Dr. Catalano is the founder of Cognition Therapeutics and architect of its proprietary and unique biological discovery platform that is based on unbiased phenotypic screens in the target cell population of mature primary neurons. Using her 15 years of industry experience, she and her team discovered and developed the company’s drug candidate CT1812 (Elayta), currently in clinical testing for the treatment of patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease.
Prior to founding Cognition Therapeutics, Dr. Catalano was director of discovery biology for Acumen Pharmaceuticals, leading the team that discovered Acumen’s lead candidates targeting Aβ oligomers. Earlier at Rigel, she led the team that pioneered the use of high content phenotypic screening to discover the Aurora kinase inhibitor R763. In scientific leadership roles within the neurophysiology and neuroimaging groups at Roche Palo Alto she led exploratory programs against targets involved in anxiety, depression and schizophrenia.
Dr. Catalano received her Ph.D. from U.C. Irvine and postdoctoral training at U.C. Berkeley with Dr. Carla Shatz and at Caltech with Drs. Mary Kennedy and Scott Fraser studying the neurobiology of synaptic plasticity.
Brett P. Monia, Ph.D. is a founding member and the current CEO of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, a pioneer in antisense drug development. Dr. Monia joined Isis Pharmaceuticals (now Ionis) at the time of its founding from SmithKline & French Laboratories, the predecessor of GlaxoSmithKline. His initial role as senior scientist was followed by director-level positions of increasing responsibility in R&D. In 2018 Dr. Monia was promoted to chief operating officer and SVP of translational medicine and in 2020 to the role of chief executive officer. During his tenure at the company, Ionis has advanced its antisense platform from a nascent technology to one with a recognized potential that has been licensed to pharmaceutical and biotechnology partners worldwide.
Dr. Monia holds Bachelor of Science degrees in chemistry and biology from Stockton University and a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Pennsylvania.
Ms. Ricciardi joined Cognition Therapeutics in March 2019 as a member of the Board of Directors and was appointed CEO in March 2020. She possesses a unique perspective and breadth of knowledge formed during a career working in multiple industry segments, including drug development and commercialization, healthcare services and genomics. She has a proven track record launching large-market therapeutics as well as negotiating financial and business development agreements, from small to multi-billion-dollar deals.
Before her appointment as interim CEO, Ms. Ricciardi served as an advisor at M.M. Dillon, a boutique life-sciences investment bank, where she provided counsel to biotech companies on transactions with pharma and biopharma companies. Earlier, she was CEO of Suono Bio, a biotech company founded on technology licensed from MIT, which she led through a Series A fundraising. Ms. Ricciardi held senior business development positions at Foundation Medicine, where she negotiated the $1.03 billion transformational agreement with Roche in 2015, and at Medco, where she was involved in numerous deals including the $29 billion acquisition of Medco by Express Scripts in 2011.
Earlier, Ms. Ricciardi held positions at Pfizer in commercial operations, in which role she was involved in growing the company’s cardiovascular, arthritis/rheumatology and anti-infectives franchises and was responsible for the launches of Norvasc, Zithromax and Trovan. She transitioned from commercial operations to global licensing and development in 2004. As SVP of this division, she completed numerous global R&D and commercial collaborations for assets in various stages of development.
In addition to her role at Cognition Therapeutics, Ms. Ricciardi is a member of the Board of Directors of United Drug Healthcare Group, a Dublin-based pharmaceutical outsourced supplier. In this role, she serves on the Compensation, Risk/Investment and Audit Committees. Previous director roles include Sepracor (acquired by Dainippon), Chimerix and Contrafect. Ms. Ricciardi earned a Bachelor of Arts cum laude in English and religion from Wesleyan University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Management.