Tasos Zografidis, MS, PhD
Dr. Zografidis, the Vice President Clinical Operations of Anavex, has over 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry, including 12 years at Wyeth (now Pfizer) in clinical project management and prior to joining Anavex most recently served as clinical and pharmaceutical consultant. He has been involved in more than a dozen clinical trials and has co-authored numerous publications. At Wyeth, Dr. Zografidis spearheaded population pharmacokinetics analysis and its implementation in the clinical setting and positively differentiated compounds. His work resulted in increased sales and he received several clinical awards for his accomplishments. Dr. Zografidis first joined Wyeth in 1998 as a Product Manager. During his tenure until 2010, he had increased responsibility as Medical Liaison for the transplantation, haemophilia and oncology divisions where he was instrumental in driving sales in assigned European territories.
Bernd Metzner, PhD
Bernd Metzner, PhD, a director of Anavex, is currently Chief Financial Officer of the Doehler Group, a global producer and provider of technology-based natural ingredients for the food and beverage industry with sales activities in more than 130 countries. Previously, he was Chief Administration Officer and member of the Board of Management of Bayer Schering Pharma AG, the pharmaceutical division of $100+ billion market cap company Bayer AG. In this position, Dr. Metzner had worldwide financial responsibility for the Bayer Pharma Group. During his almost 10-years with Bayer AG, Dr. Metzner also held several senior international management positions in the corporate finance organization of Bayer AG, including Chief Financial Officer of Bayer S.p.A. Italy and heading the coordination of the successful spin-off of Lanxess, a specialty chemicals group. Dr. Metzner started his career at the law firm Flick Gocke Schaumburg and has a degree in business administration from the University of Siegen. After obtaining his doctorate, he became a chartered accountant.
Elliot Favus, MD
Elliot Favus, MD, a director of Anavex, is Chief Executive Officer of Favus Institutional Research, a healthcare research firm serving institutional investors. He has been a healthcare equity research analyst on Wall Street since 2006, starting at Lazard Capital Markets and subsequently at Och-Ziff Capital Management Group. Prior to working on Wall Street, Dr. Favus was an Instructor in medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. He attended the University of Michigan (BA, 1996), the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine (MD, 2001) and the NYU-Bellevue Hospital Internal Medicine Residency Program (2004). He is board-certified in Internal Medicine (2004) and has 10 years of basic science laboratory experience working on human genetics projects at Harvard Medical School, the University of Chicago and the University of Pittsburgh.
Mr. Skarpelos, a director of Anavex, is a self-employed investor with 17 years of experience working with private and public companies. For the past 10 years, he has been focused on biotechnology companies involved in drug discovery and drug development projects.Mr. Skarpelos was engaged as a consultant to Anavex Life Sciences for one year effective August 2, 2010. His experience has led to relationships with researchers at academic institutes in Europe and North America. Mr. Skarpelos is a founder of Anavex Life Sciences, and is its largest shareholder.
Steffen Thomas, PhD
Steffen Thomas, PhD, a director of Anavex, has over 15 years of experience as a European patent attorney and is currently practicing at Epping Hermann Fischer, a major intellectual property law firm in Europe. Previously, he worked for Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, the largest pharmaceutical company in Asia and a top firm worldwide, as an in-house patent attorney. Prior to that, he worked for Nycomed Pharma, acquired by Takeda in 2011 for approximately USD $10 billion. Dr. Thomas’ legal practice covers drafting of patent applications, prosecuting patent applications before national and international patent offices, defending and challenging patents in opposition, appeal, and nullity proceedings, enforcing patents before the infringement courts, and preparing opinions on patentability and infringement in the technical field of chemistry. Dr. Thomas has particular expertise in small molecule pharmaceuticals. He holds MS and PhD degrees in Chemistry from the University of Munich.
Abraham Fisher, PhD
A member of the Scientific Advisory Board, Dr. Fisher has nearly 40 years of experience in drug design and discovery. He has taken lead compounds including AF102B (EVOXAC®, cevimeline HCl) from concept to approval. AF102B is the first muscarinic agonist approved for sale in the U.S. (2000) and in Japan (2001) to treat dry mouth in patients with Sjoergen’s Syndrome. Dr. Fisher is also the inventor of AF710B (renamed ANAVEX 3-71). Dr. Fisher is co-founding Chairman and President of the Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases Conference,is on the scientific review board of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation and is a reviewer of the Alzheimer’s Association. He is named on 21 patents worldwide, is the author of numerous peer-reviewed papers and academic book chapters and is associate editor of Current Alzheimer Research. He also serves on the editorial board of Neurodegenerative Diseases and was on the editorial boards of CNS Drug Reviews, Japanese Journal of Pharmacology and Drug Development Research. Currently Dr. Fisher is a visiting professor at the Department of Neurobiology at the Weizmann Institute in Israel. Previously he was senior scientist at the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) and held faculty appointments as adjunct professor in the Departments of Pharmacology and Psychiatry, Southern Illinois University and in the School of Medicine, Department of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, University of Miami.
