BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - May 2, 2011) - Prexa Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company developing therapies for central nervous system (CNS) diseases and disorders, today announced key management appointments as it prepares to begin IND-enabling studies for its lead product candidate PRX-12251. Scott Reines, M.D., Ph.D., will serve as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and Evelyn Graham, M.B.A. will serve as Chief Operating Officer (COO), effective immediately. Prexa is developing oral small molecule monoamine reuptake inhibitors that act most potently at the dopamine transporter. By safely enhancing dopamine activity, and to a lesser extent norepinepherine activity, Prexa intends to improve upon the safety and efficacy of current treatments for ADHD, depression and Parkinson's disease.
"Both Scott and Ev have impressive backgrounds, and I feel confident that they have the skills and experience to drive Prexa's success," said Charles Cohen, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO of Prexa. "Scott's prior accomplishments bringing many CNS products through the clinic, and Ev's ability to adeptly manage the operations of both large and small companies, will provide the expertise we need to prepare our first product candidate for IND-enabling studies."
Dr. Reines has more than 30 years of broad drug development experience, rising to the senior executive rank within pharmaceutical research and development. He previously served as Senior Vice President for CNS, Pain, and Translational Medicine at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical R&D, where he led the development of new treatments for several CNS diseases and disorders. Prior to this position, Dr. Reines held the position of Vice President, Clinical Research at Merck. In addition to his work as CMO at Prexa, he currently consults for several biotech and pharmaceutical companies, as well as for venture capital firms. Dr. Reines received his A.B. magna cum laude in Chemistry from Cornell University, his Ph.D. in Bio/organic Chemistry from Columbia University, and his M.D. from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he went on to complete his residency in Psychiatry. He has published in numerous scientific journals, and served on committees at both the Foundation for NIH and the NIH itself, where he was a member of the National Drug Abuse Advisory Council.
Ms. Graham has demonstrated scientific, operational and leadership skills in public and private pharmaceutical, contract research, and biotechnology firms for more than 25 years. Ms. Graham was the Chief Operating Officer and then Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of TorreyPines Therapeutics, Inc., a public biotech company focused on developing novel small molecules to treat CNS diseases and disorders. Prior to joining TorreyPines, Ms. Graham held senior management positions at Purdue Pharma; Ingenix Pharmaceutical Services, a division of UHG; Worldwide Clinical Trials, Inc.; and Bayer Corporation. Ms. Graham currently serves on the Board of Directors of CalciMedica, Inc. a private biotechnology company. Ms. Graham holds a B.A. in Biology from the University of Delaware and an M.B.A. from the University of Connecticut.
About Prexa Pharmaceuticals
Prexa Pharmaceuticals is developing a pipeline of early stage products with primary action on the neurotransmitter dopamine, potentially providing new alternatives to treating CNS diseases and disorders such as ADHD, depression and Parkinson's disease. The Company's lead product candidate, PRX-12251, is a unique dopamine-preferring triple reuptake inhibitor and is entering IND-enabling studies. Prexa's product pipeline also includes mono and dual reuptake inhibitors which are targeted for partnerships with leading biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Learn more at www.prexainc.com