Cortexyme, a privately held, clinical-stage pharmaceutical company developing therapeutics to alter the course of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other degenerative disorders, today announced two key leadership appointments. Veteran clinical development professional Michael Detke, M.D., Ph.D., has been appointed Chief Medical Officer and Chris Lowe, a longtime life sciences finance expert, is now the company’s Chief Financial Officer.
“Cortexyme had a very productive 2018, including the successful completion of our Series B financing and presentation of encouraging clinical data for COR388, our lead investigational medicine to treat Alzheimer’s, which will be starting phase 2 testing in 2019. Mike and Chris are seasoned clinical development and finance leaders, and their joining the Cortexyme team gives us additional momentum as we prepare for an impactful year,” said Casey Lynch, Cortexyme’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer.
As Chief Medical Officer, Michael Detke will oversee Cortexyme’s clinical development and regulatory affairs. Detke has extensive experience in CNS drug development, having most recently served as CMO of Embera NeuroTherapeutics, a clinical-stage company focused on treatment of addiction. Previously, he spent nine years at Eli Lilly, including as the Executive Director for Neuroscience Medical Research, where he oversaw all CNS assets in early development, and as Senior Medical Director for late-stage and post-market development of Cymbalta and Prozac, respectively. He has also served in a variety of roles at a number of CNS companies including CMO of MedAvante, a company focused on improving signal detection in clinical studies for psychiatry and cognition, and CoMentis, a company developing clinical stage therapeutics for cognitive impairment in schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. Detke received his Ph.D., M.D., and M.A. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, and his B.A. and M.S. from Yale University. He is a board-certified psychiatrist who trained in adult psychiatry at Massachusetts General & McLean Hospitals at Harvard University and has published over 70 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals.
“The combination of the early-stage clinical data that speak to COR388’s safety, tolerability, and potential activity in Alzheimer’s disease, as well as the growing body of research supporting the role of infection in AD, is extraordinarily compelling,” said Detke. “I’m excited to be working with the team as we advance this promising investigational medicine into phase 2 testing in 2019.”
As Chief Financial Officer, Chris Lowe will have responsibility for Cortexyme’s finance and investor relations functions, including strategic planning, fundraising, and financial reporting. Lowe’s 15+ years of senior management experience include experience as CFO, CBO, and CEO for private and public life sciences companies such as Asthmatx, Peninsula Pharmaceuticals and Anthera Pharmaceuticals. In January 2014, Lowe became a partner at FLG Partners, a leading CFO services and board advisory firm in Silicon Valley, where he also sits on FLG’s Management Committee. He has driven strategy and execution on initial public offerings, M&A, private and public financings, restructuring, licensing, and Wall Street communications, among other functions. Additionally, he has served as a member of the Board of Directors of both public and private companies, and has chaired their respective Audit Committees and Compensation Committees. He received his M.B.A. from St. Mary’s University and his B.S. from California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo.
“Cortexyme has made impressive clinical and corporate progress since its founding, raising more than $100 million to support a fast-moving drug discovery and development organization,” said Lowe. “The opportunity from both an investor and patient benefit perspective is clear, and I’m looking forward to collaborating on a long-term financial strategy that will serve Cortexyme well as it moves its pipeline through clinical testing.”
Cortexyme is a privately held, clinical-stage pharmaceutical company developing therapeutics to alter the course of Alzheimer’s and other degenerative disorders. Cortexyme is targeting a specific, infectious pathogen tied to neurodegeneration and chronic inflammation in humans and animal models. The company’s lead compound, COR388, is entering phase 2 development; additional proprietary small molecules are moving forward in preclinical development. Cortexyme’s investors include one of the world’s largest mutual funds, Sequoia Capital, Vulcan Capital, Verily Life Sciences, EPIQ Capital Group, RSL Investments, Lamond Family, Pfizer, Takeda Ventures, Breakout Ventures, Dolby Family Ventures, and Breakout Labs among others. For more information on Cortexyme, visit www.cortexyme.com.