Cavion is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company located in Charlottesville, VA.  Originally focused on the development of oncology therapies, Cavion expanded its portfolio to include neurology and rare, pediatric genetic diseases, where Cav3 antagonists have significant potential to treat a broad range of disorders.  Cavion’s lead neurology compound is entering Phase 2 clinical trials. 

Cavion was founded in 2005 as Tau Therapeutics LLC, a University of Virginia spinout.  In 2014, Tau merged with the neurology company Xdynia LLC to form Cavion, a Cav3 platform company. 

Andrew Krouse, MALS Founder, President, & CEO
Lloyd Gray, MD Founder, Vice President for Oncology
Timothy Macdonald, PhD Founder, Vice President for Discovery
Bruce Silver, MD, FACP Chief Medical Officer - Oncology
John McCray, MBA Chief Business Officer
Anne Heldreth, JD Vice President for Business Planning and Operations
Yuri Maricich, MD, MBA Vice President for Business Development and Neurology, Senior Medical Director
Kurt Woerpel, MS, CPA Chief Financial Officer

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.

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.

Dr. Silver has extensive experience in oncology with large and small pharmaceutical companies, most recently developing and executing the clinical programs for Avila Therapeutics (acquired by Celgene) and Adnexus Therapeutics (acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb). Dr. Silver also previously served at PRA International as Vice President of Global Product Development where he provided oncology drug development consultative services to numerous biotechnology and pharmaceutical clients. He was instrumental in the clinical development of several oncology therapeutics including Avastin®, Nexavar®, Tarceva®, and Velcade®. Prior to his career in industry, he practiced internal medicine, medical oncology, and hematology for nineteen years. Dr. Silver received his MD from the University of Maryland and trained further at Johns Hopkins Hospital and the NIH, National Cancer Institute.

Mr. McCray has over 30 years of executive experience in marketing, operations, and public policy in the biopharmaceutical industry, including product launches, manufacturing scale-up, and new market openings in developing countries. His experience integrating public policy with marketing has been critical to removing barriers to product reimbursement and entry. He has managed financings in both public and emerging private companies. He career includes work with Molecular Insights Pharmaceuticals, Pan Pacific Pharmaceuticals, Sepracor Inc., Armour Pharmaceutical Company, and Pfizer. He received his MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and his BA in Asian Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.

Ms. Heldreth has legal, research and administrative experience both as an attorney and volunteer. She was formerly 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).

Dr. Maricich is a licensed, board-certified physician, investor, and entrepreneur. He has worked with and led successful healthcare and life science firms including Xdynia (acquired by Cavion), and Corixa (acquired by GlaxoSmithKline) while maintaining an active patient care practice. Dr. Maricich founded a digital health firm as a 3rd year medical student that focused on data-structuring of clinical documents using NLP.  Dr. Maricich earned his MD degree at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He received his MBA from Harvard Business School and his undergraduate degree at the University of Notre Dame.

Mr. Woerpel, MS, CPA, 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.

David E. Gibson, JD

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.

Steve Hall, Ph.D.

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.

Andrew Krouse, MALS

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.

Sergei Petukhov, DVM

Dr. Petukhov is a Partner at Enso Ventures where he focuses on advances in biology as well as novel therapeutics. Prior to Enso Sergei worked as a Managing Director at CLS Capital and at RUSNANO investment fund. Prior to RUSNANO, he was a strategic advisor at Kaye Scholer LLP for a number of US pharmaceutical companies. 

Dr. Petukhov worked and studied at The Rockefeller University, The University of Edinburgh, The University of Cambridge, First Moscow State Medical University and Moscow State Academy of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnology.

Henry Skinner, Ph.D.

Dr. Henry Skinner is Vice President at Novartis Venture Fund in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Prior to joining NVF, he worked as Executive Director & Global Head Strategic Alliances at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research where he led a team responsible for identification, negotiation and management of collaborations and licenses for Novartis’ therapeutic and technology areas. Prior to joining Novartis, he was CEO of SelectX Pharmaceuticals and President and CEO of NeoGenesis Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by Schering-Plough. He was Director of Technology Acquisitions for Pharmacia & Upjohn and managed business development and licensing for research platforms and therapeutic areas worldwide. Prior to Pharmacia, he was Director of Business Development at Lexicon Genetics. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Baylor College of Medicine and earned his PhD in Microbiology and MS in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois.

Dr. Skinner serves on the boards of AMP Therapeutics, Cavion, Galera, NeuroVia, Macrolide Pharmaceuticals and Quartet Medicine.

David Reardon, MD Clinical Director of the Center for Neuro-Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

David A. Reardon, MD, currently serves as Clinical Director of the Center for Neuro-Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and previously served as the Associate Deputy Director of the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University Medical Center for eleven years.  He completed his residency at John Hopkins Hospital and was awarded a fellowship at the University of Michigan. Dr. Reardon is an active researcher with special interests in the design and implementation of clinical trials for neuro-oncology and the preclinical evaluation of promising therapeutics for central nervous system tumors. His work includes using innovative clinical therapeutic agents to improve cure rates in patients with brain and spinal tumors, with particular focus on immunotherapeutics as well as molecular-targeting agents, anti-angiogenic reagents, cytotoxins and other biologically-based therapies.  Dr. Reardon has published over 170 peer-reviewed manuscripts and received the R. Wayne Rundles Award for Excellence in Cancer Research. In 2013, he was elected as the tenth president of the Society for Neuro-Oncology.

David Schiff, MD Harrison Distinguished Professor of Neurology, Neurological Surgery and Medicine, University of Virginia

Dr. Schiff is the Harrison Distinguished Professor of Neurology, Neurological Surgery and Medicine. He is the co-director of the UVA Neuro-Oncology Center. His specialties include clinical trials for malignant brain tumors and the management of neurological complications of cancer and its therapies.

Manuel Hidalgo, MD, Ph.D. Vice Director of Translational Research, Clinical Research Programme Director, Head of Gastrointestinal Cancer CRU, Spanish National Cancer Research Centre

Manuel Hidalgo received his MD from the Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona and his PhD from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid. Manuel specialised in Medical Oncology at the Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, Madrid. He completed his training and joined the faculty in drug development at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio. At Johns Hopkins University, he was Co-Director of the Drug Development and GI Programmes.

He joined the CNIO to lead the GI Cancer Clinical Research Unit. Manuel is a founding member of the pancreatic cancer research team - a clinical trials group focusing on novel therapeutics for pancreatic cancer. He has participated in the clinical development of more than 30 novel anticancer agents and led the early clinical trials with erlotinib and temsirolimus - two recently approved drugs.

Manuel's work has contributed to the incorporation of molecular endpoints in early clinical trials. His group pioneered the utilisation of personalised xenograft models for drug screening, biomarker development and personalised cancer treatment. He has published more than 240 papers in peer-reviewed journals. Manuel received an AACR Clinical Research Fellowship and an ASCO Career Development Award for his work on the development of EGFR inhibitors. His most recent efforts focus on novel therapeutics for pancreatic cancer. In 2011, he was named Vice Director of Translational Research at CNIO charged with the mission to foster translational research at CNIO and with a broader implication of the Center in cancer care. 

O'Neill D'Cruz, MD, MBA Neurologist and Epileptologist

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. 

Company Timeline

Hover over year for more information

Discovery of Role of T-type Calcium Channels in Cancer Cells
Tau Therapeutics Opens
Duke Preclinical Research Shows Mibefradil Efficacy
Establishing Intellectual Property
Into the Clinic
Building the Team
Clinical Program Expands
Formation of Cavion
Delivering Clinical Data

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