About

Amathus Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company and leader in the field of small molecule modulators of organelle specific chaperones across a variety of genetically defined diseases including Parkinson’s Disease (PINK1) and Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD).

Board of Directors

George P. Vlasuk, PhD

George P. Vlasuk, PhD

Dr. Vlasuk is a scientifically trained executive with nearly 40 years of leadership experience in drug discovery and development at small and large biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Previously, he served as President, CEO and CSO of Navitor Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and currently serves as a board member and consultant. Vlasuk is also on the boards of Nimbus Therapeutics and Riparian Pharmaceuticals as well as a consultant and scientific advisor to several biopharmaceutical companies. Before joining Navitor, Vlasuk served as CEO of Sirtris, a GlaxoSmithKline Company. Prior to Sirtris, he was Vice President, Metabolic Disease and Hemophilia Research, at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Vlasuk also served as Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President of Research and Development at Corvas International, prior to the merger of Corvas and Dendreon Corporation.

Jason Hafler, PhD

Jason Hafler, PhD

Dr. Hafler is the Managing Director of Sanofi Ventures. Prior to Sanofi, Hafler was the Director of Corporate Development at RaNA Therapeutics, LLC (now known as Translate Bio) a company co-founded by his previous firm, Atlas Venture. While at Atlas, he was an Associate in the Life Sciences group. Previously, he was a Flagship Ventures Entrepreneurial Fellow, and consulted for the technology transfer company at the University of Cambridge while performing his doctoral research. Before his time at Cambridge, Hafler was an analyst at JSB Partners LP, an investment banking firm, focusing on advisory and business development activities in the life sciences space. Outside of Hafler’s Sanofi Venture boards, he serves on the Board of Trustees at the Buckingham Browne and Nichols school, the Board of Directors of The Magdalene College Foundation and the Board of Directors of the Beacon Hill Nursery School. Hafler graduated with honors from Bowdoin College, and holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge.

Laurence Barker

Laurence Barker, PhD

Dr. Barker brings over 20 years of experience across the life sciences industry. He is currently a Partner with the Dementia Discovery Fund at SV Health Investors. Prior to joining DDF, he was Head of Investment Management in Worldwide Business Development at GSK where he was responsible for managing GSK’s venture investment portfolio, covering both direct equity positions as well as a venture fund-of-funds portfolio. In addition, he led licensing transactions for the pharma R&D business. Prior to GSK, Barker worked in business development at biotech companies Syntaxin and MorphoSys.

Kevin Pojasek, PhD

Kevin Pojasek, PhD

Dr. Pojasek is a biotech executive with nearly 20 years of experience founding and leading companies in the US and UK. Pojasek is currently President and CEO of Enara Bio, as well as Founder and Director of Catamaran Bio and Venture Partner for SV Health Investors. Prior to joining SV, Pojasek was Chief Strategy and Business Officer and a member of the executive leadership team at Immunocore Ltd. Prior to joining Immunocore, he was President, Chief Executive Officer of Quartet Medicine, a company he co-founded as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Atlas Venture. Pojasek was also the Chief Operating Officer of Annovation Biopharma, another Atlas Venture-funded company, which was sold to the Medicines Company in January 2015. Earlier in his career, Pojasek held senior R&D and corporate development roles at several venture capital-backed companies, including Vice President of Corporate Development at Kala Pharmaceuticals, and spent time as an investment associate at PureTech Health.

George P. Vlasuk, PhD

George P. Vlasuk, PhD

Dr. Vlasuk is a scientifically trained executive with nearly 40 years of leadership experience in drug discovery and development at small and large biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Previously, he served as President, CEO and CSO of Navitor Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and currently serves as a board member and consultant. Vlasuk is also on the boards of Nimbus Therapeutics and Riparian Pharmaceuticals as well as a consultant and scientific advisor to several biopharmaceutical companies. Before joining Navitor, Vlasuk served as CEO of Sirtris, a GlaxoSmithKline Company. Prior to Sirtris, he was Vice President, Metabolic Disease and Hemophilia Research, at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Vlasuk also served as Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President of Research and Development at Corvas International, prior to the merger of Corvas and Dendreon Corporation.

