CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Rodin Therapeutics, a biotechnology company applying insights from epigenetics to develop novel therapeutics for neurological disorders, today announced the expansion of its management team with the addition of Magnus Ivarsson, PhD, as VP, Head of Discovery, and the appointment of Hans Moebius, MD, PhD, ECPM, as a key member of its Scientific Advisory Board.
Rodin also announced the establishment of a Chemistry Advisory Board, comprised of leading industry experts in chemistry and drug discovery.
“The addition of Magnus, as well as other key recent scientific hires across chemistry, pharmacology and project management, represents strong validation of our progress to date,” said Adam Rosenberg, President and CEO of Rodin. “Together with the expansion of our Scientific Advisory Board and establishment of our Chemistry Advisory Board, this new talent and bandwidth enables us to greatly accelerate our progress toward the clinic.”
As VP, Head of Discovery, Dr. Ivarsson will be responsible for Rodin’s overall scientific direction as the company moves its highly selective, brain penetrant molecules towards the clinic. He will also help guide Rodin’s collaboration with Biogen (announced in January 2016), and relationships with academic and foundation collaborators.
Dr. Ivarsson has become a noted expert on the utilization of EEG and translational biomarkers to drive efficient and successful drug discovery and development. He most recently served as VP, Head of Translational Science at Proteostasis Therapeutics. Previously, Dr. Ivarsson co-led the Translational Science Center for AstraZeneca in Sweden, and assumed roles of increasing responsibility in the electrophysiology and biology groups at Pfizer and Merck. He has led or contributed to groups responsible for the advancement of multiple development candidates and IND / NDA submissions.
Scientific Advisory Board
As an active member of Rodin’s Scientific Advisory Board, Dr. Moebius will lead clinical strategy for Rodin. Dr. Moebius has a solid track record in R&D leadership in neurodegenerative diseases, resulting in several successful international NDAs, including memantine (Namenda ™).
“I’m excited to join Rodin in this important moment to help advance our therapeutic discovery program towards clinical development,” said Dr. Moebius. “Recent progress on human genetics, translatable biomarkers, and emerging technologies will help to inform development of next-generation, selective HDAC inhibitors. Rodin’s collaborations with various leading academic researchers, and a strong industry partner in Biogen, results in a very promising approach.”
Dr. Moebius has a unique knowledge of the clinical landscape when developing HDAC inhibitors for neurological disorders. He most recently served as VP Clinical Research at Forum Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of therapies for brain diseases like schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease and Fronto-Temporal Dementia. Dr. Moebius ran clinical development of Forum’s HDAC inhibitor program. Previously, he served as CMO of TauRx, as Senior Vice President Europe for INC Research, as CMO and Managing Director of Merz Pharmaceuticals, and started his career at Ciba/Novartis. Dr. Moebius is board certified in Neurology and Psychiatry, and holds a PhD in Experimental Pharmacology from Heidelberg University.
Chemistry Advisory Board
Rodin’s Chemistry Advisory Board helps to shape the company’s chemistry and research efforts around both its lead compounds and backup series.
“Our Chemistry Advisory Board is comprised of leading medicinal chemists and drug discovery experts, each with decades of experience,” said Adam Rosenberg. “Our novel, neuroactive compounds exhibit attractive physical chemical properties, and have been designed to maximize selectivity and minimize risks specific for HDAC inhibitors, as a class. The Chemistry Advisory Board has already proven to be an exceptionally strong resource, both in helping us with efficient chemistry design, and in pressure-testing our discovery strategies and screening.”
- Martin Jefson, PhD, Chair, joined Pfizer Central Research in 1982, where he spent 27 years, ultimately becoming head of CNS Research. Between 1994 and 2009, more than 40 development candidates were discovered by teams that Dr. Jefson led or managed, including many prototype molecules with novel mechanisms of action. One of these, the nicotinic receptor partial agonist varenicline (Chantix™), is approved worldwide as an aid to smoking cessation. Since leaving Pfizer in 2009, he has worked as a pharmaceutical research consultant, supporting the efforts of several venture capital partnerships and more than 20 biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Jefson was the founding CSO of Rodin, and served in that role through March 2016.
- William Greenlee, PhD began his career in medicinal chemistry at Merck Research Laboratories, and later joined the Schering-Plough Research Institute, where has was VP Chemistry. Since 2011 he has worked as an independent consultant, and he serves on several scientific advisory boards. His career spans over 35 years, and includes contributions to the discovery of enalapril (Vasotec™), lisinopril (Prinivil™), vorapaxar (Zontivity™) as well as the BACE1 inhibitor verubecestat, now in Phase III clinical trials for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Greenlee has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Alfred Burger Award in Medicinal Chemistry from the American Chemical Society (ACS) in 2004. He was inducted into the ACS Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame in 2006, was elected a Fellow of the ACS in 2009, has co-authored over 200 research papers, and is an inventor on over 80 issued U.S. patents.
- John Lowe, PhD worked in the antibiotics, anti-inflammatory and CNS groups during his 30-year career at Pfizer. Notable accomplishments include his contributions to the discovery of the atypical antipsychotic drug ziprasidone, marketed as Geodon™ in the US, and to the discovery of the first non-peptide substance P (NK1) receptor antagonist. Dr. Lowe left Pfizer in 2009 and founded JL3Pharma LLC, a consulting company for the pharmaceutical industry. He has authored over 90 publications, presented 15 talks and posters at chemistry and pharmacology meetings, and is an inventor or co-inventor on over 60 patents. For his discovery of the drug Geodon™, Dr. Lowe was awarded the 2005 Northeast Regional Industrial Innovation Award, and the 2007 ACS Heroes of Chemistry Award. He is the 2011 winner of the ACS Award in Industrial Chemistry.
- John McCall, PhD was Director of CNS Research and then VP, Global Head of Chemistry for Upjohn, and VP Research with Pfizer. During his career, he has worked with different acute and chronic neurologic disorders, psychiatric diseases, neuromuscular disease, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory disease, and oncology. Since 2004, Dr. McCall has managed his own consulting and research company, focused primarily on less prevalent neurological diseases. He co-founded and is Chairman of ReveraGen BioPharma, a company focused on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy with a candidate molecule currently in Phase 2 clinical development. He is currently a member of the NIH Blueprint and the NIH NeuroNEXT Steering Committees, and serves on multiple scientific advisory boards. He holds 65 US patents and has 78 refereed publications.
- Neil Moss, PhD operates Drug Discovery Solutions, a medicinal chemistry and drug discovery consulting business. During Dr. Moss’s 23 years at Boehringer Ingelheim, he worked on and advanced candidates in multiple therapeutic areas, including CNS, immunology & inflammation, respiratory, cardio-metabolic and virology. Dr. Moss has led projects covering a range of molecular targets, such as kinases, proteases, GPCRs, ion channels, enzymes, nuclear receptors, and protein-protein association, and deployed multiple drug discovery approaches, such as structure-based design, fragment-based drug discovery, high throughput screening lead identification and optimization, and literature to lead.
About Rodin Therapeutics
Rodin Therapeutics is discovering and developing first in class therapeutics for cognitive disorders, applying unique insights into the role of epigenetics and best in class structural biology capabilities. Rodin was co-founded in 2013 by Atlas Venture and Proteros Biostructures, closed an initial $12.9m financing round in May 2014, and announced a $17.3m financing round and collaboration with Biogen in January 2016.