The biopharmaceutical company Cavion announced the appointment of a new executive vice president of research and development and chief medical officer to lead efforts advancing therapies based on the company’s T-type calcium channel (Cav3) platform targeting neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease (PD).
Spyridon “Spyros” Papapetropoulos, MD, PhD, has been named the company’s new executive vice president of research and development and CMO. Papapetropoulos has extensive academic, biopharmaceutical, and digital health experience in the pharmaceutical industry and has led neuroscience research and medical affairs at Pfizer, Biogen, and Teva. Papapetropoulos also is a consultant with the Massachusetts General Hospital and voluntary professor of neurology at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine.
Calcium and ion channels play a key role in neuronal signaling. T-type calcium channels respond to small membrane depolarization and gate the activity of additional ion channels whose activation results in the firing of neurons.
The transition to burst-firing and abnormal oscillatory patterns occurs in a number of neurological disorders, including neuropathic pain, essential tremor, epilepsy, and Parkinson’s. This abnormal neuronal activation is often caused by Cav3, which is commonly associated with diseased states.
Cav3 is tuned to mediate the transition between different states of neuronal activation and generate natural “oscillations” between brain nuclei. The company’s platform of Cav3 modulators are designed to restore the brain’s natural rhythms across these neurological disorders.
In particular, the Cav3 modulator CX-8998, currently being tested in Phase 2 clinical trials, is a potential best-in-class molecule with superior potency and selectivity and with a favorable safety profile.
“Cavion’s selective Cav3 modulating platform, which includes best-in-class clinical stage compounds, is expected to restore rhythmic neuronal firing in brain regions associated with a variety of chronic neurological diseases,” Papapetropoulos said in a press release. “I look forward to working closely with Cavion’s team to apply innovative but empathetic approaches to achieving clinical breakthroughs. Our end goal is to bring safe, effective and accessible treatments to people with chronic neurological diseases, quickly and efficiently.”
“Spyros joins the Cavion team at an exciting time. He is an experienced leader with a passion for conducting innovative trials that deliver new treatment options to patients with neurological diseases with limited treatment options,” said Andrew Krouse, Cavion’s chief executive officer and president. “Spyros will help extend Cavion’s presence in the Boston-Cambridge area.”