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 was a vice president at PureTech Health for 8 years, most recently as cice president, the COO of Tal Medical, and the acting-COO of Entrega where he serves on the board. 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.
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.
Alan Breier, M.D.
chief clinical advisor
Dr. Alan Breier is Karuna’s chief clinical advisor. Dr. Breier previously was the chief medical officer at Eli Lilly and is currently professor of psychiatry and vice chair for clinical research at Indiana University School of Medicine and chief of the Psychotic Disorders Program. He is also the director of research at Larue Carter Hospital. He was a member of Lilly Research Laboratories’ policy committee and the company’s senior management council. Previously, Dr. Breier was a clinical research fellow at Eli Lilly, product team leader for the antipsychotic drug Zyprexa and vice president of pharmaceutical products at Eli Lilly. Prior to joining Eli Lilly, Dr. Breier was chief of the section of clinical studies at the NIMH Intramural Research Program and prior to that the chief of the outpatient research program at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. He has published over 250 scientific articles and is the recipient of several awards.
BHARATT CHOWRIRA, J.D., Ph.D.
Bharatt Chowrira, JD, PhD, has been the president and chief of business and strategy at PureTech Health since March 2017. Prior to joining PureTech Health, Dr. Chowrira was the president of Synlogic, a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing synthetic microbiome-based therapeutics, from September 2015 to February 2017, where he oversaw and managed corporate and business development, alliance management, financial, human resources, intellectual property and legal operations. Prior to joining Synlogic, Dr. Chowrira was the chief operating officer of Auspex Pharmaceuticals from 2013 to 2015, which was acquired by Teva Pharmaceuticals in the Spring of 2015. Previously, he was president and chief executive officer of Addex Therapeutics from 2011 to 2013, a biotechnology company publicly-traded on the SIX Swiss Exchange. Prior to that Dr. Chowrira held various leadership and management positions at Nektar Therapeutics (COO), Merck & Co (VP), Sirna Therapeutics (GC; acquired by Merck &Co) and Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals (chief patent counsel). Dr. Chowrira is currently a member of the board of directors of Akili Interactive and Karuna Therapeutics, Inc. Dr. Chowrira received a J.D. from the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law, a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Vermont College of Medicine, an MS in molecular biology from Illinois State University and a BS in microbiology from the UAS, Bangalore, India.
Eric elenko, PH.D.
Dr. Elenko is a non-executive director. Dr. Elenko is the chief of research and strategy at PureTech Health where he has led the development of a number of programs, including Akili Interactive Labs, Gelesis, Karuna Therapeutics and Sonde Health. Previously, Dr. Elenko was a consultant with McKinsey and Company where he advised senior executives of both Fortune 500 and specialty pharmaceutical companies on a range of issues such as product licensing, mergers and acquisitions, research and development strategy and marketing. Dr. Elenko received his B.A. in biology from Swarthmore College and his Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from University of California, San Diego.
Edmund Harrigan, M.D.
Dr. Harrigan is a non-executive director. He previously served as senior vice president of worldwide safety and regulatory for Pfizer Inc. from 2012 to 2015, where he led a 3,500-person team in 80 countries that was responsible for collecting, interpreting and reporting clinical safety data for more than 600 marketed products, and managed regulatory interactions with global health agencies. Dr. Harrigan’s previous executive leadership roles at Pfizer include serving as senior vice president, head of worldwide business development, senior vice president, head of worldwide regulatory affairs and quality assurance, and vice president, head of neuroscience and ophthalmology. Earlier in his career at Pfizer, Dr. Harrigan served as vice president of clinical development, therapeutic area head, CNS and pain. Before entering the pharmaceutical industry in 1990, Dr. Harrigan was a practicing neurologist for seven years. He currently serves on the board of directors of Acadia Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Dr. Harrigan earned his B.A. degree in chemistry from St. Anselm College and holds an M.D. from the University of Massachusetts at Worcester. He also attended the Brain Research Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles.
JEFF JONAS, M.D.
Jeff Jonas joined Sage as CEO in 2013, bringing with him more than 20 years of experience on both the scientific and business sides of the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, with a focus on central nervous system disorders. At Sage, he’s created an engine of innovation that encourages creating new opportunities by taking smart risks and challenging conventional wisdom. Jeff’s approach is shaped by a career that encompasses one-on-one patient care, rapid advancement through corporate structures, academic accomplishments, and entrepreneurial endeavors. Before joining the Sage team, Jeff served as president of the regenerative medicine division of Shire plc and previously as senior vice president of research and development, pharmaceuticals at Shire. Prior to Shire, he served as the executive vice president of ISIS Pharmaceuticals, as the chief medical officer and executive vice president of Forest Laboratories, Inc. and in senior-level positions at Upjohn Laboratories. Jeff is a member of the board for Decibel Therapeutics, Generation Bio and Karuna Therapeutics. He has published more than 70 scientific papers and chapters, authored more than 100 books, scientific articles and abstracts and has received numerous awards.
