EpiVario Appoints New Scientific Advisory Board Members and Expands Operations
PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 11, 2022
Dr. Anthony Ford-Hutchinson and Dr. Paul Kenny bring valuable drug discovery and translational sciences expertise
Company announces expansion of its Philadelphia operations
PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 11, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- EpiVario, a biotech company developing novel therapeutics for memory-related psychiatric disorders, today announced that Anthony Ford-Hutchinson, PhD, and Paul Kenny, PhD, have been appointed to the Company's Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). They each bring deep industry and scientific experience that will help further guide EpiVario on the translation of its core discoveries through research into development, and future commercialization.
"We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Ford-Hutchinson and Dr. Kenny to our Scientific Advisory Board," said Thomas Kim, President and CEO of EpiVario. "As we continue our ongoing efforts to leverage novel medical and scientific discoveries for the development of anxiety- and addiction-related diseases, these renowned scientists bring additional expertise that will enable us to move our work to the next stage."
Dr. Ford-Hutchinson brings more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry to the EpiVario SAB, including substantial experience with drug and vaccines discovery, research and development, business development, emerging markets and scientific strategy. He is most recognized for his long tenure at Merck & Co., where he led teams that developed Singulair®, Cox-2 inhibitors (Vioxx® and Arcoxia®), prostaglandin DP receptor antagonist (a component of Tredaptive®) and Cat K inhibitors (odanacatib). This work positioned the Merck Frosst Laboratories amongst the most productive discovery units within Merck. Dr. Ford-Hutchinson has also contributed to the development and commercialization of a number of vaccines as the Head of Vaccine R&D at Merck, including Gardasil®, Zostavax®, Proquad® and Rotateq®. Currently, he serves as a board member or scientific advisor to various startup companies, corporations, and private foundations.
"Today, it is critical that the industry finds therapeutics that will aid in the treatment of anxiety- and addiction-related diseases," said Dr. Ford-Hutchinson. "I am excited to join EpiVario's Scientific Advisory Board, to help drive translation and development of its exciting pipeline that may offer new therapeutic options to patients in need."
A leading expert in drug discovery for addiction-related diseases, Dr. Kenny brings more than 15 years of experience to his advisory role at EpiVario. Currently, Dr. Kenny is the Ward-Coleman Professor and Chair of the Nash Family Department of Neuroscience and Director of the Drug Discovery Institute (DDI) at the Icahn Schools of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS). Dr. Kenny's research is focused on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of SUDs, obesity and schizophrenia. Throughout his career, he has served as a senior editor for the Journal of Neuroscience, is a member of the Advisory Council on Drug Abuse (NACDA), and a member of the National Institutes of Health Council of Councils (CoC) that reports directly to the NIH Director. Dr. Kenny has won numerous awards for his research, including the 2020 Alton Ochsner Award from the Ochsner Health System, the 2018 Daniel H. Efron Research Award from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP), the 2010 Jacob P. Waletzky Memorial Award from the Society for Neuroscience, and was the recipient of a MERIT award from NIDA. He is also the co-founder of Eolas Therapeutics, Inc., a company focused on the development of novel treatments for substance use disorders (SUDs).
"I am delighted to work with EpiVario and its team of outstanding scientists to help them develop new treatments for substance use disorders based on a highly innovative epigenetic target," said Dr. Kenny. "I look forward to helping to guide the preclinical development of EpiVario's novel compounds as they advance toward first-in-human studies."
"Dr. Kenny truly is a world-leader in the psychiatric disease treatment space," said Dr. Philipp Mews, EpiVario's co-founder and SAB co-chair. "As we move our novel therapeutics into the next stages of preclinical testing and into the clinical pipeline, the expertise Dr. Kenny and Dr. Ford-Hutchinson provide will be invaluable."
Along with the new appointments to its SAB, EpiVario is expanding its operations having secured additional funding from angel investors. The company will occupy new office space within B+ Labs, a Philadelphia life science incubator that provides flexible, plug & play lab and research space, powered by the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center (PABC).
EpiVario is a biotech company developing novel therapeutics to address a wide range of memory-related psychiatric disorders, including PTSD, Alzheimer's, and alcohol and drug addiction. EpiVario's strategy is to treat these psychiatric disorders at the source of the disease – the intrusive memories that often cause relapse. These memories are weakened via epigenetic regulation through the target enzyme acetyl-coA synthetase 2 (ACSS2), which regulates consolidation of fear and drug-craving memories. EpiVario's co-founders discovered that ACSS2 is a key metabolic enzyme that works directly within the nucleus of neurons to turn genes on when new memories are being established, and also when memories are recalled and then reconsolidated. For more information visit http://www.epivario.com.
SOURCE EpiVario Inc.