PRAGMA TEAM

Executive Team

SCelanireSylvain Celanire, PhD

CEO, co-founder

Dr. Celanire gather 15 years of experience in drug discovery and development in the pharmaceutical industry. He holds a PhD in medicinal chemistry from the University of Rouen (1999). During two successive postdoctoral fellowship at the Universtiy of Orleans and Oxford, he collaborated with Teva (formerly Cephalon/Laboratories Laffon) and Hoffmann-la Roche on natural product syntheses with broad anticancer and antibiotic therapeutic applications respectively. In 2002, he joined UCB CNS Center (Belgium), leading multiple preclinical programs targeting neurodegenerative and neurological disorders, in particular first-in-class Histamine H3R modulators, leading ultimately to clinical candidate UCB2892. In 2007, Dr. Celanire joined the Swiss biotech Addex Therapeutics where he successfully hold the positions of Project Leader, Group Leader of the CNS Medecinal Chemistry Unit and Associate Research Director until 2013. He advanced multiple programs and first-in-class orally active small molecules acting as positive and negative allosteric modulators of metabotropic glutamate receptors therapeutic class (mGlu2, mGlu4) from hits to preclinical candidates. In particular, he developed best-in-class mGlu4 PAMs in collaboration with Merck&Co – US for Parkinson’s disease, with additional therapeutic potential in anxiety, autism and multiple sclerosis. Dr. Celanire was also involved in the in&out licensing project portfolio evaluation with US and European companies.

Dr. Celanire has co-authored more than 26 original research articles, review articles and book chapters as well served as editor for Springer Drug Discovery series. He is co-inventor of more than 20 patents applications.

 

Guillaume DuveyGuillaume Duvey, PhD

CSO, co-founder

Dr Duvey has spent 15 years in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, focusing on drug discovery and development for critical diseases in the neuroscience field. After a PhD in medicinal chemistry awarded in 2000 from University of Rouen (France), Dr. Duvey joined the R&D division of Janssen in France to advance several research programs in the various fields of oncology, virology and CNS disorders. In 2004, he joined the Swiss biotechnology start-up Addex therapeutics where he led several preclinical programs, developing in particular novel allosteric modulators for glutamate receptors (mGlu2, mGlu5 and mGlu7) for various indications. These discoveries led to numerous small molecule clinical candidate nominations for therapeutic indications like Parkinson’s disease, anxiety, pain, gastroesophageal reflux disease and mood disorders. Dr. Duvey notably led the research collaboration with Janssen Pharaceuticals in Belgium and Spain (J&J group), to develop novel mGlu2 allosteric modulators for the treatment of schizophrenia and anxious depression. This collaboration successfully allowed the identification of the clinical candidate ADX71149/JNJ40411813 currently in Phase 2 clinical development. In 2010, he held senior scientific management position, and as Group Leader was responsible for the medicinal chemistry of the metabolic disorder and inflammation business units, driving a team of 11 scientists. He is co-author of more than 25 patents and peer-reviewed articles, as well as a book chapter dedicated to drugs acting on mGlu2 and mGlu5.

In addition to his scientific accomplishments, Dr. Duvey served as Research Director from 2012, where he was responsible for developing strategical scientific partnerships and technological platform integrating modern techniques for identification, characterization and optimization of preclinical molecules for novel targets and new indications.

As CSO, Dr. Duvey will oversee the scientific operations of the company and will drive forward PRAGMA’s program, both in house and through partners,  into clinical Proof-of-Concept studies.

 

Advisors

Pr. John Krystal, MD

Professor John Krystal is is a leading expert in the areas of post-traumatic stress disorder, alcoholism, and schizophrenia, with more than 400 papers and reviews published. His work links psychopharmacology, neuroimaging, and molecular genetics to study the neurobiology and to develop novel treatments for these disorders using glutamatergic-based approaches (NMDA and mGluR modulation).

Currently, Professor Krystal is Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience; Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Chief of Psychiatry at the Yale-New Haven Hospital. He is also Director of the Clinical Neuroscience Division at the VA National Center for PTSD.

He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine. He also serves in a variety of advisory and review capacities for NIAAA, NIMH, Wellcome Trust, Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, and the Karolinska Institute. He previously served on the National Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Advisory Council (NIAAA), the Department of Defense Psychological Health Advisory Committee, the NIMH Board of Scientific Counselors (chair, 2005-2007), American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (president, 2012), and International College of Neuropsychopharmacology (president-elect). Dr. Krystal received a number of awards, including the Joel Elkes Award of the ACNP and the Anna-Monika Foundation Prize for Depression Research. Professor Krystal received his MD from Yale University in 1984.

 

Pr. David Diamond, PhD

Professor David Diamond is the Director of the Center for Preclinical and Clinical Research on PTSD and director of the USF Neuroscience Collaborative Program. Dr. Diamond is Professor of Psychology, Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of South Florida, Tampa – USA, Fellow at the American Institute of Stress, and Research Career Scientist in the Medical Research and Development Service at the Tampa Veterans Hospital in Tampa. After a PhD awarded in 1985 focus on behavioral Neuroscience (Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, University of California, Irvine), he then conducted post-doctoral research at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, where he developed his research program on the influence of psychological stress on the brain and memory. He is currently directing his research program on animal models of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI), as well as clinical studies on people diagnosed with PTSD. He has served on federal government study sections and committees evaluating research on the neurobiology of stress and memory, including a national program designed to develop a biologically-based diagnosis of PTSD.

