Cerevance Appoints Naidong Ye, Ph.D. as Vice President and Head of Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls

Will lead scale-up and production as Cerevance advances multiple clinical-stage programs

Boston, MA – February 10, 2021 – Cerevance, a private drug discovery and development company focused on brain diseases, today announced the appointment of Naidong Ye, Ph.D., a seasoned chemist with extensive pharmaceutical industry experience, as vice president and head of chemistry, manufacturing and controls (CMC).

Prior to joining Cerevance, Dr. Ye served as vice president of CMC for Millendo Therapeutics, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel treatments for endocrine diseases. While at Millendo, Dr. Ye was responsible for all CMC-related activities, including two late-stage programs. Before Millendo, Dr. Ye was senior director, head of CMC operations for AstraZeneca’s Neuroscience Innovative Medicines (NS iMed), where he led CMC operations for all small molecule development projects. In this role, Dr. Ye was responsible for projects ranging from candidate drug nomination to large scale, global pivotal trials. Earlier in his career, Dr. Ye served as chief technology officer for Dongguan Jinmeiji Pharmaceutical Co., and held leadership positions as both a scientist and CMC lead at several life sciences companies, including Pharmos Corporation, ViroPharma and Nycomed.

“It is with great pleasure that we welcome Naidong to Cerevance as we continue making significant progress in both our clinical development and drug discovery efforts,” said David H. Margolin, senior vice president of clinical and translational medicine at Cerevance. “His expertise in the production and formulation of small molecule pharmaceuticals for CNS indications will be invaluable as we prepare to conduct Phase 2 and first-in-human studies of several novel compounds this year.”

Dr. Ye commented, “Cerevance’s rapid progress in finding new druggable targets and compounds that modulate them has created a pipeline of potentially transformative treatments for patients with diverse brain disorders. I welcome the challenge of formulating and supplying each drug for use in preclinical and clinical studies.”

Dr. Ye earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Zhongshan University and a doctorate in chemistry from Ohio State University.

About Cerevance
Cerevance, a private, clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on brain diseases, is applying a new technology, called NETSseq, to reveal transcriptional and epigenetic differences between specific cell types in human brains spanning nine decades in age. NETSseq profiles neuronal and glial cell populations at depths not possible with other approaches, generating unprecedented data sets and insights. The company has thus far partnered with 20 brain banks around the world to assemble a growing collection of more than 8,000 clinically annotated, human brain tissue samples from healthy and diseased donors. By applying NETSseq to specific cell types critical to circuits disrupted by disease and comparing vulnerable and resilient cell populations, Cerevance’s scientists have begun identifying targets and advancing a pipeline of novel therapeutics that modulate them for CNS diseases.

Contacts

Cerevance:
Robert Middlebrook, +1-408-220-5722

Media:
Andrew Mielach, amielach@lifescicomms.com, +1-646-876-5868

Cerevance Appoints Carrie Ann Cook as Chief Business Officer

Pharmaceutical industry veteran brings more than 20 years of global business development experience across various disease areas

Boston, MA – February 1, 2021 – Cerevance, a private drug discovery and development company focused on brain diseases, today announced the appointment of Carrie Ann Cook, a global business development executive with more than 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, as chief business officer effective February 1, 2021.

Ms. Cook most recently served as senior vice president/global head of business development at CANbridge Pharmaceuticals Inc., in Cambridge, MA. Prior to this position, she served as senior director, center for external innovation, rare disease, at Takeda Pharmaceuticals, where she led and executed research and development transactions. Ms. Cook previously served as head of global business development & licensing, MS, medical devices and global health at EMD Serono, Inc., and as global business development director, neurology and rheumatology at Merck Serono SA, in Geneva, Switzerland. Prior to that, she held various leadership positions in business development and marketing at Novartis Pharma AG in Basel, Switzerland and Baxter Healthcare SA in Wallisellen, Switzerland. Ms. Cook holds an M.B.A. from INSEAD, in France and Singapore and a B.A. in biotechnology from Duke University in Durham, NC.

