Dr. Ford brings more than 30 years of neuroscience research, pharmacology, drug discovery and development experience from leading biopharmaceutical companies to his role as co-founder and chief executive officer. He became a co-founder of CuraSen in 2018. Dr Ford also holds senior advisory roles with Site1 Therapeutics and PharmNovo, both developing innovative therapies for pain and related indications, and for New Leaf Venture Partners, where he had previously held the title of venture partner. He is also an advisor to the Stanford SPARK program.
Prior to CuraSen, Dr. Ford co-founded Afferent Pharmaceuticals, and as chief scientific officer led the discovery and development of first-in-class P2X3 antagonists, including AF-219/MK-7264 (gefapixant), for chronic cough through Phase 3 readiness until the company’s acquisition by Merck in 2016 for more than $1 billion. Previously, he held several positions at Roche Pharmaceuticals (Palo Alto), including lastly as vice president of research and head of neuroscience, where he initiated and drove innovative programs in neurobiology.
Dr. Ford was trained in pharmacology at Bradford University and received a PhD in neuropharmacology from Nottingham University. He has published extensive research with a strong focus on therapeutics for poorly addressed neuroscience diseases.