Dr. Diamond has approximately 100 publications and review articles on the brain and memory, including research on PTSD and Alzheimer’s disease. He serves on the editorial boards of numerous medical journals, and has received over 25 years of federally funded support for his research, including current awards from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense.

 

Pr. Jean-Philippe Pin, PhD

Professor Jean-Philippe Pin participated in the worldwide discovery of the metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs). After a PhD in Molecular Biology in 1987 (University of Montpellier 2, France, he cloned and characterized new mGlu receptor variants during a post-doctoral fellowship at the Salk Institute. In 1992, he joined Joel Bockaert’s laboratory in Montpellier directing a research program focused on the structure function relationship of mGluRs. Since 2003, he is head of the Molecular Pharmacology Department within the Institute of Functional Genomics (Montpellier, France), and became its director in January 2011. His research is focused on the molecular and cellular dynamics of GPCRs, mostly mGlu and GABAB receptors. His studies led to new concepts such as the activation of cell surface receptors by intracellular proteins, the regulation of GPCRs by both negative and positive allosteric modulators, the asymmetric functioning of GPCR dimers.

Professor Pin is co-author of 161 scientific papers, 46 review articles and 24 book chapters, and co-inventor of 10 patent applications. He serves on numerous editorial boards of international journals (e.g. Molecular Pharmacology, Journal of Biological Chemistry, European Journal of Neuroscience and European Journal of Pharmacology). He is recipient of several honors and awards including “Chemistry bell” price of the Hubei province, China (2010), Prix “Coup d’élan pour la recherche française”, Fondation Bettencourt Shuller (2011) and lastly the French CNRS Silver medal.

 

JCryanPr. John F. Cryan, PhD

John F. Cryan is Professor & Chair, Dept. of Anatomy & Neuroscience, University College Cork, and Principal Investigator in the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre.

After a PhD at National University of Ireland, Galway, he was a visiting fellow at the Dept. of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, Australia, followed by postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California, USA. He then spent four years in the Behavioural Pharmacology Dept. at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Basel Switzerland, prior to joining UCC in 2005 as a Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology in the School of Pharmacy and in the Dept. Pharmacology & Therapeutics.

Pr. Cryan has edited several books, and published over 250 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, including articles in high-impact journals such as PNAS, Nature Reviews Neuroscience and Drug Discovery, Molecular Psychiatry, Biological Psychiatry and Gastroenterology. Pr. Cryan also serves on several editorial boards of journals such as Neuropharmacology and Nutritional Neuroscience, British Journal of Pharmacology, and International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology.

Professor Cryan received numerous awards, such as the Wyeth Psychopharmacology Award from British Association of Psychopharmacology and the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) Fellowship Award. In 2014 Professor Cryan was cited as The World’s most Influential Scientific Minds, and invited speaker at TEDMED.

 

Guy Griebel, PhD

Dr. Griebel is a leading expert in neuropsychopharmacology with a focus on psychiatric disorders, including anxiety, stress-related disorders and PTSD. He obtained his PhD in psychopharmacology in 1993 from University Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg (France), and simultaneously trained in the Department of Behavioral Pharmacology at Roche (Basel, Switzerland), where he worked on the involvement of the serotonergic system in the modulation of anxiety.

Dr. Griebel is currently Director, Evaluation & Valorization, at Sanofi, Strategy, Science Policy & External Innovation in France. Prior to this position, he served as Global Head of the Department of Psychopharmacology at Sanofi USA and France where he played a key role in the discovery, characterization, and clinical testing of a variety of psychoactive compounds in areas such as anxiety disorders, depression, drug addiction, sleep disorders, and schizophrenia. He has a prodigious track-record with 8 first-in-class drugs discovered, developed, and moved to the clinic between 2001 and 2008. These include V1b antagonist SSR149415 (Phase 2b), GABAA2/3 agonist SL651498 (Phase 2b), CRF1 antagonist SSR125543 (Phase 2b), NK2 antagonist Saredutant (Phase 3) and 5-HT2 antagonist Eplivanserin (Phase 3).

Dr Griebel has published over 130 articles in peer-reviewed journals, including first-authored reports in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, PNAS, Biological Psychiatry, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and co-authors on several book chapters raleted to psychiatric disorders.

 

Vincent Mutel, PhD

Dr. Vincent Mutel, is currently CEO and Board member of InflamAlps and Tauderma biotechs. He was previoulsy CEO, co-founder and vice chairman of the board of Addex Pharmaceuticals Ltd, a well-established public Swiss biotech, pioneer in allosteric modulation of metabotropic glutamate receptors class. Dr Mutel was Research Area Head in the CNS division at the Swiss pharmaceutical company F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd where he worked for 13 years. Vincent is a biochemist and pharmacologist by training and has initiated and successfully driven several R&D projects bringing molecules from discovery to advanced clinical trial.

In his role at Addex Pharmaceuticals Ltd he led the growth of the organization to up to 140 staff, completed three rounds of venture financing, an IPO and a PIPE, totaling CHF263 million, and signed three major drug development partnerships, two with Merck & Co., Inc. and one with Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company, representing CHF43 million in realized revenues.

Dr Mutel is co-author of more than 80 scientific papers and review articles, and co-inventor of 20+ patent applications, mostly related to glutamate receptors modulators (NMDA and mGlu).