Norman Relkin, MD, PhD
A member of the Scientific Advisory Board, Dr. Relkin is an internationally recognized expert on Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. An American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology-certified neurologist, he graduated from Yale and earned MD and PhD degrees from New York’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Relkin is an Associate Professor of Neurology at the Weill Cornell Medical College and Founding Director of the Weill Cornell Memory Disorders Program. He has 20+ years of clinical trials experience, serving as principal investigator in over 20 therapeutic studies, including multi-center trials he designed. Over the past decade, Dr. Relkin pioneered the study of naturally occurring human antibodies for the treatment of Alzheimer’s. He led all three clinical trial phases of Intravenous Immunoglobulin as a potential Alzheimer’s treatment, including the pivotal National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Baxter co-sponsored study carried out at 45 sites (US and Canada). The author of numerous publications on neurodegenerative and traumatic disorders of the brain during the past 25 years, Dr. Relkin sits on editorial boards for three scientific journals. Additionally, he has been a reviewer for NIH and funding agencies in Europe and Australia, and has been a long-standing member of the Weill Cornell Institutional Review Board. In 2012, he was elected to the Board of Directors of The American Federation for Aging Research.
Michael Gold, MD
A member of the Scientific Advisory Board, Dr. Gold has over 20 years of experience in the clinical development of Alzheimer’s and other central nervous system (CNS) drugs, and currently serves as Vice President of the CNS practice at UCB, Inc., a global biopharmaceutical company. His background also includes leadership roles with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS). At GSK, Dr. Gold was responsible for the late-stage CNS and pain portfolio. He also led several clinical Phase II and Phase III Alzheimer’s disease-related project teams. At J&J, Dr. Gold served as the Compound Development Team Leader for Galantamine, an Alzheimer’s drug, culminating in FDA approval of Galantamine CR (Razadyne® ER). Prior to joining UCB, Dr. Gold served as the Chief Medical Officer of Allon Therapeutics, where he led a large pan-US and European clinical study for a neurodegenerative disease. Before joining the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Gold was an Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida (USF) College of Medicine Department of Neurology and Director of the USF Memory Disorders Clinic. During this time, he was the Principal Investigator for several clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease. He has also authored multiple publications related to Alzheimer’s and dementia. Dr. Gold also holds an academic appointment as an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
John Harrison, PhD
A member of the Scientific Advisory Board, Dr. Harrison is an internationally acknowledged specialist for design of human clinical outcome measurement in Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive impairments. Dr. Harrison has successfully integrated cognitive testing into drug development programs for many pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies including eight of the current ‘Fortune’ top 10 pharmaceutical companies. He is Honorary Senior Lecturer in the Department of Medicine at Imperial College in London, focusing on investigating cognitive change that may show disease progression in Alzheimer’s and other related indications. Dr. Harrison is a member of the American Psychological Association, holds Chartered Psychologist status with the British Psychological Society and Chartered Scientist status with the UK Science Council. He has authored/co-authored more than 60 books and scientific articles and has been invited as a specialist for cognitive tests at many international meetings, including the European Task Force for Alzheimer’s disease and American Alzheimer’s Association roundtable events. Dr. Harrison’s background also includes prior positions as Head of Neuropsychology at CeNeS Pharmaceuticals, Principal Consultant at CPC Pharma Services, and Principal Scientist at CogState Ltd. In addition to his current academic appointment, he is principal consultant at Metis Cognition Ltd and holds a PhD in neuroscience from the University of London.
Ottavio Arancio, MD, PhD
A member of the Scientific Advisory Board, Dr. Arancio is a cellular neurobiologist who has pioneered the field of mechanisms of synaptic dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease. He is Associate Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology at the Columbia University Medical Center and The Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain, Columbia University. Over the last 10 years, Dr. Arancio has raised more than $25 million in grant funding and published more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers. Dr Arancio’s honors include the “G. Moruzzi Fellowship” (Georgetown University), the “Anna Villa Rusconi Foundation Prize” (Italy), the “INSERM Poste vert Fellowship” (France), the Edward N. and Della L. Thome Memorial Foundation Award (2010), the Margaret Cahn Research Award (2008), the American Health Assistance Foundation Centennial Award (2007) and the Zenith Award (2007). He also founded Citta Pharmaceuticals, a biotech company for development of small molecules to treat Alzheimer’s disease.
Tangui Nicolas Maurice, Ph.D.