“We are pleased to welcome Carrie to Cerevance’s leadership team as we leverage our target discovery platform to identify new targets for the treatment of CNS disorders,” said Brad Margus, chief executive officer of Cerevance. “Her extensive global business development experience  will be invaluable as we pursue select partnering opportunities to advance novel compounds and ultimately improve the lives of patients.”

Ms. Cook stated, “Cerevance’s novel approach has the potential to transform the CNS space at a crucial time when innovation is so desperately needed. I look forward to contributing  my skills and experience to the team as we develop innovative therapies for brain diseases.”

About Cerevance

Cerevance, a private, clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on brain diseases, is applying a new technology, called NETSseq, to reveal transcriptional and epigenetic differences between specific cell types in mature human brains. NETSseq profiles neuronal and glial cell populations at depths not possible with other approaches, generating unprecedented data sets and insights. The company has thus far partnered with 19 brain banks around the world to assemble a growing collection of more than 8,000 clinically annotated, human brain tissue samples from healthy and diseased donors spanning nine decades in age. By applying NETSseq to specific cell types critical to circuits disrupted by disease and comparing vulnerable and resilient cell populations, Cerevance’s scientists have begun identifying targets and advancing a pipeline of novel therapeutics that modulate them for CNS diseases.

Contacts

Cerevance:
Robert Middlebrook, +1-408-220-5722

Media:
Andrew Mielach, amielach@lifescicomms.com, +1-646-876-5868

Cerevance Appoints David Lubner to Board of Directors

Life sciences industry veteran brings more than 25 years of financial and operational experience

Boston, MA – December 8, 2020 – Cerevance, a private drug discovery and development company focused on brain diseases, today announced the appointment of David Lubner, a senior finance executive with more than 25 years of experience in the life sciences industry, to Cerevance’s Board of Directors.

Mr. Lubner most recently served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Ra Pharma, which was acquired by UCB in April of this year. Before joining Ra Pharma, he served as a member of the senior management team of Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and PharMetrics Inc., a leading patient-based pharmacy and medical claims data informatics company, and at ProScript, where Velcade® (bortezomib), a therapy widely used for the treatment of multiple myeloma, was discovered.

Mr. Lubner currently serves on the Board of Directors of Dyne Therapeutics (Nasdaq: DYN), a company developing life-transforming therapies for patients with serious muscle diseases, Therapeutics Acquisition Corporation (Nasdaq: RACA), a blank check company focused on the healthcare industry sponsored by RA Capital and several other private biotechnology companies. He previously served on the Board of Directors of Nightstar Therapeutics plc (Nasdaq: NITE), a company focused on the development of one-time retinal gene therapies for patients suffering from rare inherited retinal diseases, which was acquired by Biogen in June 2019. Mr. Lubner is a Certified Public Accountant. He received his B.S. in business administration from Northeastern University and an M.S. in taxation from Bentley University.

“David’s expertise across a wide range of financial, operational and corporate strategic areas, in both senior management and Board roles, will be a valuable complement to Cerevance’s Board,” said Brad Margus, chief executive officer, co-founder and board member of Cerevance. “We’re thrilled to gain his counsel as our company’s powerful target discovery platform and rapidly expanding therapeutic pipeline open new opportunities with partners and in the capital markets.”

Mr. Lubner, stated, “I am pleased to be joining Cerevance’s Board as the company works to advance novel treatments for a range of neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases for which effective treatments are desperately needed. The company has assembled a strong team of managers, advisors and investors, and I look forward to contributing my expertise as we explore and execute on strategic opportunities.” 

About Cerevance

Cerevance, a private, clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on brain diseases, is applying a new technology, called NETSseq, to reveal transcriptional and epigenetic differences between specific cell types in mature human brains. NETSseq profiles neuronal and glial cell populations at depths not possible with other approaches, generating unprecedented data sets and insights. The company has thus far partnered with 19 brain banks around the world to assemble a growing collection of more than 8,000 clinically annotated, human brain tissue samples from healthy and diseased donors spanning nine decades in age. By applying NETSseq to specific cell types critical to circuits disrupted by disease and comparing vulnerable and resilient cell populations, Cerevance’s scientists have begun identifying targets and advancing a pipeline of novel therapeutics that modulate them for CNS diseases.

