Asceneuron appoints J. Michael Ryan, M.D. as Chief Medical Officer


Lausanne, Switzerland, December 6, 2016 - Asceneuron SA, an emerging leader in the development of innovative small molecules for neurodegenerative diseases, today announced the appointment of J. Michael Ryan, M.D. as Chief Medical Officer. With over 15 years of Central Nervous System (CNS) clinical research experience, Michael brings extensive drug development expertise to Asceneuron. He will be responsible for advancing Asceneuron’s pipeline of innovative small molecules and progressing tau modifiers through the clinic.

Michael joins Asceneuron from Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, where he was Vice President in the Neuroscience Development Franchise and Therapeutic Area Head for Neurodegeneration for five years. At Novartis, he worked on the clinical development strategy and led programmes in a number of CNS indications including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Schizophrenia. He has also held a number of senior clinical research and development positions at several multi-national companies including Pfizer, Wyeth Research, and MSD Research Laboratories (known as Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany Research Laboratories in the United States).

Michael completed training in geriatric psychiatry and neuropsychiatry at Dartmouth Medical School and has published over 30 scientific articles on neurodegenerative diseases. He has held academic positions at Dartmouth Medical School and the University of Rochester, where he co-directed the Geriatric Neurology & Psychiatry Clinic until 2004. Michael holds an M.D. in Medicine from the Medical University of South Carolina and a B.S. in Biology from Georgetown University.

Dirk Beher, CEO of Asceneuron, commented: “We are delighted to welcome Michael to the Asceneuron team. His outstanding track record and expertise in neurodegenerative disease are crucial as we are about to progress our first highly brain penetrant and orally bioavailable tau modifier into the clinic for the treatment of a number of orphan CNS disorders. We look forward to working with Michael in addressing this high unmet medical need and developing our pipeline to bring our innovative small-molecule therapeutics to patients.”

Michael Ryan, newly appointed CMO of Asceneuron, added: “Asceneuron is at an exciting stage of development as it looks to take its tau modifiers into the clinic. I look forward to working with such a highly experienced board and dynamic team as we progress the pipeline and develop important treatment options for patients with neurodegenerative diseases.”

For further information, please contact:
Dirk Beher, CEO

Hume Brophy
Conor Griffin, Alexia Faure, Alex Protsenko
Tel: +44 (0)20 7862 6395

About Asceneuron
Asceneuron is an emerging biotech company excelling in the development of orally bioavailable therapeutics for debilitating neurodegenerative disorders with high unmet medical needs such as orphan tauopathies, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. The lead product, an O-GlcNAcase inhibitor that in preclinical studies has been demonstrated to modulate tau pathology, is currently completing the critical regulatory studies to initiate human clinical testing. The O-GlcNAcase inhibitor is being developed for the orphan tauopathy progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). Asceneuron is a privately held company financed by a strong syndicate of investors consisting of Sofinnova Partners, SR One, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. (JJDC), Kurma Partners and M Ventures. For more information, please visit