Jason Hafler, PhD

Jason Hafler, PhD

Dr. Hafler is the Managing Director of Sanofi Ventures. Prior to Sanofi, Hafler was the Director of Corporate Development at RaNA Therapeutics, LLC (now known as Translate Bio) a company co-founded by his previous firm, Atlas Venture. While at Atlas, he was an Associate in the Life Sciences group. Previously, he was a Flagship Ventures Entrepreneurial Fellow, and consulted for the technology transfer company at the University of Cambridge while performing his doctoral research. Before his time at Cambridge, Hafler was an analyst at JSB Partners LP, an investment banking firm, focusing on advisory and business development activities in the life sciences space. Outside of Hafler’s Sanofi Venture boards, he serves on the Board of Trustees at the Buckingham Browne and Nichols school, the Board of Directors of The Magdalene College Foundation and the Board of Directors of the Beacon Hill Nursery School. Hafler graduated with honors from Bowdoin College, and holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge.

Laurence Barker

Laurence Barker, PhD

Dr. Barker brings over 20 years of experience across the life sciences industry. He is currently a Partner with the Dementia Discovery Fund at SV Health Investors. Prior to joining DDF, he was Head of Investment Management in Worldwide Business Development at GSK where he was responsible for managing GSK’s venture investment portfolio, covering both direct equity positions as well as a venture fund-of-funds portfolio. In addition, he led licensing transactions for the pharma R&D business. Prior to GSK, Barker worked in business development at biotech companies Syntaxin and MorphoSys.

Kevin Pojasek, PhD

Kevin Pojasek, PhD

Dr. Pojasek is a biotech executive with nearly 20 years of experience founding and leading companies in the US and UK. Pojasek is currently President and CEO of Enara Bio, as well as Founder and Director of Catamaran Bio and Venture Partner for SV Health Investors. Prior to joining SV, Pojasek was Chief Strategy and Business Officer and a member of the executive leadership team at Immunocore Ltd. Prior to joining Immunocore, he was President, Chief Executive Officer of Quartet Medicine, a company he co-founded as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Atlas Venture. Pojasek was also the Chief Operating Officer of Annovation Biopharma, another Atlas Venture-funded company, which was sold to the Medicines Company in January 2015. Earlier in his career, Pojasek held senior R&D and corporate development roles at several venture capital-backed companies, including Vice President of Corporate Development at Kala Pharmaceuticals, and spent time as an investment associate at PureTech Health.

Team

Ed Holson

Edward Holson, PhD

Dr. Holson is co-founder and currently the President and Chief Scientific Officer at Amathus Therapeutics. Prior to joining Amathus, Holson was an entrepreneur in residence at Atlas Venture and Founder, Director and Chief Scientific Officer at KDAc Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on epigenetic regulation of central nervous system disorders and cancer. Holson is a former Director in the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research and Director of Chemistry in the Chemical Biology Platform at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Previously, Holson worked in medicinal chemistry and pharmaceutical development roles for Infinity Pharmaceuticals and Merck & Co. He served as a founding SAB member of Rodin Therapeutics and currently serves as a scientific advisor for the Parsegian Medical Research Foundation.

Jim Hampe

Jim Hampe

Mr. Hampe serves as interim chief business officer at Amathus Therapeutics. Hampe brings two decades of biotech experience to Amathus and also serves as the chief business officer at Faze Therapeutics. Prior to Amathus, he served in business development and operational roles at IFM Therapeutics, Biogen, Archemix, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, and Anterogen. He started his career as a research associate at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Hampe received his MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Ross Fredenburg, PhD

Dr. Fredenburg, is a founding member of the Amathus team. He brings expertise in mitochondrial drug development that he gained at Mitobridge. He has a deep understanding of neurodegenerative disease which he developed at Harvard Medical School, Link Medicine, and AstraZeneca Neuro iMed to the pursuit of activators of mitochondrial and ER-specific chaperones. Fredenburg leads the Parkinson’s disease program and the In Vitro Pharmacology group. He is a member of the Amathus leadership team and biology representative for external alliances.

