The CEO of a biopharmaceutical company was killed in a fiery car crash on Tuesday in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
The Town of Chapel Hill has identified the driver as 50-year-old Carrboro resident Lisa Marie Yanez, and the passenger as 40-year-old Durham resident Vaughn Avery Booker.
Both the driver and passenger were pronounced dead at the scene after the driver collided with a tree, according to the Chapel Hill Police Department (CHPD) investigation per Daily Tar Heel.
According to the Town of Chapel Hill, the investigation into the crash’s cause is ongoing and no new information is available at this time.
Yanez was the CEO of Aerami Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to breathing life into the treatment of serious cardiopulmonary and cardiometabolic conditions.
“It is with deep sadness that Aerami Therapeutics (“Aerami”) today announces that our dear friend, fierce patient advocate, dedicated mentor, and CEO, Lisa Yañez suddenly passed away on Tuesday, May 2, 2023,” the company said in a news release.
“The entire Aerami community mourns the loss of Lisa and extends our deepest sympathies to her family during this difficult time. Lisa possessed limitless empathy, intellect, bravery, and compassion. Lisa’s career, fueled by her endless curiosity and passion for helping others, was magnificent, but most important to her was her family, whom she loved dearly. Our thoughts are with Lisa’s family and her extensive network of friends and colleagues.”
Anne Whitaker, the current Executive Chairwoman of the Board of Directors, will take over as CEO of Aerami effective immediately to “ensure all operations move forward as planned.”
“We and everyone who knew Lisa Yañez have suffered a major loss with her passing,” Whitaker said in a statement. “Lisa was a passionate, authentic leader who worked shoulder to shoulder with her colleagues, always focused on bringing solutions to help people live longer and better lives. She was a shining star in our healthcare community, and I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to call her a colleague and a friend. I am confident that by working closely with the experienced and committed Aerami leadership team, we will honor Lisa’s legacy by executing on our pulmonary hypertension clinical programs and maintaining our focus on improving the lives of the patients we serve.”