SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cortexyme, Inc., a privately held, clinical-stage pharmaceutical company developing therapeutics to alter the course of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other degenerative disorders, today announced the election of Kevin Young, CBE and Una Ryan, OBE, Ph.D. to the company’s Board of Directors. The experienced biopharmaceutical executives join Cortexyme’s board following a foundational publication in Science Advances and as lead compound COR388 advances into late-stage clinical development in mild-to-moderate AD.
“Cortexyme is on track to begin recruiting our large Phase 2/3 clinical trial designed to evaluate COR388’s potential to benefit the Alzheimer’s disease community in need of new options,” said Casey Lynch, Cortexyme’s co-founder and chief executive officer. “Kevin and Una bring a wealth of biopharma drug development, commercialization and business experience from decades in the field. We expect that their guidance and support will be invaluable as Cortexyme prepares to advance our innovative therapy.”
Kevin Young, CBE has led a distinguished 35-year career within the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, with experience spanning a variety of therapeutic categories including cardiology, oncology, rheumatology, hepatitis, and HIV/AIDS. From 2004 to 2018, Mr. Young served in positions of increasing responsibility at Gilead Sciences, most recently as Chief Operating Officer. Prior to Gilead, he served at Amgen and ICI Pharmaceuticals. During his 12 years at Amgen, Mr. Young held positions in Europe and the United States, including as vice president of the U.S. Business Unit, where he led the re-launch of Enbrel® following Amgen’s acquisition of Immunex Corporation. In 2011, Mr. Young was appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE), recognizing his services to the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. He completed his academic studies in the UK, receiving degrees in Sports and Exercise Physiology from Liverpool John Moores University and Nottingham University.
“Over the course of my three decades in biopharma, I have always sought out organizations taking disruptive approaches to supporting patients, and Cortexyme is no exception,” said Kevin Young. “I look forward to supporting the team as they continue to pursue the full potential of COR388 as well as the expansion of the company’s pipeline.”
Una Ryan, OBE, Ph.D. joins the board with a deep background in the biopharma space, including extensive experience serving on the boards of public, private and non-profit companies. She is currently an investor including as a managing director of Golden Seeds and as a partner in Astia Angel. Previously, she served as president and CEO of: AVANT Immunotherapeutics, a company developing vaccines and immunotherapeutics for cancer and broader health applications; Diagnostics for All; and Celldex Therapeutics. As a scientist, Dr. Ryan is credited with the localization of angiotensin converting enzyme as a target that led to the development of an important class of blood pressure medicines. In 2002 Queen Elizabeth II awarded Dr. Ryan the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to biotechnology. She subsequently received the Albert Einstein Award for outstanding achievement in the life sciences in 2007, as well as the Cartier Women's Initiative Award in 2009. Dr. Ryan obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Bristol and her Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge.
“Cortexyme is heading into 2019 with a great deal of momentum in the wake of key peer-reviewed publications and in advance of initiating an important clinical trial,” said Dr. Ryan. “The data supporting Cortexyme’s approach to Alzheimer’s disease, and the company’s invention of a novel class of anti-virulence factor inhibitors, is very compelling. I’m thrilled to join the company’s board as it launches into a new chapter — for Cortexyme itself and the field of Alzheimer’s research as a whole.”
About Cortexyme, Inc.
Cortexyme is a privately held, clinical-stage pharmaceutical company developing therapeutics to alter the course of Alzheimer's disease and other degenerative disorders. Cortexyme is targeting a specific, infectious pathogen tied to neurodegeneration and chronic inflammation in humans and animal models. The company's lead compound, COR388, is entering Phase 2/3 development; more information can be found on ClinicalTrials.gov. Additional proprietary small molecules are moving forward in preclinical development. Cortexyme has raised more than $100 million in private financing from world-class investors, large pharmaceutical companies, and sophisticated family offices. For more information on Cortexyme, visit www.cortexyme.com.