FRAMINGHAM, Mass., September 9, 2015 – Alzheon, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing new medicines for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological and psychiatric disorders, today announced the appointment of Susan Abushakra, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer.
“I am pleased to welcome Susan to the Alzheon team,” said Martin Tolar, M.D., Ph.D., Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Alzheon. “She will be integral to the process of progressing ALZ-801, a first-in-class, oral inhibitor of amyloid aggregation and neurotoxicity, to patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Susan’s experience with drug candidates in the neurological and psychiatric disorder space, in particular Alzheimer’s disease, will be important to us as we embark on our strategy to begin pivotal studies of ALZ-801 next year in targeted Alzheimer’s patient populations that carry the APOE4 genotype.”
Dr. Abushakra brings 15 years of neurological drug development expertise to Alzheon. Dr. Abushakra was most recently the Chief Medical Officer at Transition Therapeutics, and prior to that at Elan/Perrigo, where she led the development of ELND005, an amyloid targeting small molecule being developed for neuropsychiatric symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease and in Down syndrome. Previously, Dr. Abushakra was Vice President of Clinical Development at Elan Corporation and Allergan, where she led several early and late stage central nervous system and pain clinical programs, including supplemental biologics license application (sBLA) filings for Botox® in spasticity and migraine. Dr. Abushakra has extensive clinical and regulatory experience in Alzheimer’s disease drug development. As the Therapeutic Area Head at Eisai in clinical development and at Wyeth in regulatory affairs, her experience includes investigational new drug (IND) filings for novel Alzheimer’s disease candidates, as well as supplemental new drug applications (sNDAs) for Aricept® indications.
Dr. Abushakra has been a voting member of the Alzheimer’s Association Research Roundtable (AARR) for the last 10 years and has been a member of many industry working groups including the AARR, the Alzheimer’s Disease EU Task Force, the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN), the Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative (API) and the Michael J. Fox Foundation LRRK2 Working Group.
Dr. Abushakra is a board certified neurologist, having completed her residency and neuromuscular/neurophysiology specialty training at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore Maryland. She received her M.D. with distinction from the American University of Beirut Medical School, Lebanon.
About Alzheon Alzheon, Inc. is committed to developing innovative medicines for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological and psychiatric disorders. Our lead clinical candidate, ALZ‐801, is a first in‐class, oral inhibitor of amyloid aggregation and neurotoxicity – hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. ALZ‐801 is an optimized, novel prodrug that builds on the established safety and efficacy profile of the active compound in clinical trials of more than 2,000 patients. Our mission is to apply our discovery platform and development experience to unlock new classes of therapeutics that make a difference in patients’ lives by directly addressing the underlying pathology of devastating neurodegenerative disorders.
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