A member of the Scientific Advisory Board, Dr. Maurice has spent 15 years in the field of neurosciences, including behavioral and molecular neuropharmacology, sigma receptors, neuropeptides, neurosteroids, neurotrophic factors, normal/pathological aging models for Alzheimer’s and related disorders, and behavioral phenotyping of rodent models. Dr. Maurice is a researcher at the Institut national de la sante et de la recherche medicale (INSERM) U710 at Montpellier. He has also held research positions at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), INSERM U336, the department of neuropsychopharmacology and hospital pharmacy at Meijo University (Nagoya, Japan), and Jouveinal Research Institute (Fresnes, France).
Jeffrey Cummings, MD
A clinical expert on the Anavex Scientific Advisory Board, Dr. Jeffrey Cummings is Professor of Neurotherapeutics and Drug Development in the Neurological Institute, Cleveland Clinic. He is Director of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, Las Vegas, Nevada and Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Jeffrey Cummings graduated magna cum laude from the University of Wyoming, Laramie and obtained his MD degree (with thesis) from the University of Washington, Seattle. He completed internship at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut and did his Neurology residency at Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Cummings was formerly the Augustus S. Rose Professor of Neurology and Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA. He was the Director of the Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research at UCLA and Director of the Deane F. Johnson Center for Neurotherapeutics at UCLA. Dr. Cummings has expertise in neuropsychiatric assessment, outcomes in clinical trials, clinical trial design and analysis, and global clinical trials. He is a frequent consultant to industry. Dr. Cummings has authored more than 500 peer-reviewed papers and 30 books on Alzheimer’s disease, neuropsychiatry, and clinical trials. Dr. Cummings’ interests embrace the neuropsychiatry of neurologic disorders, biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases, and clinical trials and drug development for neurologic diseases.
Paul Aisen, MD
A clinical expert on the Anavex Scientific Advisory Board, Dr. Aisen is a leading clinician and researcher in Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials and is on the faculty of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine’s Department of Neurosciences. His primary research interests focus on the development of new strategies for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Since 2007, Dr. Aisen has been Director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study, a consortium funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) to develop assessment instruments and conduct clinical trials. Dr. Aisen is Associate Editor of Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy, a major international peer-reviewed journal, and sits on the editorial board of BMC Medicine. He has published more than 180 peer-reviewed papers.
Corinne Lasmézas, DVM, PhD
A member of the Scientific Advisory Board, Professor at The Scripps Research Institute for the past 10 years and frequent TED Speaker, Dr. Lasmézas is an internationally recognized expert in the field of neurodegenerative diseases with a focus now on studying the mechanisms of neurodegeneration. Since her appointment at Scripps in 2005, Dr. Lasmézas has focused on how misfolded proteins lead to neuronal dysfunction and loss in diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and prion diseases. Additionally, Dr. Lasmézas is a reviewer for national and private funding agencies worldwide, including the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the UK Medical Research Council, and an advisor for the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). She has published more than 60 original scientific papers. Earlier in her career, Dr. Lasmézas’ research provided the first experimental evidence that the prion disease “mad cow disease” had been transmitted to humans, causing variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. This fatal disease belongs to the same group of age-related neurodegenerative diseases as Alzheimer and Parkinson’s diseases, caused by aggregates of misfolded proteins. At the peak of the mad cow crisis, Dr. Lasmézas became an advisor to the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as several governmental and public health committees. Dr. Lasmézas holds a PhD in Neurosciences from the University Pierre & Marie Curie in Paris and obtained her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine and Diploma of Aeronautic and Space Medicine from the University of Toulouse, France.
Jacqueline French, MD, FAAN
A member of the Scientific Advisory Board, professor in the Department of Neurology at New York University (NYU), Co-Director of Epilepsy Research and Clinical Trials at NYU’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center and Director of the Epilepsy Study Consortium, Dr. French is an award-winning, internationally recognized expert on epilepsy, new therapeutic interventions and clinical trial methodology. She plays an ongoing leadership role in the area of development of new therapeutics for epilepsy, including co-directing a bi-annual symposium on trial design and its implications and holds positions on committees of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), where she has also co-authored several AAN clinical practice guidelines. Broadly published, including numerous research articles, editorials and chapters, her writings have been featured in respected publications including The New England Journal of Medicine, Neuron, Neuro Image, Epilepsy Currents and Lancet Neurology. She has also edited two books on epilepsy and is an in-demand global speaker on antiepileptic drug therapeutics and related topics. Previously, Dr. French was Assistant Dean for Clinical Trials at the University of Pennsylvania, a recent President of the American Epilepsy Society, Secretary of the American Society of Experimental Neurotherapeutics, and worked with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) developing new trial designs for the approval of antiepileptic drugs. Dr. French trained in Neurology at Mount Sinai Hospital (New York), and did her fellowship training in EEG and epilepsy at Mount Sinai Hospital and Yale University. She was the recipient of the Epilepsy Foundation’s 2013 Hero of Epilepsy Award, honoring her longtime contributions to epilepsy research and clinical trials, alongside her significant impact on the epilepsy community.