Charlie Blum

Charlie Blum, PhD

Dr. Blum has more than 20 years of experience working as a Medicinal Chemist in drug discovery programs targeting GPCRs, ion channels and enzyme modulation. He is an inventor on 37 granted US patents covering compounds focused on the treatment of CNS and metabolic disorders.

Adam Talbot

Adam Talbot, PhD

Dr. Talbot has 15 years of experience optimizing small molecule modulators for the treatment of multiple disease indications. He has led chemistry teams at large and small companies around the world and is excited to help advance the unique drug discovery programs at Amathus.

Prem Rajkumar

Prem Rajkumar, PhD

Dr. Rajkumar completed his PhD at the University of Cincinnati and went on to study sensory GPCRs as a postdoc at Johns Hopkins. Before joining the Amathus team, he spent three years in the disease biology group at Recursion Pharmaceuticals identifying therapeutics for rare genetic disorders. In his free time, Rajkumar enjoys hiking, cooking, gardening and catching up on sports.

Ed Holson

Edward Holson, PhD

Dr. Holson is co-founder and currently the President and Chief Scientific Officer at Amathus Therapeutics. Prior to joining Amathus, Holson was an entrepreneur in residence at Atlas Venture and Founder, Director and Chief Scientific Officer at KDAc Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on epigenetic regulation of central nervous system disorders and cancer. Holson is a former Director in the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research and Director of Chemistry in the Chemical Biology Platform at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Previously, Holson worked in medicinal chemistry and pharmaceutical development roles for Infinity Pharmaceuticals and Merck & Co. He served as a founding SAB member of Rodin Therapeutics and currently serves as a scientific advisor for the Parsegian Medical Research Foundation.

Jim Hampe

Jim Hampe

Mr. Hampe serves as interim chief business officer at Amathus Therapeutics. Hampe brings two decades of biotech experience to Amathus and also serves as the chief business officer at Faze Therapeutics. Prior to Amathus, he served in business development and operational roles at IFM Therapeutics, Biogen, Archemix, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, and Anterogen. He started his career as a research associate at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Hampe received his MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Ross Fredenburg, PhD

Dr. Fredenburg, is a founding member of the Amathus team. He brings expertise in mitochondrial drug development that he gained at Mitobridge. He has a deep understanding of neurodegenerative disease which he developed at Harvard Medical School, Link Medicine, and AstraZeneca Neuro iMed to the pursuit of activators of mitochondrial and ER-specific chaperones. Fredenburg leads the Parkinson’s disease program and the In Vitro Pharmacology group. He is a member of the Amathus leadership team and biology representative for external alliances.

Charlie Blum

Charlie Blum, PhD

Dr. Blum has more than 20 years of experience working as a Medicinal Chemist in drug discovery programs targeting GPCRs, ion channels and enzyme modulation. He is an inventor on 37 granted US patents covering compounds focused on the treatment of CNS and metabolic disorders.

Adam Talbot

Adam Talbot, PhD

Dr. Talbot has 15 years of experience optimizing small molecule modulators for the treatment of multiple disease indications. He has led chemistry teams at large and small companies around the world and is excited to help advance the unique drug discovery programs at Amathus.

Prem Rajkumar

Prem Rajkumar, PhD

Dr. Rajkumar completed his PhD at the University of Cincinnati and went on to study sensory GPCRs as a postdoc at Johns Hopkins. Before joining the Amathus team, he spent three years in the disease biology group at Recursion Pharmaceuticals identifying therapeutics for rare genetic disorders. In his free time, Rajkumar enjoys hiking, cooking, gardening and catching up on sports.

Scientific Advisory Board

Yiannis Ioannou

Yiannis Ioannou, PhD

Dr. Ioannou is a Professor of Genetics and Genomic Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York. He is an internationally recognized molecular geneticist and cell biologist and an expert on the biology, function and diseases of the endosomal/lysosomal system and, particularly, disorders that affect the central nervous system. He has more than 25 years of experience in drug development for rare diseases and he is the co-developer of the FDA-approved enzyme replacement therapy for Fabry’s Disease. Ioannou is a founder of Amathus Therapeutics and currently serves as Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board.

