CAMBRIDGE, MA – December 3, 2019 – Caraway Therapeutics, an emerging biopharmaceutical company pursuing novel approaches for the treatment of debilitating neurodegenerative diseases by preserving neurons, today announced it has appointed Martin D. Williams, MS, MBA, as Chief Executive Officer. Earlier this year, the company appointed Cristina Csimma, PharmD, MHP, as Chair of the Board of Directors. These key appointments strengthen Caraway’s leadership team as the company advances small molecule programs focused on genetically validated targets with roles in autophagy.
“Neurodegenerative diseases are among the greatest unmet medical and public health needs. Caraway’s rigorous scientific approach supported by human genetic data, renowned co-founders and dedication to developing treatments for patients compelled me to join the company,” said Mr. Williams. “I look forward to working with the team to continue advancing our science toward the clinic for the benefit of patients suffering from these devastating diseases.”
Mr. Williams brings more than three decades of global biopharmaceutical experience to Caraway, including public and venture-backed biotechnology firms and multinational pharmaceutical companies. He was most recently Executive Chairman of Yuma Therapeutics, a company focused on neurodegenerative conditions which he co-founded. Mr. Williams will remain on Yuma’s board of directors. Previously, he held a series of leadership roles at pharmaceutical companies, including President and Chief Executive Officer of Tokai Pharmaceuticals, and Chief Business Officer of Dicerna Pharmaceuticals and Synta Pharmaceuticals.
Mr. Williams has closed more than $4 billion in corporate transactions, including numerous partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, and public and private financings. Earlier in his career, Mr. Williams directed the development and commercialization of several flagship brands for GlaxoSmithKline, Hoffmann-La Roche and Lederle/Wyeth (now Pfizer). He has a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School, a Master of Science from the University of Manchester, England, and a Bachelor of Arts in biology from the University of Humberside in Hull, England.
“Discovery and development of therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), have lagged behind many other major diseases,” said Dr. Csimma. “Martin’s leadership and acumen will help Caraway address this significant unmet need through the development of therapeutics with the potential to alter disease progression by maintaining neuronal health and function.”
Dr. Csimma brings extensive global biopharmaceutical experience in public and private biotechnology companies, global pharmaceutical companies and venture capital to Caraway’s board of directors. In addition to her role with Caraway, she serves in other advisory roles and on the boards of Idera Pharmaceuticals and Seneca Biopharma. Prior to joining Caraway, Dr. Csimma was Executive Chair of the Board of Directors of Exonics Therapeutics (acquired by Vertex), as well as a board member of Juniper Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Catalent), Vtesse (acquired by Sucampo, now Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals) and Cydan, where she was also the founding Chief Executive Officer and President. Earlier in her career, Dr. Csimma held roles with Clarus Ventures LLC (now Blackstone), Virdante Pharmaceuticals, Wyeth (now Pfizer), Genetics Institute and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She holds a Doctor of Pharmacy and Bachelor of Science from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, as well as a Master of Health Professions from Northeastern University.
“We are fortunate to leverage Cristina’s expansive biopharmaceutical industry expertise in global drug development and financing,” said Tim Harris, PhD, DSc, co-founder and Scientific Advisory Board Chair. “Her strategic guidance is invaluable as Caraway continues to grow and advance cutting-edge research.”
About Caraway Therapeutics
Caraway Therapeutics is an emerging biopharmaceutical company pursuing novel approaches for the treatment of debilitating neurodegenerative diseases by preserving neurons. Co-founded by renowned biologists and industry veterans, the company is a leader in the cutting-edge science of activating cellular recycling processes to clear toxic materials and defective cellular components. Caraway has a rigorous product engine with multiple approaches to potentially disease-modifying compounds for patients suffering the devastating effects of neurodegenerative diseases. The company is backed by top-tier investors with world-class expertise in central nervous system diseases, including SV Health Investors, AbbVie Ventures, MRLV Fund, Amgen Ventures, Dementia Discovery Fund, Alexandria Venture Investments and Mayo Clinic.
Caraway is based in Cambridge, MA. For more information, please visit https://carawaytx.com.