of the Board of Directors of Susan G. Komen, San Diego. Holly is currently a member of the Life Science Cares Board of Advisors.
Adam Fowler, M.S.
Senior Vice President, Technical Operations
Adam Fowler, M.S.
Senior Vice President, Technical Operations
Adam Fowler joined LocanaBio in August 2020 as Senior Vice President of Technical Operations. Adam has a proven track record of successfully leading and supporting early-to-late stage CMC drug development activities with over 20 INDs and through the commercial approval process of 2 licensed biologic products (Ruconest® and Reblozyl®). Adam has extensive experience spanning a broad range of biologics process development, manufacturing and supply chain activities across multiple biologics modalities, including ~7 years in gene therapy, including roles in process development where he drove the development of and transfer of scalable processes for multiple viral vectors types (AAV, Lentivirus and Adenovirus) and programs, and later in a manufacturing capacity where he led internal manufacturing operations at Genzyme’s Gene Therapy Operations (GTO) manufacturing site (acquired from Cell Genesys in 2005). Prior to Locana, Adam spent ~4 years at Celgene (acquired by BMS in Nov 2019) as Senior Director of Biopharmaceutical Development and Manufacturing, where he led the group responsible for all outsourced biologics DS development and manufacturing activities for the entire Celgene protein biologics portfolio, and was involved in the US (2019) and EU (2020) approvals, and subsequent PAS approval (2020) for an additional DS manufacturing site, for Celgene’s first commercial biologic product Reblozyl®. Prior to Celgene, Adam was Vice President of CMC at AnaptysBio, where he established their initial CMC group, and led all CMC activities to get their first 2 products into the clinic, and previous to that, Adam led CMC for Salix Pharmaceuticals’ (Salix acquired San Diego-based Santarus in 2014) biologics programs, a tenure which included the BLA filing and 2014 FDA approval of Salix’s first biologic product RUCONEST®. Earlier in his career, Adam held development and manufacturing positions of increasing responsibility at) NexBio (now Ansun Biopharma), Genzyme, Cell Genesys and Eligix (acquired by BioTransplant in 2001). Adam received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biotechnology from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Amy Jennings, PhD
Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs
Amy Jennings, PhD
Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs
Amy Jennings brings to Locanabio over 20 years of product development experience in the biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industry, 17+ of which have been in regulatory affairs. In her career Amy has contributed to >15 US INDs along with many ex-US CTAs across a number of therapeutic areas and 6 marketing authorization applications (e.g., NDA/BLAs/MAA) along with several supplemental NDAs and variations. Most recently Amy was the Senior Vice President and Head of Regulatory Affairs at Casebia Therapeutics, a joint venture between CRISPR Therapeutics and Bayer focused on gene editing where she developed global development and regulatory strategies for cell and gene editing products to treat autoimmune, ophthalmic and hematologic related diseases. Prior to Casebia, Amy was the Senior Vice President and Head of Regulatory at Achillion Pharmaceuticals, where she was responsible for global regulatory strategy, regulatory operations, quality assurance and medical writing. During her time at Achillion, Amy led successful IND submissions for two rare disease indications. Earlier, Amy served as Sanofi’s associate vice president for global regulatory affairs in the company’s North American diabetes program. Before Sanofi, Amy held positions of increasing responsibility at Bristol-Myers Squibb, including leadership of US regulatory affairs for its cardiovascular/metabolic programs. Amy was a post-doctoral fellow at the Harvard-affiliated Joslin Diabetes Center. She received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from The Ohio State University and her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Ron Batra, PhD
Senior Vice President, Research and Development
Ron Batra, PhD
Senior Vice President, Research and Development
Ron Batra joined Locanabio in March 2018 and serves as Vice President, Research and Development. Dr. Batra was a significant contributor to the foundational work of RNA targeting CRISPR therapeutics for microsatellite expansion diseases, which served as the basis for the founding of Locanabio. Prior to joining Locanabio, Ron worked at Verily. Dr. Batra is an expert in RNA splicing and development of therapeutics of RNA mediated diseases including myotonic dystrophy and C9orf72 ALS. He was awarded the Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation (MDF) postdoctoral fellowship for his work at the laboratory of Gene Yeo Ph.D. at UC San Diego. During his time at UC San Diego, he also worked with the department of Neurology studying pathology and disease mechanisms of sporadic and C9orf72 ALS. Prior to UC San Diego, Dr. Batra studied the mechanisms of C9orf72 ALS at the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Batra received his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy (Pharm. D equivalent) at the University of Delhi in India. He received a Master’s in pharmacology at Ohio State University. Dr. Batra completed his Ph.D. degree in genetics at University of Florida where he studied RNA biology and gene therapy of neuromuscular diseases. Ron was the 2019 recipient of Biocom Catalyst award for biotech leaders under 40 in California.

Board of Directors

Tom Daniel, MD
Venture Partner, Arch Venture Partners
Chairman of the Board
James Burns, PhD
Chief Executive Officer
Board Member
Cayce Denton, MBA
Director, Temasek Holdings
Board Member
Jean George, MBA
General Partner, Lightstone
Board Member
Rajul Jain, MD
Director, Vida Ventures
Board Member
Jeffrey M. Ostrove, PhD
Former Chief Executive Officer
Independent Board Member
Gene Yeo, PhD, MBA
Co-Founder and Scientific Advisor
Board Member

Investors

We are proud to have earned the confidence and support of the following key investors: ARCH Ventures Partners, Temasek, Lightstone Ventures, Vida Ventures, RA Capital Management, Acuta Capital Partners, Invus, UCB Ventures, GV and SVB Leerink.

Contact US

Locanabio, Inc.
3545 John Hopkins Court
Suite 200
San Diego, CA 92121

858.285.4000
info@locanabio.com