Syndesi Therapeutics is building upon a rich legacy of research on SV2A conducted at UCB. UCB identified novel modulators of SV2A that show pro-cognitive properties in preclinical models.

With the support of our investors and other stakeholders, Syndesi's goal is to demonstrate the potential of these molecules to reduce the symptoms of cognitive impairment in patients with Alzheimer's Disease and related conditions.

Our name ‘Syndesi’ comes from the Greek for ‘connection’. We are harnessing science to improve connections on many levels.

 
 

Management Team

 

Jonathan Savidge, PhD
Chief Executive Officer

Jonathan has over 20 years of experience in the biotech/pharma industry, focusing on execution and management of numerous varied collaborations for the development of novel therapeutics. Prior to becoming founding CEO of Syndesi, he spent 4 years heading business development for the biotech company Proximagen, leading several deals including a significant collaboration with Roche on a Phase II program. Previously he spent 5 years with Evotec as VP Business Development, executing several deals on clinical phase CNS assets with Roche and Janssen. Jonathan has also worked as a business development consultant with several other biotech companies including Bicycle Therapeutics (leading the company’s first out-licensing deal), Syntaxin (acquired by Ipsen) and ReNeuron. Jonathan has a scientific background, holding a research position at Novartis in pain research following his PhD in Neuropharmacology.



Jonathan Savidge, PhD

Chief Executive Officer

John Kemp, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer

John has over 30 years of experience in neuroscience research and CNS drug discovery and development. Prior to joining Syndesi, John spent the last 6 years as Senior Director Neuroscience Discovery at Janssen leading research into novel treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. John was previously Chief Research and Development officer at Evotec, having served as CEO of the spin-out Evotec Neurosciences that raised €25M in funding. Before joining Evotec, John was head of CNS Research at Roche in Basel and a member of the Global Research Portfolio Committee and CNS Disease Area Strategic Team. He also held senior research positions in Neuroscience R&D at Merck Sharpe and Dohme in the UK. John has published over 140 peer reviewed articles, was an original member of ISI’s Most Highly Cited Researcher Database and has a particular interest and expertise in synaptic physiology.



John Kemp, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer
 
 

Andrea Cesura, PhD
Head of Preclinical Development

Andrea is a pharmacologist and neuroscientist with 30 years of experience in CNS research, drug discovery and development. He spent more than 10 years at Evotec as SVP of CNS Preclinical Development and then acted as Senior CNS Consultant on the steering committee on a major collaboration in Alzheimer’s Disease. Prior to joining Evotec, Andrea was a Senior Scientist and Project Leader in the CNS research department at F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, and Associate Director Pharmacology at Serono. Andrea contributed to several compounds that entered clinical development, including two drugs reaching Phase 2/3 in Alzheimer’s Disease. Andrea holds a PhD in Physiological and Pharmacological Sciences from the University of Milan.



Andrea Cesura, PhD
Head of Preclinical Development

Maeve Duffy, PhD
Head of Clinical Operations and Program Management

Maeve Duffy has almost 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry working in a variety of roles ranging from Clinical Project Manager, Head/Director of Clinical Operations through to Head of Clinical Development. From 2010 to 2018 Maeve worked at the UK biotech company Proximagen, latterly as Head of Clinical Development. In this role, she was responsible for the development of a compound for OA pain, which was partnered with Roche. Maeve led the cross-company project team and was a member of the Joint Steering Committee. Maeve also led QA activities for Proximagen. Previously, Maeve held clinical positions within the biotech companies Serentis and Arakis and at the CROICON Clinical Research. Maeve has a BSc in pharmacology and a PhD in biochemistry from University College Dublin.



Maeve Duffy, PhD

Head of Clinical Operations

Steven Ramael, MD
Medical Director

Steven has been involved in early clinical development since 2001. From 2013 to 2018, Steven served as Medical Director of Ogeda (acquired by Astellas) and led the clinical development of the NK3 antagonist fezolinetant. Previously, Steven worked as an Investigator at SGS Life Science Services conducting over 60 clinical trials. Following a period as Associate Director Clinical Pharmacology at Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), he returned SGS Life Sciences Services as Medical Director of the clinical pharmacology unit in Antwerp, Belgium. During his time at SGS Steven was responsible for the medical, scientific and operational aspects of the early phase clinical research, leading a team of 7 Investigators. Steven graduated as a Medical Doctor in 1998 and between 1998 and 2001 was medical resident at the Department of Anesthesiology-Reanimation at the University Hospitals of Leuven, Belgium.



