PureTech Health News
2018-10-17

Sage Therapeutics CEO brings valuable experience building and leading clinical development programmes

PureTech Health plc (LSE: PRTC) (“PureTech Health”), an advanced biopharmaceutical company developing novel medicines for dysfunctions of the Brain-Immune-Gut (BIG) Axis, is pleased to note that its affiliate, Karuna Pharmaceuticals, Inc (“Karuna”), today announced the appointment of Jeff Jonas, MD, as an independent member to its Board of Directors. Dr Jonas is a recognised leader in the field of psychiatry and has extensive experience building clinical development programmes.

Dr Jonas is the Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors at Sage Therapeutics (NASDAQ: SAGE). Before joining Sage, he served as President of the Regenerative Medicine Division and Senior Vice President of Research and Development, Pharmaceuticals at Shire plc. Prior to Shire, Dr Jonas was Executive Vice President of ISIS Pharmaceuticals (now Ionis Pharmaceuticals) and the Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of Forest Laboratories, Inc.

Bharatt Chowrira, JD, PhD, President and Chief of Business and Strategy at PureTech Health, said: “As an accomplished leader in the field of psychiatry with extensive experience in early through late stage clinical drug development, Dr Jonas is a terrific addition to the Karuna Board. We are excited to work with him as Karuna advances KarXT through the clinic to address the need for novel treatments for patients living with debilitating central nervous system disorders.”

The full text announcement from Karuna is as follows:

Karuna Appoints Jeff Jonas, MD, to Board of Directors

Industry leader brings extensive experience in building and leading clinical development programmes for central nervous system disorders

BOSTON, October 17, 2018Karuna Pharmaceuticals, Inc (“Karuna”), focused on targeting muscarinic cholinergic receptors for the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders marked by psychosis and cognitive impairment, today announced the appointment of industry leader Jeff Jonas, MD, CEO of Sage Therapeutics (NASDAQ: SAGE), as an independent member of its Board of Directors. Dr Jonas brings more than 20 years of scientific and business experience in both the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, with expertise in the field of central nervous system (CNS) disorders and neuropsychiatric drugs.

Steven Paul, MD, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Karuna Pharmaceuticals said, “I have had the pleasure of working closely with Jeff when we founded Sage Therapeutics and am delighted to have him join our Board of Directors. Jeff is a recognised leader in the field of psychiatry and has an extensive track record of building and leading clinical development programmes from early stage to late stage development. We look forward to drawing on his unparalleled experience and expertise as we advance our lead product candidate, KarXT, through a Phase 2 study in schizophrenia.”

“Serious central nervous system disorders like schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease affect a large number of people, and there is a tremendous need for treatments that effectively target the associated psychotic symptoms and cognitive impairment,” said Dr Jonas. “I believe Karuna’s KarXT has the potential to change the treatment paradigm for many of these disorders, including schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s. I am excited to join the Board of Directors and look forward to working with their experienced and passionate team.” 

Dr Jonas is the Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors at Sage Therapeutics. Before joining Sage, Dr Jonas 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. He has published more than 70 scientific papers and chapters, authored more than 100 books, scientific articles and abstracts, and has received numerous awards. Dr Jonas received his BA from Amherst College and MD 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.

About Karuna Pharmaceuticals

Karuna is a clinical-stage drug development company targeting muscarinic cholinergic receptors for the treatment of psychosis and cognitive impairment across central nervous system (CNS) disorders, including schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as pain. Karuna's lead product candidate, KarXT, (Karuna-Xanomeline-Trospium) is being evaluated in a Phase 2 study in people with schizophrenia, with top-line results anticipated at the end of 2019. Karuna, which was founded by PureTech Health (LSE: PRTC), has a worldwide exclusive license for xanomeline and has a patent portfolio more broadly covering selective muscarinic targeting enabled by the KarXT approach. For more information, visit www.karunapharma.com.

About PureTech Health

PureTech Health (LSE: PRTC) is an advanced biopharmaceutical company developing novel medicines for dysfunctions of the Brain-Immune-Gut (BIG) Axis. The Company has developed deep insights into the connection between the individual components of these systems and the resulting role in many chronic diseases, which have proven resistant to established therapeutic approaches. By harnessing this emerging field of human biology, PureTech Health is developing new categories of medicines with the potential to have great impact on people with serious diseases.

PureTech Health is advancing a rich pipeline of innovative therapies across two divisions: the Affiliates division and the Internal division. Its Affiliates division includes two product candidates that have been filed with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for review and several other novel clinical and pre-clinical programmes. These affiliates are developing ground-breaking platforms and therapeutic candidates in collaboration with some of the world’s leading experts.

PureTech’s Internal division is advancing a pipeline fuelled by recent discoveries in lymphatics and immune cell trafficking to modulate disease in a tissue-specific manner. These programmes leverage the transport and biodistribution of various immune system components for the targeted treatment of diseases with major unmet needs, including cancers, autoimmune diseases, and neuroimmune disorders.

For more information, visit www.puretechhealth.com or connect with us on Twitter @puretechh.

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