CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cydan Development, Inc., an orphan drug accelerator dedicated to creating therapies that change the lives of patients living with rare diseases, today announced the promotion of Dione Kobayashi, Ph.D., to Vice President, Preclinical Translation effective Nov. 1. Dr. Kobayashi is an accomplished executive scientist with a deep knowledge of and experience in drug development activities for rare diseases, including drug screening, biomarker development and regulatory strategy.
“Dione’s knowledge and scientific experience in rare disease drug development are extraordinary,” said James McArthur, Ph.D., Cydan Founder and Chief Scientific Officer. “Additionally, her collaborative approach and expertise have made a significant impact in deepening our portfolio and advancing Cydan’s efforts to bring new treatment options to patients and families with rare diseases.”
Dr. Kobayashi has led efforts to identify several potential therapies for target rare diseases and guides the de-risking programs for several drug development opportunities. In addition, she has expanded Cydan’s access to multiple disease areas by engaging and building relationships with key opinion leaders and the rare disease community.
Prior to joining Cydan, Dr. Kobayashi worked as an executive scientist in several biotech and pharmaceutical companies as well as non-profit organizations. She was a director of neurology models at Alector, where she played key roles in leadership on discovery and lead characterization for Alzheimer’s and other dementia programs in pre- and post-funding startup environments. Previously, she was a director at the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Foundation, where she led in vivo drug screening and clinical biomarker validation and established numerous drug development collaborations with biotech and pharmaceutical company partners. She served as the Alzheimer’s and age-related macular degeneration research program leader at Rinat Labs, which was acquired by Pfizer. Dr. Kobayashi also held research roles at Elan Pharmaceutical and Genentech. She has published various journal articles focused in neurodegenerative, neurodevelopmental, neuromuscular, and ocular rare genetic diseases.
Dr. Kobayashi received her bachelor’s of science in brain and cognitive neurosciences from MIT, master of science in molecular and neuroscience from University of Hawaii Manoa, and her PhD in neuroscience from the University of Edinburgh. She is a member of the Cure Congenital Muscular Dystrophy (Cure CMD) Scientific Advisory Board and a Science Advisor to the Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy 2D Foundation.
About Rare Diseases
An orphan or rare disease is one that affects fewer than 200,000 patients – or about 1 in 1,500 patients – in the U.S. Other countries including the EU and Japan have defined rare diseases as those affecting similar portions of their populations.
There are nearly 7,000 recognized rare diseases affecting nearly 30 million Americans and an estimated 350 million people worldwide, according to the National Organization for Rare Diseases (NORD, EURORDIS and Global Genes). Most of these rare diseases are genetic and may appear early in life – 75 percent of rare diseases affect children and 30 percent of rare disease patients will not live to the age of five. The vast majority of rare and orphan diseases have no approved treatment options, and there is a critical need for new therapies.
About Cydan Development, Inc.
Cydan is an orphan drug accelerator dedicated to creating therapies that change the lives of patients living with rare diseases. Cydan evaluates products for treating rare diseases with high unmet medical need with the goal to start companies to develop such therapies. Cydan’s first spin-off company, Vtesse, was launched in January 2015 and is developing drugs for Niemann-Pick Disease Type C (NPC) and other rare, severe diseases with great unmet need.
Cydan was founded in 2013 by a management team with extensive drug discovery, clinical development and business development experience financed by leading life sciences investors NEA, Pfizer Venture Investments, Lundbeckfond Ventures, Bay City Capital and Alexandria Venture Investments. The accelerator is based in Cambridge, Mass. For more information, please visit http://www.cydanco.com or contact Cydan at firstname.lastname@example.org