News & press releases

< Back to News & Press Releases

Rain Therapeutics Continues to Strengthen its Leadership Team with Key Appointments

February 8, 2022 8:00 AM
Download Pdf

Rain Therapeutics Continues to Strengthen its Leadership Team with Key Appointments

– Industry veterans from Loxo/Lilly, Gilead, Seagen and AltruBio join Rain to expand clinical and regulatory operations–

– In addition, Rain announces Advisory role to the CEO and Leadership team of John Maraganore, Ph.D., a position held since March 2021 –

NEWARK, Calif., February 8, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Rain Therapeutics Inc. (NasdaqGS: RAIN), (“Rain”) today announced the appointments of several industry veterans to the leadership team, including:

·       Nora Ku, MD, Vice President of Clinical Development, joining from Loxo Oncology at Lilly

·       Buenaflor (Flor) Nicolas, MPH, Vice President, Head of Global Drug Safety and Pharmacovigilance, joining from Gilead Sciences, Inc.

·       Tina Kim-Hafken, MS, Vice President and Head of Global Regulatory Affairs, joining from Seagen Inc.

·       Steve Flint, SHRM, MBA, Vice President of People & Culture, joining from AltruBio Inc.

Additionally, Rain announced that John Maraganore, Ph.D., former founding CEO of Alnylam and biotechnology industry veteran, has served as a Special Advisor to Rain’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Avanish Vellanki, and the leadership team since March 2021.

“We are excited to welcome these new members of the Rain leadership team, as we prepare for late-stage clinical and regulatory execution,” said Avanish Vellanki, co-founder and CEO of Rain. “Further, Rain is pleased to have John Maraganore’s continued support as an advisor to me and the Rain leadership team.  It has been an honor to work with John, and I look forward to his continued insights in the trajectory of Rain as a transformative precision oncology company.”

Dr. Maraganore added, “Throughout my advisory tenure with Avanish and the Rain team, I have watched them make significant progress in advancing therapeutics to make a meaningful impact on the lives of patients with difficult cancers. I am excited about Rain’s future and look forward to continuing to help them in any way I can.”

Biographical Information for Additionsto Leadership Team

Dr. Ku served as Vice President of Medical at Loxo/Lilly. Previously, Dr. Ku was Consultant and Senior Medical Director at DAVA Oncology following several years in various practice settings as a clinical investigator. After earning her M.D. from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Dr. Ku completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center, and fellowship in hematology and medical oncology at UCLA.

Ms. Nicolas was Senior Director of Operations in Global Patient Safety at Gilead, following its acquisition of Forty Seven Inc., where she served as Senior Director and Head of Pharmacovigilance. She previously held various executive roles at Cytokinetics, Inc., KaloBios Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and InterMune, Inc. Ms. Nicolas earned her MPH in public health practice from the University of Massachusetts and a B.S. in chemical engineering from Mapua Institute of Technology in Manila, Philippines.

Ms. Kim-Hafken was Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs at Seagen Inc. Previously, she held several leadership roles at Amgen Inc. in Global Regulatory Affairs - Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls. Ms. Kim-Hafken earned her M.S. in biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in chemistry and music from the University of Kansas.

Mr. Flint served as Vice President of Human Resources at AltruBio. Before joining AltruBio, Mr. Flint held various HR leadership roles at Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Impax Laboratories, Inc., Grifols Diagnostic Solutions, Inc., Perseid Therapeutics and Takeda Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Flint earned his B.A. in management from the University of Phoenix and his MBA in international management from the University of San Diego.

Dr. Maraganore served as founding Chief Executive Officer of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals for 20 years. He has served as a Senior Advisor at Rain since March 2021, providing strategic support and advice to the CEO and senior leadership team. Previously, he held various prestigious leadership positions at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Biogen, Inc., ZymoGenetics, Inc. and the Upjohn Company. Dr. Maraganore earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in biochemistry and molecular biology and B.A. in biologic sciences from the University of Chicago.


About Rain TherapeuticsInc.

Rain Therapeutics Inc. is a late-stage precision oncology company developing therapies that target oncogenic drivers for which it is able to genetically select patients it believes will most likely benefit. This approach includes using a tumor-agnostic strategy to select patients based on their tumors’ underlying genetics rather than histology. Rain’s lead product candidate, milademetan, is a small molecule, oral inhibitor of MDM2, which is oncogenic in numerous cancers. In addition to milademetan, Rain is also developing a preclinical program that is focused on inducing synthetic lethality in cancer cells by inhibiting RAD52.


Media Contact

Jordyn Temperato



Investor Contact

Bob Yedid

LifeSci Advisors