Cavion is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company with an innovative mindset and compassionate culture. Cavion closed a Series A venture capital financing in late 2016. Combining those investors’ industry capabilities with Cavion’s science and expertise has put us well on the road to developing our promising Cav3 modulators for movement disorders and rare, pediatric epilepsies. Committed to putting people in the center, Cavion’s first neurology clinical trial – the T-CALM trial of CX-8998 in essential tremor – is now recruiting subjects.
Mr. Krouse has over a decade of biotech leadership experience as founder of Tau Therapeutics LLC, Xdynia LLC and Cavion. He has been recognized for his leadership in the industry as a CIT GAP 50 Entrepreneur in the Commonwealth of Virginia and as Chairman of the Board of the Virginia Biotechnology Association. Prior to joining the pharmaceutical industry, he worked in senior university leadership including as Vice President of the University of Virginia Darden School Foundation. He also previously served as an analyst at Goldman Sachs, NYC. In addition to his roles at Cavion, he serves on the boards of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture and the St. Anselm Institute for Catholic Thought, organizations promoting the intellectual community at the University of Virginia. He is a frequent speaker and published author with three patents in the T-type calcium channel space. Mr. Krouse is a cum laude finance graduate of the University of Maryland Business School. He received his MALS from Georgetown University and completed The Executive Program at the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia.
Prior to joining Cavion, Ms. Heldreth had legal, research and administrative experience both as an attorney and volunteer. She was an Associate practicing in the areas of securities and mergers & acquisitions at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton (NYC) and Law Clerk to the Honorable Richard J. Cardamone of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She received her JD from The Cornell Law School and BA from St. John’s College (Annapolis).
Mark Versavel, MD, PhD, MBA
Dr. Versavel has 30 years of clinical development experience in neuropathic pain and multiple neurology and psychiatry indications across the areas of clinical pharmacology, early and late phase clinical trials and support of marketed products. Through vZenium LLC, he has served as consulting CMO at Alzheon (ALZ-801 in Alzheimer’s disease); Senior Vice President Clinical Development at Quartet Medicine (BH4 modulators in neuropathic pain); Medical Director at Biogen (vixotrigine (BIIB074) in neuropathic pain); andCMO at NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals (Phase 3 program in diabetic neuropathic pain).
Prior to forming vZenium, Dr. Versavel held positions of increasing responsibility at Bayer AG in Germany (pharmaco-EEG and computerized cognition testing); Schering AG (betaferon in MS, AMPA antagonist in stroke); Parke-Davis in France (International Therapy Area Head for Neurology, Phase 3 international development of pregabalin (Lyrica) in epilepsy, neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia); Pfizer (clinical leader for sumanirole in Parkinson’s Disease and restless legs syndrome, global clinical leader for ziprasidone in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder); Sepracor (eslicarbazepine acetate approval as Aptiom); Sunovion (VP Clinical Research and Medical Affairs CNS); and Zalicus (Vice President, Clinical Research, novel calcium channel modulators in neuropathic pain).
Dr. Versavel received his MD from the University of Antwerp, Belgium, his PhD in clinical pharmacology from Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany, and his MBA from the University of Michigan.
Dr. Lee has nearly two decades of industry experience driving the discovery and development of novel drug candidates in multiple therapeutic areas and is a recognized leader in T-type calcium channel biology. Prior to joining Cavion, she was VP of Research and Translational Development at Karyopharm, where she led development of non-clinical and clinical stage pipeline candidates in oncology, infectious, autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases. Prior to Karyopharm, she was VP of Research and Translational Medicine at Zalicus Inc. (formerly CombinatoRx), where she led the discovery and development of single agent and combination drug candidates including development of a novel T-type calcium channel modulator. Dr. Lee received her B.S. in Biology from Southampton College of Long Island University, her Ph.D. from Tufts University Sackler School and conducted her postdoctoral research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School. She is an author on over 30 peer reviewed publications and book chapters and an inventor on multiple patent applications and issued patents.
