Alzheimer’s disease research pioneer joins SAB as Herophilus pursues mission to develop cures for complex brain diseases
SAN FRANCISCO, December 08, 2021--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Herophilus, a leading biotechnology company developing neurotherapeutics to cure complex brain diseases, today announced that the company is expanding its scientific advisory board with the appointment of Kenneth S. Kosik, M.A., M.D. As one of the world’s leading experts on Alzheimer’s disease, Dr. Kosik will provide scientific guidance as Herophilus advances its pipeline of novel drugs for complex neurological and psychiatric diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Kosik brings more than 25 years of experience doing internationally renowned research in Alzheimer’s disease. His work with early onset familial Alzheimer’s disease in Colombia was the basis for a novel prevention trial to treat Alzheimer’s disease. He was also a key driver in the discovery of Tau protein in the Alzheimer neurofibrillary tangle, with many follow-up studies on the biology and pathobiology of Tau. Dr. Kosik’s published papers cover synaptic plasticity, stem cells, synapse evolution, and the biology of Alzheimer’s disease. He was awarded the 2021 Potamkin Prize for his work in Alzheimer’s research.
"Understanding the complicated biology underlying neurological diseases is a critical part of the process of discovering and developing transformative medicines, and I believe Herophilus has the vision and technical capabilities to deliver long hoped-for advances," said Dr. Kosik.
With patient-derived stem cells, Herophilus develops brain organoids that recapitulate brain activity and allow researchers to study neurological disease processes as they would occur in the human brain. The robotic automation used to develop the organoids at scale allows the company to gather vast amounts of rich data about neurological diseases. Advanced machine learning then analyzes the data to generate a deep understanding of human brain disease, which is used to aid the drug development process in a number of ways. In contrast to traditional single target-focused drug discovery, Herophilus’s approach yields robust drug candidates with significantly increased confidence of clinical efficacy, identifies polypharmacologic drugs and combination therapies, and ultimately enables systematic drug discovery for complex brain diseases. In addition to internal drug programs for diseases including Rett syndrome, Herophilus has several discovery projects specific to Alzheimer’s disease.
"Kenneth’s extraordinary work in Alzheimer’s disease and basic brain function has for decades enabled researchers and physicians to make breakthroughs in making sense of and ultimately treating the disease," said Saul Kato, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Herophilus. "We’re honored to welcome him to Herophilus’s scientific advisory board, aligned in deep biological and scientific inquiry, to develop a cure for devastating neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s."
"As we continue to leverage Herophilus’s unique approach and technology to advance the boundaries of innovative drug discovery, Kenneth’s perspective and expertise will be invaluable," said Sharath Hegde, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Herophilus. "We are thrilled to have his insight and look forward to collaborating on moving the needle in drug discovery for neurodegenerative disease."
Dr. Kosik obtained his B.A. and M.A. in English literature from Case Western Reserve University and his M.D. from the Medical College of Pennsylvania. He has held a number of academic and medical appointments including at Harvard Medical School, McLean Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, the Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. In 2004, Dr. Kosik became the Harriman Professor of Neuroscience Research and Co-Director of the Neuroscience Research Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Kosik has been recognized for his work in science and medicine with numerous awards including a Whitaker Health Sciences Award from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Milton Foundation Award from Harvard Medical School.
Herophilus is a San Francisco-based neurotherapeutics company focused on curing complex brain diseases. The company’s platform combines brain organoid science, systems neuroscience approaches, robotic automation, and advanced machine learning techniques to scale the ability to discover novel drugs for complex neurological and psychiatric diseases. In an industry-first approach, the company employs multimodal phenotypic screening to discover characterizations of diseases never before achievable. These "deep phenotypes" are exploited to identify novel therapeutic targets and drug treatments for disorders for which current discovery techniques have proved least successful, including neurodevelopmental, psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. To learn more, visit www.herophilus.com
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