Contacts

Cerevance:
Robert Middlebrook, +1-408-220-5722

Media:
Andrew Mielach, amielach@lifescicomms.com, +1-646-876-5868

Cerevance’s CVN058 Achieves Primary Endpoint in Phase 1b Schizophrenia Cognition Study

Positive results with biomarker of cerebral cortical dysfunction raises hope for treatment of cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia

Boston, MA – November 16 2020 – Cerevance, a private drug discovery and development company focused on brain diseases, today announced positive results from a Phase 1b clinical trial evaluating the company’s oral compound, CVN058, in a biomarker study evaluating its potential as a treatment for cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia (CIAS).

“A single dose of CVN058 elicited a statistically significant improvement in mismatch negativity (MMN), an auditory evoked potential generated in the cerebral cortex that is typically impaired in schizophrenics,” noted David H. Margolin, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president of clinical and translational medicine at Cerevance. “The normalization of MMN brainwaves, a biomarker of cortical dysfunction, leads us to believe our approach can potentially improve diverse aspects of cognition in schizophrenic patients.”

CVN058 is a novel, brain-penetrant, small-molecule antagonist of the type 3 receptor for serotonin, an important neurotransmitter. The Phase 1b, double-blind, placebo-controlled, three-period cross-over study evaluated CVN058 target engagement in the cerebral cortex by measuring mismatch negativity (MMN) as a pharmacodynamic marker.

Nineteen male and female subjects with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, aged 18 to 50 years old, received a single oral dose of CVN058 (low-dose, 15 mg or 75 mg; high-dose, 150 mg) or matching placebo at each study visit. MMN and other cortical biomarkers were recorded in the hours after dosing. The sequence in which a subject took each of the three regimens was randomized, with a minimum of a seven-day washout between doses. These treatments had no serious or severe adverse effects.

The number of diagnosed prevalent cases of schizophrenia with comorbid cognitive impairment is expected to exceed 4 million in the seven major pharmaceutical markets in 2022. Cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia (CIAS)—which may include deficits in attention, working memory and executive function—has a negative impact on patients’ quality of life and ability to function. Although cognitive symptoms in schizophrenia are well characterized, no formal diagnostic criteria exist. Furthermore, no pharmacological agents are approved to treat the condition, and no marketed therapy tested to date has established clear, meaningful efficacy, which underscores the difficulty of drug development in this arena and accentuates the need for proven treatment options.

“The cognitive impairment experienced by many patients with schizophrenia desperately needs an effective treatment,” said Daniel C. Javitt, M.D., Ph.D., lead investigator and a world-renowned researcher in the study of schizophrenia and cognition.  Dr. Javitt directs the Schizophrenia Research Program at the Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research and is also Professor and Director of the Division of Experimental Therapeutics in the Department of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.  “We are very encouraged by CVN058’s results in our MMN translational study and look forward to confirming its potential cognitive benefits in future clinical trials.”

About Cerevance

Cerevance, a private, clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on brain diseases, is applying a new technology, called NETSseq, to reveal transcriptional and epigenetic differences between specific cell types in mature human brains. NETSseq profiles neuronal and glial cell populations at depths not possible with other approaches, generating unprecedented data sets and insights. The company has thus far partnered with 17 brain banks around the world to assemble a growing collection of more than 8,000 clinically annotated, human brain tissue samples from healthy and diseased donors spanning nine decades in age. By applying NETSseq to specific cell types critical to circuits disrupted by disease and comparing vulnerable and resilient cell populations, Cerevance’s scientists have begun identifying targets and advancing a pipeline of novel therapeutics that modulate them for CNS diseases.

