SAN MATEO, Calif., Nov. 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — CuraSen Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held biotechnology company focused on developing therapies to treat neurodegenerative diseases, today announced that it has appointed Gabriel Vargas, MD, PhD, as chief medical officer. Dr. Vargas brings to CuraSen more than 12 years of experience in early drug development and neuroscience expertise.
“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Vargas to the CuraSen team,” said Anthony Ford, PhD, chief executive officer (CEO) of CuraSen. “Gabriel’s experience in translational medicine and early clinical development of neurotherapeutics, along with research in pharmacology of relevant neuroscience targets, make him ideally suited to spearhead CuraSen’s clinical development programs.”
“I’m very excited to join CuraSen, which offers a compelling and novel approach to exploring a mechanism in the brain that has been largely overlooked but clearly plays a role in the neurodegenerative process,” said Dr. Vargas. “I look forward to leveraging those insights to guide development of targeted therapies that may alleviate critical disabling symptoms in a range of debilitating neurodegenerative diseases with no viable treatment options.”
Dr. Vargas was board certified in 2003 by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and currently serves as a volunteer associate clinical professor in psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He was most recently executive medical director, digital health and neuroscience therapeutic area head for early development at Amgen, where he was responsible for the neuroscience portfolio strategy from preclinical research through early development. In this capacity, he led the early development of the recently FDA-approved migraine prophylactic, Aimovig™. Previously, he served as biomarker expert, translational medicine leader and director of discovery medicine at Hoffmann La Roche and Roche Palo Alto.
Dr. Vargas received his MD and PhD in biochemistry from the University of California, Irvine, and completed his residency and fellowship in psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
In October 2018, CuraSen announced the closing of a $54.5 million Series A financing. Key research advanced by Mehrdad Shamloo, PhD, has laid the foundation for CuraSen’s programs and is licensed from Stanford University.