Our mission is to develop novel therapies to dramatically improve the lives of people with psychiatric and neurological disorders.
Karuna is bringing together a community of scientists, clinicians, and leaders with deep expertise in neuroscience and drug development. Advised by world experts in schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, and neuroscience, we are positioned to meaningfully improve the lives of patients by delivering more effective and better tolerated treatments using a completely new mechanism of action (MOA).
Steve Paul, M.D.
Chief Executive Officer and CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD
Steve Paul, M.D., is an expert in central nervous system (CNS) drug discovery and development. He spent 17 years at Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY), during which time he held several key leadership roles, including executive vice president for science and technology and president of the Lilly Research Laboratories, where he was responsible for the company's overall research and development efforts for CNS drugs such as Zyprexa® and Cymbalta®. At Lilly, Dr. Paul also helped oversee the development of xanomeline where its antipsychotic and procognitive properties were initially demonstrated. Prior to Lilly, Steve spent 18 years at the National Institute of Health (NIH) and served as the scientific director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Dr. Paul is a co-founder and board member of Sage Therapeutics (NASDAQ: SAGE), a co-founder of Voyager Therapeutics (NASDAQ: VYGR) where he served as president, chief executive officer, and member of the board of directors, and a member of the board of directors at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ALNY). Dr. Paul is the former director of the Appel Alzheimer Disease Research Institute at Weill Cornell Medical College and is currently an adjunct professor of psychiatry at Washington University of St. Louis School of Medicine. Dr. Paul has authored or co-authored more than 550 papers and book chapters. He is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). He is also an elected Fellow Emeritus of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) and served as ACNP President (1999). Dr. Paul is the chairman of the board of the Foundation for the NIH (FNIH) and previously served on the Science Board of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in addition to serving on other advisory committee and receiving many awards and honors.
Andrew Miller, Ph.D.
founder and Chief operating Officer
Dr. Miller is a founder and the chief operating officer of Karuna Therapeutics. Dr. Miller is the lead inventor of Karuna's KarXT platform and served as CEO of Karuna from 2016-2018. In 2016, Dr. Miller was named one of the top 40 innovators under 40 by MedTech Boston. Previously, Dr. Miller spent 8 years at PureTech Health where he was a vice president. Through his role at PureTech served as the acting-COO of Entrega and currently serves of the Board of Directors of Entrega. Dr. Miller also served as COO and Board Member at Tal Medical. Dr. Miller completed his doctoral work in chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received the MIT Presidential fellow and National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate fellowship awards. Dr. Miller received a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois with highest honors.
STEPHEN BRANNAN, M.D.
CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER
Dr. Brannan is a neuroscience drug development expert who has held senior positions overseeing both clinical development and medical affairs with more than 15 years of industry experience. Previously, Dr. Brannan was the therapeutic head of Neuroscience at Takeda and vice president for clinical research and medical affairs at Forum Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Brannan has been active in the development of multiple important central nervous system treatments including Cymbalta, Exelon Patch, Trintellix, and VNS for treatment resistant depression while holding various senior roles at Forum, Takeda, Novartis, Cyberonics, and Eli Lilly. His experience includes drug development, registration, medical affairs, launch and lifecycle management across psychiatry and neurology. Dr. Brannan is a board certified and is a member of several scientific societies and groups, including ISCTM, ISCDD, AARR, IOM Neuroforum, and CNS Summit (founding member). Prior to joining the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Brannan worked on the faculty at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) where he specialized in seeing mood and anxiety disorder patients, ran a clinical research unit, and did neuroimaging research at the Research Imaging Center. Dr. Brannan trained in psychiatry at UTHSCSA and holds a M.D. degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Dallas (Southwestern Medical School). He has over 40 publications and routinely gives invited talks and presentation at industry conferences.
Troy A. Ignelzi
Chief Financial Officer
Troy A. Ignelzi is Karuna’s chief financial officer. He has spent 25 years supporting companies in finance, business development and operations. He joins Karuna from scPharmaceuticals, where in his role as chief financial officer, he helped oversee development from a privately-held clinical-stage company to a publicly-traded biopharma preparing for commercial launch. Prior to scPharmaceuticals, Mr. Ignelzi was a senior executive at Juventas Therapeutics, Esperion Therapeutics, and Insys Therapeutics, helping raise public/private capital, expand development pipelines through licensing/acquisition and advancing critical therapies, several of which are currently approved by the FDA. He also brings relevant commercial experience, having launched and promoted CNS drugs while at Eli Lilly. Mr. Ignelzi received a B.S. in Accounting from Ferris State University.