Contacts

Cerevance:
Robert Middlebrook, +1-408-220-5722

Media:
Andrew Mielach, amielach@lifescicomms.com, +1-646-876-5868

 

Cerevance Expands Series B Financing to $65 Million

Increases Funds to Develop Therapeutics Acting on Novel Targets for Brain Diseases

Boston, MA – July 21, 2020 – Cerevance, a private drug discovery and development company focused on brain diseases, has expanded its Series B financing round, adding $20 million to the $45 million that it announced in April. With this second closing, UPMC Enterprises, Casdin Capital and Dolby Family Ventures joined the company’s investor base, while Foresite Capital added to its investment made in the first closing. Cerevance’s previous closing also included GV (formerly Google Ventures), Bill Gates, Takeda Ventures, Inc., the Dementia Discovery Fund and Lightstone Ventures.

“Cerevance uses its powerful NETSseq platform to uncover drivers of disease and aging in a unique tissue collection of 8,000 human brain samples,” said Matthias Kleinz, Ph.D., Vice President of Translational Programs at UPMC Enterprises, who will be joining Cerevance’s Board of Directors. “This has enabled Cerevance to discover entirely novel drugs and targets that could transform the treatment of patients with a range of CNS diseases. We are excited to work with the team at Cerevance to support this ground-breaking discovery effort, which aligns with critical clinical, research and investment focus areas for UPMC.”

Cerevance will use the proceeds of the financing to continue identifying novel therapeutic targets for central nervous system diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, by transcriptionally and epigenetically profiling specific neuronal and glial cell populations in thousands of post-mortem human brain tissue samples and advancing a diverse portfolio of therapeutic programs against them.

“It’s gratifying to see such strong investor enthusiasm for our unique target discovery platform and emerging therapeutic pipeline,” said Robert Middlebrook, chief financial officer of Cerevance. “This capital will allow us to move quickly in advancing novel approaches to diseases with significant unmet medical need.”

About Cerevance

Cerevance, a private, clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on brain diseases, is applying a new technology, called NETSseq, to reveal transcriptional and epigenetic differences between specific cell types in mature human brains. NETSseq profiles neuronal and glial cell populations at depths not possible with other approaches, generating unprecedented data sets and insights. The company has thus far partnered with 18 brain banks around the world to assemble a growing collection of more than 8,000 clinically annotated, human brain tissue samples from healthy and diseased donors spanning nine decades in age. By applying NETSseq to specific cell types critical to circuits disrupted by disease and comparing vulnerable and resilient cell populations, Cerevance’s scientists have begun identifying targets and advancing a pipeline of novel therapeutics that modulate them for CNS diseases.

All trademarks used or mentioned in this release are protected by law.

About UPMC Enterprises

UPMC Enterprises is the innovation and commercialization arm of UPMC, a $21 billion health care provider and insurer based in Pittsburgh. UPMC has committed to investing $1 billion in developing novel drugs, diagnostics and devices by 2024. Over the past two years, UPMC Enterprises has formed five translational science companies and made several investments in external biotech companies aimed at dramatically improving patient care. Working in close collaboration with innovators from UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, UPMC Enterprises provides its portfolio companies and partners with capital, connections and resources to develop solutions to health care’s most complex problems. With an emphasis on translational science and digital solutions, UPMC Enterprises strives to accelerate science from the bench to the bedside and engage patients and physicians with technology that connects the entire health system, leading to new models of patient-centered, cost-effective, accountable care.

About Foresite Capital

Foresite Capital funds visionary healthcare entrepreneurs. With approximately $3 billion in assets under management, Foresite Capital has a team of clinical scientists, engineers, analysts and partners who support and guide companies at all stages of their life cycles. The firm is headquartered in San Francisco with an office in New York. For more information visit www.foresitecapital.com.

About Casdin Capital

In the fall of 2011, Eli founded his fast-growing growth equity fund in the equally fast-growing sector of Life Sciences handily outperforming a sector-wide upswing. Casdin Capital’s strategy and success lies in its deep fundamental research and participation in all aspects of the life science revolution; from diagnostics to information systems through to molecular medicines into industrial biotech applications. As Casdin often points out, genomics is a data-driven paradigm shift that is fundamentally reshaping the entire healthcare and life science industry, much as Silicon Valley and the semi-conductor reshaped our social and commercial lives, creating a diversity of investment opportunities along the way.