Jeff received his B.A. from Amherst College and M.D. from Harvard Medical School. He completed a residency in psychiatry at Harvard and then served as chief resident in psychopharmacology at McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School.
Joep Muijrers, PhD
Joep Muijrers, PhD, is the Chief Financial Officer at PureTech Health. Dr. Muijrers has two decades of experience in corporate and capital finance, specifically focused on public market investment, M&A, portfolio management, strategic asset allocation, financial and regulatory reporting, and fundraising. Prior to joining PureTech Health, he was a Portfolio Manager and Partner at LSP (Life Sciences Partners), a trans-Atlantic investor group with exclusive focus on life sciences. At LSP, Dr. Muijrers was responsible for investing in publicly-traded companies, a strategy that generated a total return in excess of 900%, more than twice the return of the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index during the same period (Q2 2008 - Q1 2018). Notable investments included companies that were acquired by large pharma (Ablynx, Colucid, InterMune, Kite Pharma, NeuroDerm) and/or became leaders in their respective areas of activity (Evotec, Genmab, GW Pharmaceuticals, MorphoSys, Neurocrine). Prior to joining LSP, he held the position of Director Corporate Finance and Capital Markets at Fortis Bank, currently part of ABN AMRO. Dr. Muijrers holds a PhD degree in Molecular Biology from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany and a Master’s degree in Biochemistry from the University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
robert nelsen, MBA
Robert Nelsen is a co-founder and a managing director of ARCH Venture Partners. He joined ARCH at its founding and played a significant role in the early sourcing, financing and development of more than 100 companies, including nineteen which have reached valuations exceeding $1 billion. His seed and early-stage investments include Illumina (ILMN); Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (ALNY); Juno Therapeutics (JUNO); Unity Biotechnology (UBX); Sienna Biopharmaceuticals (SNNA); Vir Biotechnology, Agios Pharmaceuticals (AGIO); Sage Therapeutics (SAGE); GRAIL, Ikaria; Kythera Biopharmaceuticals (KYTH), Receptos (RCPT); Aviron (AVIR); Denali Therapeutics (DNLI); Rubius Therapeutics, KSQ Therapeutics, Beam Therapeutics, NetBot; Bluebird Bio (BLUE); R2 Technology; XenoPort (XNPT); Caliper Life Sciences (CALP); Trubion Pharmaceuticals (TRBN); Adolor (ADLR); deCODE Genetics; Array BioPharma (ARRY); Editas (EDIT), IDUN Pharmaceuticals; Classmates.com; Hua Medicine; Fate Therapeutics (FATE); WuxiNextCODE; and Everyday Learning Corporation. He previously served as a trustee of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute, the Institute for Systems Biology, and was a director of the National Venture Capital Association. Mr. Nelsen holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and a B.S. from the University of Puget Sound with majors in economics and biology.
HEATHER pRESTON, M.D.
Heather Preston M.D. joined Pivotal bioVentures in 2018 and brings 30 years of healthcare experience. Most recently she was a Firm Partner and Managing Director at TPG Biotech and she is currently a Senior Advisor to TPG. Prior to joining TPG in 2005, Dr. Preston spent two years investing with JP Morgan Partners and she was also an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with New Enterprise Associates. Prior to becoming a venture capital investor, Heather spent five years at McKinsey & Co. in New York, where she was a leader of their pharmaceutical and medical products consulting practice. She advised large pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology companies on critical strategic issues such as R&D portfolio prioritization, M&A opportunities, new technology acquisitions, new product launches and product growth strategies.
Heather has an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from the University of London and a medical degree from the University of Oxford. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in molecular biology at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard University and trained in Internal Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard and sub-specialized in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at UCSF. During her academic medical career, she was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, a Fulbright Cancer Research Scholarship, a Harlech Scholarship and a Science and Engineering Research Council Post-doctoral Fellowship Award. Dr. Preston also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Harvard Discovery Council, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Saint Luke’s School and the Harlech Scholarship Foundation.