Healthcare Industry News: Merck
News Release - November 30, 2011
SAGE Therapeutics Appoints Chief Scientific Officer, Strengthens Management TeamBOSTON--(Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network)-- SAGE Therapeutics, a central nervous system (CNS) product focused company developing new therapies to meet the growing unmet need in a range of CNS disorders, today announced the appointment of Albert J. Robichaud, Ph.D., to chief scientific officer. In this role, Dr. Robichaud will be responsible for advancing the company’s therapeutic pipeline for CNS disorders and moving its lead programs into clinical development. Additionally, SAGE Therapeutics has appointed Jean-Cosme (J.C.) Dodart, Ph.D., to the role of director of pharmacology.
“Al and J.C. bring a wealth of relevant CNS chemistry and pharmacology drug discovery and development expertise to the SAGE team,” said Kevin Starr, interim chief executive officer at SAGE Therapeutics. “As a company, we are at the stage where proven leadership in translating exciting discovery science into clinical programs is critical to our success. Al has distinguished himself throughout his career through his ability to identify and develop important new drug candidates in the CNS arena. I look forward to working closely with Al and J.C. to leverage their capabilities as we build SAGE into an important CNS product focused company.”
“Given the historical challenges in developing CNS drugs, it is essential to build a team of seasoned CNS ‘drug hunters,’ and in Al and J.C. we have two individuals with a proven track record in drug discovery who can rapidly leverage SAGE’s Positive and Negative Allosteric Modulator (PANAM) platform to develop important new CNS medicines,” said Steven Paul, M.D., founder of SAGE Therapeutics. “Over the coming months we look forward to continuing to build the SAGE team with additional CNS pharmacology and chemistry expertise.”
Dr. Robichaud has an extensive portfolio of drug discovery experience focused in the neuroscience arena. Most recently, as vice president of chemistry and pharmacokinetic sciences at Lundbeck Research USA, he was responsible for the drug discovery, analytical, computational and pharmacokinetics departments focused on synaptic transmission and neuroinflammation. Prior to Lundbeck, Dr. Robichaud was senior director and head of the Neuroscience Discovery Chemistry department of Wyeth Research. During his tenure there, his group successfully delivered more than 15 drug candidates for clinical development in a broad range of neuroscience indications. Dr. Robichaud has co-authored more than 125 manuscripts and abstracts, and is a co-inventor on 45 patents and patent applications. Dr. Robichaud earned a B.S. in chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of California, Irvine and was an American Chemical Society postdoctoral fellow at Colorado State University.
“After more than 20 years in the neuroscience field collaborating with a multitude of talented scientists, I am very pleased to be joining a team that shares my passion for the development of CNS therapeutics,” said Dr. Robichaud. “In my early discussions with the team, it was very clear to me that SAGE had a highly differentiated novel chemistry platform and a broad range of near-term clinical opportunities. I believe our proprietary approach to allosteric modulation of GABA and NMDA receptor systems could significantly improve the treatment of CNS disorders. I look forward to working with our internal team and our advisors on moving SAGE’s product pipeline forward.”
Dr. Dodart has more than 10 years of drug discovery experience in the field of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Prior to joining SAGE Therapeutics, Dr. Dodart was director of the NeuroBehavior Laboratory at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital and assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School. During his tenures at Eli Lilly & Co. and Merck & Co., he contributed to diverse neuroscience research projects at different stages of drug discovery and development and developed a variety of rodent behavioral/cognitive animal models and in vivo pharmacodynamic assays that have demonstrated strong translational value. Dr. Dodart earned a M.S. degree in cell biology and physiology from University Pierre & Marie Curie in Paris and a Ph.D. degree in neuroscience from University Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France.
About SAGE Therapeutics
SAGE Therapeutics is a central nervous system (CNS) product focused company building a portfolio of new therapies to meet the growing unmet need in a range of CNS disorders, including schizophrenia, depression, pain and traumatic brain injury. SAGE Therapeutics’ proprietary Positive and Negative Allosteric Modulator (PANAM) chemistry platform targets the primary excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitter systems in the brain and enables the development of allosteric modulators that fine tune and balance neuronal activity that is disrupted in CNS disorders. Specifically, SAGE Therapeutics is focused on non-benzodiazepine and non-glycine approaches to modulating GABA and glutamate receptors, respectively. SAGE Therapeutics’ approach leverages extensive knowledge in chemistry, molecular and in vivo pharmacology, formulation technology, biomarker data and compelling clinical proof of concept established for several of its lead programs - all of which will enable SAGE Therapeutics to accelerate the clinical development of its pipeline and bring important medicines to patients. SAGE Therapeutics is a private company launched in 2011 by a proven team of R&D leaders, renowned CNS experts and Third Rock Ventures. For more information, please visit www.sagerx.com.
Source: SAGE Therapeutics
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