Peter T. Lansbury, PhD

Peter T. Lansbury, PhD

Dr. Lansbury is the Chief Scientific Officer at Bial Biotech, Inc., and Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. He moved to his current position at the Center of Neurologic Diseases in 1996 and was promoted to professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School in 2004. During this time, he founded the Laboratory for Drug Discovery in Neurodegeneration and the Morris K. Udall NIH Parkinson’s Disease Research Center of Excellence at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, which he directed for 10 years. He was the founder of Link Medicine, and served as its chief scientific officer from 2005 until its sale to AstraZeneca in 2012. Lansbury received his AB (cum laude) in chemistry from Princeton University and subsequently received his PhD in organic chemistry from Harvard University. His postdoctoral fellowship was spent at Rockefeller University.

Matt LaVoie, PhD

Matt LaVoie, PhD

Dr. LaVoie is professor and Fixel Family Chair of Neurology at the University Florida College of Medicine. He is also Co-Director of the Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Disease and the Associate Chair for Research, Department of Neurology and member of the Fixel Institute and McKnight Brain Institute. Previously, LaVoie was an associate professor of Neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. LaVoie serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation and the National Scientific Advisory Council for the American Foundation for Aging Research. He served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry from 2010-2015 and is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Brain Research

David Agard, PhD

David Agard, PhD

Dr. Agard is a Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco. Agard was the founding director of the California Institute for Bioengineering, Biotechnology and Quantitative Biomedical research in 2001 and was the USCF Director from 2001-2006. Agard is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (2007) and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science (2009). He served on the National Advisory General Medicines Sciences Counsel at the NIH, he is on the scientific advisory board of several companies, and was an HHMI investigator from 1986-2019. His research is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms of protein homeostasis with an emphasis on the Hsp90 molecular chaperone.

George P. Vlasuk, PhD

George P. Vlasuk, PhD

Dr. Vlasuk is a scientifically trained executive with nearly 40 years of leadership experience in drug discovery and development at small and large biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Previously, he served as President, CEO and CSO of Navitor Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and currently serves as a board member and consultant. Vlasuk is also on the boards of Nimbus Therapeutics and Riparian Pharmaceuticals as well as a consultant and scientific advisor to several biopharmaceutical companies and venture capital firms. Before joining Navitor, he served as CEO of Sirtris, a GlaxoSmithKline Company. Prior to Sirtris, Vlasuk was Vice President, Metabolic Disease and Hemophilia Research, at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. He also previously served as Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President of Research and Development at Corvas International, prior to the merger of Corvas and Dendreon Corporation and led a research team at Merck and Co. Vlasuk is the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications, book chapters and reviews and 38 issued patents.

Ole Isacson, MD, PhD

Ole Isacson, MD, PhD

Dr. Isacson is Professor of Neurology (Neuroscience) Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and the founding and current director of the Neuroregeneration Research Institute at McLean Hospital. Isacson’s laboratory elucidates biological processes, mechanisms and treatments of neuronal vulnerability in several neurodegenerative diseases, which has resulted in new biotechnologies for restorative treatments using molecular, gene therapy and cell replacement methods, including stem cell derived patient derived neurons. Isacson is faculty of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and member of the Michael J. Fox Foundation Executive Scientific Advisory Board, 2014-2016. He received The Lindahl Investigator Award from The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Bernard Sanberg Memorial Prize for Brain Repair. Isacson was President of the International Cell Transplant Society (TTS) from 2007-2008, and served as a US government FDA member at the FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), 2014-2016, and the CSO of Pfizer’s Neuroscience Division, 2016-2017. Isacson is the author or co-author of 400 scientific research articles and three books in his field, and the Editor-in-Chief of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience (2010-2016). Isacson was elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2013.