About Dolby Family Ventures

Dolby Family Ventures is an early stage venture firm focused on building great technology and life sciences companies. We partner with best-in-class innovators and strong investment syndicate partners. The fund honors the legacy of Ray Dolby and his commitment to entrepreneurs and their vision to solve the world’s toughest problems. The life science investment focus centers on novel disease modifying therapeutics for Alzheimer’s disease, clinical depression, and neurostimulation therapies for a range of disorders.

Contacts

Cerevance:
Robert Middlebrook, +1-408-220-5722

Media:
Andrew Mielach, amielach@lifescicomms.com, +1-646-876-5868

 

Cerevance Closes $45 Million Series B Financing

Proceeds to Fund a Diverse Pipeline of Therapeutics Acting on Novel Targets for Brain Diseases

Boston, MA – April 14, 2020 – Cerevance, a private drug discovery and development company focused on brain diseases, has closed a Series B financing, bringing in $45 million from new investors including GV (formerly Google Ventures), Bill Gates and Foresite Capital, as well as all of the company’s previous investors, which include Takeda Ventures, Inc., the corporate venture arm of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, Ltd., the Dementia Discovery Fund and Lightstone Ventures.

Cerevance will use the proceeds of the financing to continue identifying novel therapeutic targets for central nervous system diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, by transcriptionally and epigenetically profiling specific neuronal and glial cell populations in thousands of post-mortem human brain tissue samples and advancing a diverse portfolio of therapeutic programs against them.

“Cerevance has a differentiated approach to neurotherapeutics and continues to apply its powerful NETSseq platform to central nervous system diseases,” said David Schenkein, M.D., General Partner at GV. “With exceptional science, a strong sense of urgency and a leadership team that has previously succeeded together in drug discovery, Cerevance is well-positioned to deliver life-changing therapeutics for patients with brain diseases.”

“It’s hard to imagine a more stellar group of investors supporting us,” said Brad Margus, chief executive officer of Cerevance. “We look forward to drawing on their expertise in deep data analysis and therapeutic development as we mine our unique biological data sets to advance new, desperately needed therapies for brain diseases.”

About Cerevance

Cerevance, a private, clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on brain diseases, is applying a new technology, called NETSseq, to reveal transcriptional and epigenetic differences between specific cell types in mature human brains. NETSseq profiles neuronal and glial cell populations at depths not possible with other approaches, generating unprecedented data sets and insights. The company has thus far partnered with 14 brain banks around the world to assemble a growing collection of more than 7,000 clinically annotated, human brain tissue samples from healthy and diseased donors spanning nine decades in age. By applying NETSseq to specific cell types critical to circuits disrupted by disease and comparing vulnerable and resilient cell populations, Cerevance’s scientists have begun identifying targets and advancing a pipeline of novel therapeutics that modulate them for CNS diseases.

All trademarks used or mentioned in this release are protected by law.

Contacts

Cerevance:
Robert Middlebrook, +1-408-220-5722

Media:
Andrew Mielach, amielach@lifescicomms.com, +1- 646-876-5868

Cerevance Appoints Clinical Development Veteran Dr. Aoife Brennan to Board of Directors

Dr. Brennan’s expertise across multiple therapeutic areas and stages of drug development will prove vital as Cerevance expands its clinical CNS pipeline 

Boston, MA – January 7, 2020 – Cerevance, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company advancing new medicines for brain diseases, today announced the appointment of Aoife Brennan, M.B., B.Ch., to its board of directors effective January 1, 2020.

Dr. Brennan is currently president and chief executive officer of Synlogic, Inc. (Nasdaq:SYBX), a clinical stage biotechnology company applying synthetic biology to beneficial microbes to develop novel, living medicines. She joined Synlogic as chief medical officer in September 2016, served as interim CEO from April 2018 and was promoted to the permanent position in October 2018. Previously, Dr. Brennan was vice president and head of the Rare Disease Innovation Unit at Biogen where her work resulted in the approval of ALPROLIXTM, ELOCTATETM and SPINRAZATM,as well as the advancement of several early-phase programs and external collaborations.