Steven Ramael, MD

Medical Director
 

Board of Directors

 

Jean Combalbert, PhD
Chairman of the Board

Dr Combalbert is a successful entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience in pharmaceutical and biotech companies. He was CEO of Ogeda (formerly Euroscreen) from 2006 until its sale to Astellas Pharma Inc. in May 2017. Prior to joining Ogeda, he was VP Pharmaceutical Development at Proteus SA, Nimes, France, then Chairman & CEO of Entomed SA, Strasbourg, France. Earlier in his career, Dr Combalbert held senior positions with Sanofi and Galderma.

Morten Graugaard Døssing, MSc
Novo Seeds

Morten joined Novo Seeds in 2016 as Investment Director. Prior to joining Novo, Morten was Director of Corporate Development at H. Lundbeck A/S where he was involved in M&A (including leading the acquisition orphan neurology company Chelsea Therapeutics), corporate strategy, BD&L, portfolio management and equity investments. He also serves on the Board of Hoba Therapeutics, Merozyne Therapeutics and NMD Pharma.

Jeanne Bolger, MB BCh BAO
Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JJDC

Jeanne Bolger is Vice President, Venture Investments, at Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JJDC, Inc. (JJDC). Jeanne joined JJDC in 2012 and has responsibility for investments across Europe in start-up and early stage life science companies in areas of strategic interest to J&J’s business sectors in Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology, Medical Devices and Consumer. She represents, or has represented, JJDC on the Board of over 10 companies, including Aelix Therapeutics, Asceneuron SA, Biocartis, Calypso Biotech, Inivata, Merus, Pulmocide, S-Biomedic. Prior to joining JJDC, Jeanne was Global Head of Scientific Licensing for Johnson & Johnson’s Pharmaceutical business, and before that was a member of the Business Development group at GlaxoSmithKline. Jeanne received her medical degree from University College Dublin. She is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Ireland (RAMI).

Aidan King, MBA CFA
Fountain Healthcare

Aidan King is Managing Partner and co-founder of Fountain Healthcare Partners. Aidan was a founding members of Elan’s corporate venture capital group before moving to Bio-IB, a boutique life science investment bank in New York. Aidan currently sits on the boards of Chrono Therapeutics and Velicept Therapeutics. Previously, he was the firm’s representative on the boards of Civitas Therapeutics (acquired by Acorda, 2014) and Palyon Medical.

Jean Combalbert, PhD
Chairman of the Board


Jeanne Bolger, MB BCh BAO
Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JJDC

Aidan King, MBA CFA
Fountain Healthcare

Emmanuel Lacroix, PhD MBA
UCB

Emmanuel is currently Senior Director, Venture Investments at UCB’s Corporate Venture Fund. Previously, Emmanuel was Senior Director Global Business Development at UCB, where he had responsibility for partnering and product licensing/acquisitions in Neurology. Previously in Sales & Global Marketing from 2007 to 2008, Emmanuel contributed to the coordination of global pre-launch activities for Vimpat® and the business planning for UCB’s other CNS products.

Christina Takke, PhD
V-Bio Ventures

Christina is co-founder and Managing Director of V-Bio Ventures. Before launching V-Bio Ventures, Christina was a partner at Forbion Capital Partners (previously ABN AMRO Capital) were she led and managed a series of successful investments in biopharmaceutical and pharmaceutical companies. Christina currently serves on the boards of Confo Therapeutics NV, Octimet Oncology NV and Oxular Limited.

Roy Twyman, MD
Independent Director

Dr. Twyman spent over 19 years at Janssen Research & Development (part of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson) in CNS development, holding roles of increasing responsibility. Most recently, Dr. Twyman was Senior Vice President in the Neuroscience Therapeutic Area at Janssen. In this role, he had responsibility to oversee the Alzheimer’s Disease Area across all stages of R&D, including oversight of Neuroscience Experimental Medicine group covering clinical development from first time in human to proof of concept. Prior to joining Janssen in 1998, Dr. Twyman held professorships in neurology at University of Michigan and University of Utah and gained his MD from University of Kentucky.


Christina Takke, PhD
V-Bio Ventures

Roy Twyman, MD
Independent Director

 
 

Investors and Stakeholders

 
 
 
 
 
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Our Offices

Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JLABS

CEI Incubator