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Casma Therapeutics Expands Executive Team with Appointment of Two Senior Vice Presidents


, Inc., today announced the appointment of two
executives with extensive experience in drug discovery and translational
medicine to further the company's goal of leveraging the natural
cellular process of autophagy to treat neurodegenerative, inflammatory
and lysosomal storage disorders, among other conditions.

Jeffrey Saunders, Ph.D., Casma's new senior vice president of drug
discovery, is widely respected as a pioneer in developing efficient and
highly productive models for drug design. Daniel Ory, M.D., professor of
medicine, cell biology and physiology at Washington University School of
Medicine in St. Louis, will bring his expertise in biomarker and
clinical development of rare genetic diseases to his new role as senior
vice president of translational medicine.

"Jeff and Dan come with outstanding expertise in their respective
fields," said Keith Dionne, Ph.D., CEO of Casma Therapeutics. "Jeff has
built several successful drug discovery teams that have culminated in
the launch of multiple commercial products and is leading Casma's
efforts to develop small molecule therapeutics targeting specific
autophagy drivers. Dan's biomarker and clinical expertise in NPC and
other rare genetic diseases lays the foundation for advancing Casma's
autophagy inducing therapeutics into the clinic and beyond. Together,
their expertise is invaluable as we advance autophagy research into
therapeutic treatments for RGDs and broader indications including

Jeffrey Saunders, Ph.D. has nearly three decades of experience as
a drug discovery leader. Most recently, he served as vice president of
chemistry at Nuvalent Therapeutics and in 2014, he co-founded Resilience
Therapeutics, a neurology research company focused on developing
solutions for anxiety- and trauma-based disorders. Previously, Dr.
Saunders held leadership positions at Ember Therapeutics, where he
helped move metabolic disease candidates through discovery, and Agios
Pharmaceuticals, where he managed both internal and external researchers
in drug design and led the team that discovered Agios' recently approved
drugs, IDHIFA® and TIBSOVO®. Dr. Saunders worked for over 10 years at
Vertex Pharmaceuticals, culminating in a role as principal investigator
where he led structure-based drug design programs in a number of disease
areas, including Hepatitis C, inflammation and neurodegeneration. Dr.
Saunders received his A.B. in chemistry from Hope College and holds a
Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of South Carolina. He
completed an NIH postdoctoral fellowship at the University of

Daniel Ory, M.D. comes to Casma from Washington University School
of Medicine, where he served as the Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Professor
of Cardiology and was a tenured professor of medicine, cell biology and
physiology. He is internationally recognized for his research on
cholesterol biology and Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC). His work to
develop diagnostic biomarkers has transformed the way in which NPC is
diagnosed. Working closely with the NIH, Dan led development of the
Phase 1/2a trial of intrathecal cyclodextrin which led to the recent
successful completion of an international, multisite Phase 2/3 trial for
NPC. Dr. Ory has served on the scientific advisory boards of Stride Bio
Scientific and the National Niemann-Pick Disease Foundation, among
others. He holds 10 patents and has coauthored more than 120
peer-reviewed scientific articles. Dr. Ory has an A.B. from Harvard
College and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School. He completed his
residency at Brigham and Women's Hospital and his fellowship in the
cardiac unit at Massachusetts General Hospital.

About Casma Therapeutics

Casma Therapeutics is harnessing the natural cellular process of
autophagy to open vast new target areas for drug discovery and
development. Casma uses several approaches to intervene at strategic
points throughout the autophagy-lysosome system to improve the cellular
process of clearing out unwanted proteins, organelles and invading
pathogens. By boosting autophagy, Casma expects to be able to arrest or
reverse the progression of lysosomal storage disorders, muscle
disorders, inflammatory disorders and neurodegeneration, among other
indications. Casma was launched in 2018 by Third Rock Ventures and is
based in Cambridge, Mass. For more information, please visit

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