Dr. Brennan holds a medical degree from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and completed residency and fellowship training in general internal medicine and endocrinology. She completed post-doctoral training in clinical research and metabolism at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, is a graduate of the Harvard Medical School Scholars in Clinical Science Program and has more than 40 academic publications. She serves as a director of Ra Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:RARX) and is a member of the advisory board of the Harvard Masters in Clinical Investigation Program.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Brennan bring her strategic and clinical expertise, as well as her CEO-level leadership experience, to our board as we advance therapeutics acting on novel drug targets toward human trials,” said Brad Margus, chief executive officer of the company. “Her experience advancing compounds across multiple therapeutic areas will prove a strong complement to our board as we pursue treatments for a range of central nervous system disorders.”

“Cerevance’s NETSseq platform is discovering exciting new targets in the always-challenging field of central nervous system disorders,” said Dr. Brennan. “I am excited to be joining the company’s board at a time when there is such a dearth of effective treatments for CNS diseases. I look forward to helping prioritize and guide the company’s many opportunities that are emanating from its rapidly expanding, robust analysis of human brain transcriptome data.”

About Cerevance

Cerevance is a private pharmaceutical company focused on central nervous system diseases. The company’s strengths include its powerful NETSseq target discovery platform, a large collection of human brain tissue samples, 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.

Contacts

Cerevance:
Robert Middlebrook, +1-408-220-5722

Media:
Andrew Mielach, amielach@lifescicomms.com, +1- 646-876-5868

Cerevance Enters Research Collaboration with Takeda to Advance New Treatments for Gastrointestinal Disorders

Multi-year research alliance will apply Cerevance’s NETSseq technology to GI disorders

Boston, MA and Cambridge, UK – December 17, 2019 – Cerevance, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company advancing new medicines for brain diseases, has formed a multi-year research alliance with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (“Takeda”) to identify novel target proteins expressed in the central nervous system and to develop new therapies against them for certain GI disorders. Scientists from the companies will select, confirm and validate targets from rich gene expression data sets generated by Cerevance’s NETSseq technology, which sorts and profiles specific neuronal and glial cell types in post-mortem human central nervous system tissue at unparalleled depth.

Under the terms of the agreement, which includes an upfront technology access fee and research support to Cerevance, Takeda will pay preclinical and clinical milestone payments and royalties to Cerevance as targets are validated and compounds are advanced through development and onto the market worldwide. Cerevance is eligible to receive development, commercialization and net sales-based milestone payments that may exceed $170 million on a per target basis.

“Through our new collaboration with Cerevance, we will access a highly innovative technology to identify new and unique targets for the treatment of GI disorders,” said Gareth Hicks, PhD, Head of the Gastrointestinal Drug Discovery Unit at Takeda. “We are excited to work with Cerevance scientists to drive forward our mission to provide new therapies for the highest unmet medical needs of patients with GI diseases.”

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with Takeda on this comprehensive effort to create novel therapies for patients suffering from GI disorders that can be targeted via modulation of CNS pathways,” said Mark Carlton, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of Cerevance. “The GI expertise of Takeda’s research organization is world renowned. We are looking forward to applying our powerful NETSseq CNS drug target identification platform to GI diseases with the Takeda team.”

About Cerevance

Cerevance is a private pharmaceutical company focused on central nervous system diseases. The company’s strengths include its powerful NETSseq target discovery platform, a large collection of human brain tissue samples, 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. For more information, visit cerevance.com.

Contacts

Cerevance:
Robert Middlebrook, +1-408-220-5722

Media:
Andrew Mielach, amielach@lifescicomms.com, +1- 646-876-5868

Cerevance Initiates Phase 2 Trial of CVN424 for Parkinson’s Disease

Boston, MA – December 4, 2019 – Cerevance, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company advancing new medicines for brain diseases, announced today the initiation of a Phase 2 clinical trial of CVN424, an oral, first-in-class compound that selectively modulates a novel, non-dopaminergic target selectively expressed in an important class of neurons in the striatum.