Dr. Sartori has over thirty years executive experience in big pharma and start-up companies. Dr. Sartori joined Cavion from Parexel International where he held the position of Vice President of Human Resources. He previously served as Corporate Vice President of Public Affairs and Human Resources at Bausch & Lomb, Senior Vice President of Organizational Development and Human Resources for BioTrove, Inc. (acquired by Life Technologies), Global Vice President of Human Resources at CIBA-Corning Diagnostics, Senior Vice President of HR and Communications at CIBA-Geigy, and Executive Vice-President, External Affairs and Human Resources at Novartis. Dr. Sartori received both his PhD and MBA from the University of Virginia.
Mr. Woerpel joined Cavion in 2010 as its Chief Financial Officer. He has extensive business experience serving both start-up and established companies as CFO including twenty-three years at Carden Jennings Publishing, ten years at ScholarOne (sold to Thomson Reuters) and five years at Potomac Supply Corporation. He gained public accounting experience with two years at Coopers & Lybrand in Boston and one year at Deloitte & Touche in Richmond. He has been a licensed CPA in Virginia since 1992 and received both his MS in Accounting and BS in Commerce from the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce.
Ms. Gregory is Chairman and CEO of the biotechnology financial and management advisory firm, Isometry Advisors, Inc. She brings deep expertise and experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, having served as CEO of Five Prime Therapeutics and ContraFect Corporation and as Executive Vice President, Corporate Development and CFO of Lexicon Therapeutics. During her tenure in the industry, she has raised more than $1.5 billion across all stages of the business cycle and structured creative strategic alliances and transactions with pharmaceutical industry leaders, including GlaxoSmithKline, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Takeda, Genentech (now Roche), and Human Genome Sciences (now GSK). She is currently a member of the boards of directors of numerous biotech companies, including Biohaven Therapeutics Holding Company, Sosei Heptares Group and IMV, Inc.
Ms. Gregory received her BA in International Affairs and International Economics from the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs and her MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania
Mr. Gibson served as a US Navy Supply Corps officer in Vietnam and Washington, DC before embarking on a career in international banking. He is a former Executive Vice President of Citicorp/Citibank where his positions included Group Executive of Citibank’s Global Private Bank and later Head of Global Emerging Markets, comprising Citibank’s corporate and investment banking businesses in 75 countries.
He is a member of the boards of Assyst LLC and of several boards of proprietary mutual funds distributed by the Citigroup Private Bank. He is a founding member and an emeritus Trustee of the University of Virginia’s College Foundation, an emeritus Trustee of the Darden School Foundation, the Miller Center Foundation, and James Madison’s ancestral home’s Montpelier Foundation. He remains a member of the Montpelier Steeplechase Foundation.
Mr. Gibson received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Virginia.
Dr. Steve Hall is a General Partner at Lilly Ventures. Dr. Hall brings more than 25 years of pharmaceutical experience from both multinational pharmaceutical companies and biotech organizations to Lilly Ventures. Prior to joining Lilly Ventures, Dr. Hall was Senior Vice President, Research and Development, at Serenex, Inc. (acquired by Pfizer) where he was also a co-founder. Prior to joining Serenex, Dr. Hall was Site Director, Sphinx Labs, Eli Lilly where he oversaw lead generation efforts in the areas of combinatorial chemistry, automation, high-throughput screening, biomolecular research, and information technology. He started his career as a medicinal chemist with the Squibb Institute for Medical Research and held positions of increasing responsibility for multiple projects in cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Hall is the author of more than 40 papers and 60 patents. He received his BS in chemistry from Central Michigan University and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Dr. Hall currently sits on the boards of Cavion, Esanex, FORMA Therapeutics, Hydra Biosciences, Lysosomal Therapeutics, Numerate and Nimbus Discovery. Steve also serves as the CEO for Esanex.
Mr. Krouse founded Cavion in 2005 and has been recognized for his leadership in the industry as a CIT GAP 50 Entrepreneur in the Commonwealth of Virginia and as Vice President of the Virginia Biotechnology Association. He has three patents in the T-type calcium channel space. Prior to founding Cavion, he worked for sixteen years in senior university leadership including as Vice President of the University of Virginia Darden School Foundation. He also previously served as an analyst at Goldman Sachs, NYC.