DAVID HEWITT, M.D.
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, MEDICAL
David Hewitt is currently SVP at Karuna Therapeutics. Before joining Karuna he was the CMO and Executive VP of the Contract Research Organization Syneos Health overseeing a large group of physicians and scientists who worked with biopharmaceutical companies to accelerate drug development. Dr. Hewitt was previously the CMO of inVentiv Health. Before joining the CRO industry Dr. Hewitt was an Executive Director at Merck & Co. conducting clinical trials in the area of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer disease, pain and migraine. He previously worked at Johnson & Johnson conducting multiple studies in pain and migraine. Dr. Hewitt graduated from Amherst College, received his M.D. from the University of Rochester, completed his residency in Neurology at New York Hospital Medical Center and a fellowship in pain research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center before joining Emory University as an Assistant Professor of Neurology running a large Pain and Headache clinic.
GIORGIO ATTARDO, Ph.D.
VICE PRESIDENT CMC AND PRECLINICAL DEVELOPMENT
Prior to joining Karuna, Dr. Attardo was vice president at Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Eli Lilly & Co., where he delivered several CNS imaging agents for exploratory clinical trials and completed the non-clinical development of Flortaucipir, a first in class PET imaging agent for tau. Before joining Eli Lilly & Co., Dr. Attardo held positions of increasing responsibility in CNS and oncology as senior director at both Chlorion Pharma and Gemin X Pharmaceuticals. His R&D efforts at Gemin X provided two oncology drug candidates, Obatoclax and Teglarinad, which were pivotal assets in the acquisition of Gemin X by Cephalon. Prior to Gemin X, Dr. Attardo was associate director of chemistry at BioChem Pharma and Shire Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Attardo received his Ph.D. from McGill University in 1991. His doctorate and industrial postdoctoral research at BioChem Pharma focused on the design, synthesis and preclinical development of novel oncolytics. He is an inventor on more than 65 patents and patent applications and has co-authored over 40 publications and 60 conference presentations.
JASON BROWN, MBA
VICE PRESIDENT FINANCE
Mr. Brown joins Karuna from PureTech Health where he supported the financing and operational growth of PureTech Health and its affiliates as vice president of corporate finance. Prior to PureTech Health, Mr. Brown spent five years at Novartis in roles of increasing responsibility within the finance department. Mr. Brown will lead the finance and accounting functions at Karuna. He holds an MBA from Boston College and B.A. from Hamilton College.
CHRISTIAN FELDER, Ph.D.
VICE PRESIDENT DISCOVERY RESEARCH
Dr. Felder received his Ph.D. in 1987 in the Department of Biochemistry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He joined NIMH in Bethesda, MD as a staff fellow in 1987 and completed his postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Nobel prize winner, Dr. Julius Axelrod. He remained at the NIMH as head of the Unit on Cell and Molecular Signaling where his lab focused on the molecular mechanisms of neurotransmitter action and their role in neuropsychiatric diseases. In 1997, he joined the Neuroscience Division at Eli Lilly & Co. in Indianapolis, IN and has held both research and management positions in the US and UK. Dr. Felder is a visiting lecturer at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, and an adjunct professor at Monash University, in Melbourne, Australia. He has co-authored over 160 original publications, reviews and book chapters, organized 21 scientific symposia, mentored over 60 students and post docs, and has been invited to speak at numerous international symposiums and universities.
Gregory T. Brophy, Ph.D.
Head of Regulatory (Consultant)
Dr Brophy is an established neruropsychiatric regulatory leader with more than 39 years of experience, including central regulatory leadership roles in the development and FDA approval of some of the most important neuropsychiatric medicines, including Zyprexa, Cymbalta, Strattera and Nuplazid, for a variety of indications.
Dr. Brophy spent the majority of his career at Eli Lilly and Company, where he was the Senior Director of Global Regulatory Affairs for Lilly's neuroscience portfolio. He received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Minnesota -Twin Cities.
Board of Directors
Scientific Advisory Board
Chief Clinical Advisor & Chair, Karuna Scientific Advisory Board;
Senior Professor of Psychiatry, Indiana University Mental Health Research and Education; Vice-Chair for Clinical Research; Chief, IU Psychotic Disorders Program; Director, Prevention and Recovery Center (PARC), Indiana University School of Medicine