“We are pleased to further advance the clinical development of CVN424 in Parkinson’s, as there remain significant shortcomings with current therapeutics,” said Brad Margus, chief executive officer of the company.

The study, now enrolling patients, is a Phase 2, double-blind, multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled trial that will evaluate the efficacy and safety of CVN424 in patients with Parkinson’s disease and motor fluctuations who are currently being treated with levodopa. The trial will test two dose levels of CVN424 and is expected to enroll approximately 70 patients. Efficacy endpoints include reduction in “off time,” which refers to periods of the day when Parkinson’s symptoms recur despite medication, as well as other functional outcome measures.

“CVN424 activates key motor pathways, but not the neurons implicated in dyskinesias, a common side effect of dopaminergic Parkinson’s disease treatments,” noted David H. Margolin, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president of clinical and translational medicine at Cerevance. “This selectivity should allow CVN424 to augment the positive effects of the current standard of care, levodopa, without exacerbating its side effects.”

Mark Carlton, Ph.D., chief scientific officer of Cerevance, added, “This compound exemplifies Cerevance’s approach of identifying and modulating therapeutic targets that are selectively expressed in disrupted circuits or vulnerable neuronal and glial populations in central nervous system diseases.”

Additional information about the study will soon be posted to ClinicalTrials.gov.

About CVN424

CVN424 is an orally bioavailable, brain penetrant small molecule. It acts as a potent modulator of a novel target that is selectively expressed in striatal neurons of the dopamine D2 receptor dependent pathway (the “indirect” pathway) compared to the D1 receptor dependent (“direct”) pathway. The compound improves locomotor activity in animal models of Parkinson’s disease.

About Cerevance

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 proven team. Its scientists believe that they are well positioned to deliver life-changing therapeutics for patients who have brain-related disorders.

Contacts

Cerevance:
Robert Middlebrook, +1-408-220-5722

Media:
Andrew Mielach, amielach@lifescicomms.com, +1- 646-876-5868

Cerevance Appoints CNS Drug Developer James Summers, Ph.D. as Scientific Advisor

Dr. Summers to help guide Cerevance’s Drug Discovery and Development Efforts

Boston, MA – June 3, 2019 – Cerevance, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company advancing new medicines for brain diseases, has appointed pharmaceutical industry veteran, James Summers, Ph.D., as a key scientific advisor to guide the company in its drug discovery and development efforts.  Dr. Summers brings extensive experience in the discovery of new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, pain and psychiatric disorders.

Dr. Summers has held a number of leadership positions with Abbott and AbbVie, including most recently as Vice President of Neuroscience Research at AbbVie where he led teams based in Ludwigshafen, Germany, Lake County, Illinois and Cambridge, Massachusetts.  During his tenure with Abbott, Dr. Summers served as Divisional Vice President, Advanced Technology, leading a business unit engaged in technologies and services to accelerate drug discovery research across all of Abbott’s therapeutic areas and sites.

“We are delighted to have Dr. Summers bring his strategic and scientific expertise to our team as an advisor during this time of rapid growth at Cerevance,” said Brad Margus, Chief Executive Officer of the company. “His expertise in neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases will be vital as we prioritize and advance novel targets for a range of central nervous system disorders.”

“Cerevance’s powerful platform is generating vast amounts of never-before-seen expression data that should enable us to treat diseases in ways not previously possible,” said Dr. Summers. “I am excited to be joining the company’s scientific advisory team to bring a global pharmaceutical perspective to the challenges and opportunities that abound in the CNS space.”

Dr. Summers earned a Bachelor of Science degree, summa cum laude, in chemistry from Denison University and a doctorate in organic chemistry from Harvard University.

About Cerevance

Cerevance is a private pharmaceutical company focused on central nervous system diseases. The company’s strengths include its powerful NETSseq target discovery platform, a large collection of human brain tissue samples, 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.

Contacts

Cerevance:
Robert Middlebrook, +1.408.220.5722

Media:
Cait Williamson, Ph.D., cait@lifescipublicrelations.com, +1.646.751.4366