Former Head of Neuroscience Medicinal Chemistry at AstraZeneca, Roland Bürli, Ph.D., to lead therapeutic development against novel CNS targets
Boston, MA – April 16, 2019 – Cerevance, a clinical-stage drug discovery and development company focused on central nervous system diseases, today announced the appointment of Roland Bürli, Ph.D. as Vice President of Drug Discovery. Bürli brings expertise in preclinical drug discovery, specializing in medicinal and synthetic chemistry, with a proven track record from hit identification through lead optimization, having led efforts that discovered six pre-clinical candidate molecules, including a program now in Phase II.
“Roland’s addition to our executive team is a critical step as we continue expanding our pipeline,” said Mark Carlton, Chief Scientific Officer at Cerevance. “His drug discovery experience from leading inter-disciplinary project teams in the pharma, biotech and CRO sectors will be invaluable as we advance CNS therapeutics acting on selectively expressed targets identified by our NETSseq platform.”
Prior to joining Cerevance, Bürli spent six years as Head of Medicinal Chemistry in the Neuroscience team at AstraZeneca, United Kingdom. As part of the Neuroscience leadership team, he significantly influenced the portfolio, which spanned neurodegeneration, neuro-developmental disorders and analgesia. He also served in project leadership roles directing target validation, lead generation and optimization.
Before AstraZeneca, Bürli spent five years at BioFocus, leading early-stage and lead optimization projects in neurodegeneration, inflammation and sensory disorders. Earlier in his career, he led a competitive team at Amgen through early and late-stage preclinical programs in inflammation. Bürli completed his postdoctoral training at the California Institute of Technology and received his Ph.D in Organic Chemistry as well as a Diploma in Chemistry from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich, Switzerland.
“Our industry urgently needs new CNS drug targets with good disease linkage, and Cerevance’s approach holds the potential to transform the CNS drug discovery paradigm by providing modulators for these novel targets,” said Bürli. “I am thrilled to be joining the Cerevance team at such an important time for the company, and I am confident we have the potential to positively change the lives of those who suffer from a broad range of CNS diseases.”
Cerevance is a private pharmaceutical company focused on central nervous system diseases. The company’s strengths include its powerful NETSseq target discovery platform, a pipeline of novel discovery-stage and clinical-stage compounds and a team with a proven track record. Its scientists believe that they are well positioned to deliver life-changing therapeutics for patients who have brain-related disorders.
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