Mr. Krouse is a cum laude finance graduate of the University of Maryland Business School. He received his MALS from Georgetown University and completed The Executive Program at the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia.
Michal Silverberg is a Managing Director in Novartis Venture Fund’s Cambridge, MA office. Prior to joining NVF, she was a Senior Director for External Innovation at Takeda Ventures and, before that, worked at Novo Nordisk in roles of increasing responsibility including as Senior Director Business Development and New Product Commercialization, serving as a member of the BioPharm leadership team. Since 1998, Ms. Silverberg has held positions in various sectors of the life science industry including in the Office of the Chief Scientist of Israel (The Incubator program), venture capital (Ofer Brothers Hi Tech) and global pharmaceutical and biotech companies, including various positions at MGVS, an Israeli biotech company, and at OSI Pharmaceuticals in a business development role. She received her B.A. in Economics and Business Management from Haifa University, her M.B.A from Tel-Aviv University in Israel and her Master’s degree in Biotechnology from Columbia University in New York. Ms. Silverberg also serves on the boards of Forma Therapeutics, Viamed Pharmaceuticals and Galera Therapeutics.
Dr. D’Cruz completed undergraduate medical training at St John’s Medical College, Bangalore, India, pediatric and neurology residencies at Rush University and Medical College of Wisconsin, respectively, and obtained an MBA at the Kenan-Flagler Business School, UNC-Chapel Hill. Dr. D’Cruz is board certified in neurology/child neurology, neurophysiology, and sleep medicine, and Fellow of the American Academies of Neurology and Sleep Medicine. He has authored numerous publications.
Dr. D’Cruz was previously Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, USA. His previous industry appointments include Medical Director, Neurology at UCB Pharma and Chief Medical Officer, Cyberonics. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of ASENT (American Society of Experimental Neuro-Therapeutics) and is the industry representative on the Pediatric Epilepsy Academic Consortium for Extrapolation (PEACE), a public-private partnership between academia, industry and patient advocacy organizations that helped develop globally harmonized regulatory pathways based on extrapolation of anti-epileptic drug efficacy data from adults to children.
In addition to industry experience in clinical development and safety monitoring, business development, regulatory interactions and public-private partnerships, Dr. D’Cruz has worked in the field of neurology for over twenty-five years, as a board-certified neurologist and epileptologist, clinical investigator, invited speaker at scientific and industry conferences, health policy and patient advocate and consultant to leading pharmaceutical companies. He maintains a clinical practice in neurology targeted towards underserved regions and population segments.
Dr. Gray is a former Associate Professor of Pathology and Director of Clinical Immunology at the University of Virginia Medical Center. Dr. Gray is a leading researcher on the role of T-type calcium channel blockers for the treatment of cancer. He is the original patent holder for the treatment of cancer via the T-type calcium channel. Dr. Gray has published over 35 peer reviewed articles and has nine patents. Dr. Gray received his medical degree from the University of Connecticut and was a Research Fellow at the University of California, San Diego, Sloan Kettering and Washington University Cancer Centers.
Dr. Macdonald is Past Chairman and Professor of Chemistry and Pharmacology at the University of Virginia. Dr. Macdonald is an expert and early pioneer in the creation of T-type calcium channel blockers for use in cancer. He has over 250 publications and 45 pending and issued patents. He is the founder of four pharmaceutical companies including Adenosine Therapeutics LLC, which sold to Clinical Data in 2008. Dr. Macdonald has shepherded four of his own compounds from the bench to the clinic and helped to oversee the development of another dozen drugs as a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry. He was a senior scientific advisor to Allergan Inc. and has served on several scientific advisory boards, including for Serenex Inc. Dr. Macdonald has been awarded numerous honors, including being twice recognized as the “Inventor of the Year” by the University of Virginia. He received his PhD from Columbia University and was a NIH Fellow at Stanford University.
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