Appoints Chief Scientific Officer and Three Seasoned Executives to Advance Company’s Growth and the Development of Therapies for Hearing Loss
Cambridge, Mass., September 7, 2016 – Decibel Therapeutics, a company focused on discovering and developing new medicines to protect, repair and restore hearing, today announced the appointment of Michael Su, Ph.D., to chief scientific officer and the addition of three senior leaders to expand the company’s capabilities in R&D and company leadership. Paula K. Cobb joined as senior vice president of strategy, portfolio and programs; John J. Lee joined as senior vice president of pharmaceutical development; and Pete Castrichini joined as vice president of human resources.
“Michael, Paula, John and Pete are proven leaders in the biotech industry, and combining this group with our existing team and founders creates a unique blend of world leaders in hearing research and accomplished drug discoverers and developers,” said Steven Holtzman, president and chief executive officer of Decibel Therapeutics. “Together, we are focused on building a great company and executing against our vision of developing medicines for people living with hearing loss.”
“Decibel represents a remarkable opportunity to work alongside a phenomenal leadership team and create a first-of-its-kind platform to define the underlying biological causes of hearing disorders,” said Dr. Su. “Hearing disorders are a societal and human issue that affects people of all ages, and I’m excited to tackle the challenge of translating the incredible work of the founders into new therapies.”
Dr. Su has more than 25 years of organization, project management and scientific experience in the biotechnology industry, most recently serving as co-founder and senior vice president of research and development at Agios Pharmaceuticals. While at Agios, he led the team responsible for identifying oncogenic causes for the company’s lead mutant isocitrate dehydrogenase programs and led the discovery of the resulting drug candidates, which are currently in late-stage clinical development. In addition, he chaired the Agios- Celgene joint research collaboration from 2010 to 2013 and led drug discovery in the rare genetic diseases franchise. From 2004 to 2006, Dr. Su served as general director and vice president of the Biomedical Engineering Research Laboratory (BEL) at ITRI in Taiwan. Prior to that, he spent 14 years in a number of roles, concluding his tenure as program executive and vice president of the Novartis kinase collaboration for Vertex Pharmaceuticals. He completed his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Duke University followed by accepting the Helen Hay Whitney fellowship in biochemistry and molecular biology at Harvard University. He has been published over 50 times with more than 20 issued and pending patents.
Ms. Cobb joins Decibel with more than 13 years of experience in the biotechnology industry, having led teams to three new drug approvals and playing key roles on four product launches. She most recently served as senior vice president of the rare disease group at Biogen, where she was responsible for the company’s marketed hemophilia assets and Phase 3 programs in spinal muscular atrophy and neuropathic pain. Prior to this role, she managed the multiple sclerosis franchise, led new product commercialization for early pipeline programs, served as chief of staff to the CEO and held various operational management roles with Biogen in Europe. Before Biogen, she worked for various consulting groups in the Boston area. Ms. Cobb graduated cum laude from Amherst College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and English. She also received an MBA from Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration.
Mr. Lee brings over 20 years of R&D, operational and leadership experience in the biotechnology industry to Decibel. He most recently served as senior vice president of pharmaceutical development at Infinity Pharmaceuticals, where he was responsible for chemistry, manufacturing and control (CMC), analytical sciences, formulation sciences, and clinical supply and distribution for the company’s drug candidates across all phases of global clinical development. Mr. Lee also served as co-chair of Infinity’s operational leadership team. Prior to Infinity, he was a new product manager at Corning Life Science where he was responsible for developing new life science products from Corning research and technologies. Before Corning, he was an early member of Millennium Pharmaceuticals and played a key role in the successful positional cloning of the mouse obesity gene tubby, before taking on the role of project lead for an ovarian cancer diagnostic program. Prior to Millennium, he worked in the developmental chronobiology lab of Steven Reppert at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he focused on cloning G-protein coupled receptors and circadian biology.
Mr. Castrichini has more than 30 years of diverse experience across dynamic businesses building, managing and leading the human resource function. Prior to Decibel, he served as senior vice president of human resources at Interactive Data Corporation, a critical supplier of real-time financial investment data to major global financial institutions. Before that, Mr. Castrichini served two years as vice president of global compensation, benefits and human resource operations at Monster Worldwide Inc. Prior to Monster, he spent nine years at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, serving as senior director of human resources with responsibility for staffing, total rewards, and human resource operations, and ten years in roles of escalating responsibility at Digital Equipment Corporation. He graduated from the University of Vermont with a bachelor of arts in economics and became a certified compensation professional via World-At-Work.
About Decibel Therapeutics
Decibel Therapeutics is a hearing company focused on discovering and developing new therapies to protect, repair and restore hearing. By combining recent innovations in hearing science with leading diagnostic tools, biological insights, modeling and therapeutic delivery techniques, Decibel is pioneering a comprehensive approach to define the underlying biological causes of hearing loss and develop a pipeline of breakthrough
therapies targeted to specific indications and populations. Founded by the world’s preeminent experts in hearing loss, Decibel Therapeutics was launched in 2015 by Third Rock Ventures and is headquartered in Cambridge, Mass. For more information, please visit www.decibeltx.com.
Decibel Media Contact:
Katie Engleman, Pure Communications, Inc.