Yiannis Ioannou

Yiannis Ioannou, PhD

Dr. Ioannou is a Professor of Genetics and Genomic Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York. He is an internationally recognized molecular geneticist and cell biologist and an expert on the biology, function and diseases of the endosomal/lysosomal system and, particularly, disorders that affect the central nervous system. He has more than 25 years of experience in drug development for rare diseases and he is the co-developer of the FDA-approved enzyme replacement therapy for Fabry’s Disease. Ioannou is a founder of Amathus Therapeutics and currently serves as Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board.

Peter T. Lansbury, PhD

Peter T. Lansbury, PhD

Dr. Lansbury is the Chief Scientific Officer at Bial Biotech, Inc., and Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. He moved to his current position at the Center of Neurologic Diseases in 1996 and was promoted to professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School in 2004. During this time, he founded the Laboratory for Drug Discovery in Neurodegeneration and the Morris K. Udall NIH Parkinson’s Disease Research Center of Excellence at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, which he directed for 10 years. He was the founder of Link Medicine, and served as its chief scientific officer from 2005 until its sale to AstraZeneca in 2012. Lansbury received his AB (cum laude) in chemistry from Princeton University and subsequently received his PhD in organic chemistry from Harvard University. His postdoctoral fellowship was spent at Rockefeller University.

Matt LaVoie, PhD

Matt LaVoie, PhD

Dr. LaVoie is professor and Fixel Family Chair of Neurology at the University Florida College of Medicine. He is also Co-Director of the Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Disease and the Associate Chair for Research, Department of Neurology and member of the Fixel Institute and McKnight Brain Institute. Previously, LaVoie was an associate professor of Neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. LaVoie serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation and the National Scientific Advisory Council for the American Foundation for Aging Research. He served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry from 2010-2015 and is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Brain Research

David Agard, PhD

David Agard, PhD

Dr. Agard is a Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco. Agard was the founding director of the California Institute for Bioengineering, Biotechnology and Quantitative Biomedical research in 2001 and was the USCF Director from 2001-2006. Agard is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (2007) and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science (2009). He served on the National Advisory General Medicines Sciences Counsel at the NIH, he is on the scientific advisory board of several companies, and was an HHMI investigator from 1986-2019. His research is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms of protein homeostasis with an emphasis on the Hsp90 molecular chaperone.

George P. Vlasuk, PhD

George P. Vlasuk, PhD

Dr. Vlasuk is a scientifically trained executive with nearly 40 years of leadership experience in drug discovery and development at small and large biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Previously, he served as President, CEO and CSO of Navitor Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and currently serves as a board member and consultant. Vlasuk is also on the boards of Nimbus Therapeutics and Riparian Pharmaceuticals as well as a consultant and scientific advisor to several biopharmaceutical companies and venture capital firms. Before joining Navitor, he served as CEO of Sirtris, a GlaxoSmithKline Company. Prior to Sirtris, Vlasuk was Vice President, Metabolic Disease and Hemophilia Research, at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. He also previously served as Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President of Research and Development at Corvas International, prior to the merger of Corvas and Dendreon Corporation and led a research team at Merck and Co. Vlasuk is the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications, book chapters and reviews and 38 issued patents.

Ole Isacson, MD, PhD

Ole Isacson, MD, PhD

Dr. Isacson is Professor of Neurology (Neuroscience) Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and the founding and current director of the Neuroregeneration Research Institute at McLean Hospital. Isacson’s laboratory elucidates biological processes, mechanisms and treatments of neuronal vulnerability in several neurodegenerative diseases, which has resulted in new biotechnologies for restorative treatments using molecular, gene therapy and cell replacement methods, including stem cell derived patient derived neurons. Isacson is faculty of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and member of the Michael J. Fox Foundation Executive Scientific Advisory Board, 2014-2016. He received The Lindahl Investigator Award from The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Bernard Sanberg Memorial Prize for Brain Repair. Isacson was President of the International Cell Transplant Society (TTS) from 2007-2008, and served as a US government FDA member at the FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), 2014-2016, and the CSO of Pfizer’s Neuroscience Division, 2016-2017. Isacson is the author or co-author of 400 scientific research articles and three books in his field, and the Editor-in-Chief of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience (2010-2016). Isacson was elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2013.

Affiliations