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.
James M. O’Brien joined Cognition Therapeutics as chief financial officer in November 2019. Mr. O’Brien has a track record of performance in capital raising and business development, strategic planning, acquisitions and operations at public as well as entrepreneurial private companies in the life sciences. Prior to joining Cognition, he served as the executive vice president of finance at Enzo Biochem, Inc., a public company with revenues of over $100 million. Before Enzo, Mr. O’Brien was vice president and corporate controller at Allergan, Inc., where he integrated several international business acquisitions and managed collaboration activities valued at nearly $10 billion. Earlier in his career, he held positions at life sciences companies including Nycomed and Bristol-Myers Squibb, and spent close to a decade at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Mr. O’Brien is a certified public accountant with a Bachelor of Accountancy from George Washington University and a Master of Business Administration from Fordham University.
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.
Dr. Caggiano is a broad-based therapeutic development executive with experience across a range of disease indications, including neurological disorders. Earlier in his career, Dr. Caggiano was acting president and chief medical officer of Constant Pharmaceuticals and Aeromics, Inc., clinical-stage companies respectively developing candidates for central nervous system disorders and cerebral edema following ischemic stroke. Earlier, as senior vice president of research and development at Acorda Therapeutics, he oversaw a staff managing clinical and preclinical research and development programs in multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury and other neurological disorders.
Outside of his professional obligations, Dr. Caggiano sits on the National Institutes of Health’s small business special emphasis panel: Drug Discovery for Aging, Neuropsychiatric and Neurologic Disorders. Together with a team of experts, he reviews Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Technology Transfer Research (STTR) applications for psychiatric and neurological conditions.
Dr. Caggiano earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia in interdisciplinary studies, focusing on biology, chemistry and psychology. He earned his doctoral degree from the University of Chicago and his medical degree from the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine.
Dr. Grundman has over 25 years’ experience in clinical research in CNS disorders. He is president and CEO of Global R&D Partners, LLC, a consulting firm that advises pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies on development of novel agents for the diagnosis and treatment of serious and life-threatening diseases. Dr. Grundman also currently serves as professor of neurosciences at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and previously he held positions at both Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy Research & Development, LLC and Elan Pharmaceuticals as vice president of clinical development, where he led the clinical immunotherapy trials for Alzheimer’s disease.
Prior to joining industry, Dr. Grundman was associate director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS) at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). He is an inventor on a number of patents related to Alzheimer’s disease therapy and has served on the FDA Peripheral and Central Nervous System Advisory Committee.
He received his B.A. in biochemistry from New York University, his M.D. and neurology training at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and a Master of Public Health degree from Columbia University.