Carmine has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer and on our board of directors since October 2018. Previously, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Avelas Biosciences, Inc. from January 2014 to October 2018, where he has also served on the board of directors since January 2014 and as Chief Business Officer from May 2012 to January 2014. Before that he served as Senior Vice President, Business Development for COI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from May 2013 to October 2018, where he helped co-found five new biotechnology companies. Mr. Stengone also served as Vice President of Corporate Development for Afraxis, Inc. from 2010 to 2013 and co-founder and CEO of Araxes, Inc., a spin-out company from Araxes Holdings, Inc. from 2013 to 2014. Before that, he was with Phenomix Corporation as the Senior Director of Business Development from 2006 to 2010, and previously held positions of increasing responsibility at Anadys Pharmaceuticals, Inc., from 2004 to 2006 and Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development from 2003 to 2004. Carmine received his MBA from the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University in 2003. He also received an M.S. degree in Organic Chemistry from Duke University in 1999 and a B.S. in Chemistry from Wake Forest University in 1997.
Austin Chen is the Senior Vice President & Head of Research at Contineum Therapeutics. Prior to joining Contineum, Austin was an executive director at Inception Sciences where he and his team, often in partnership with external pharma partners, designed and synthesized compounds to address unmet medical needs in the field of oncology, ophthalmology, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. Five of these programs have since been acquired or successfully spun-out. Prior to that, Austin began his medicinal chemistry career at Merck Frosst Research Laboratories, where he contributed to the delivery of four compounds (MK-8141, MK-1594, MK-6478, MK-8831) into clinical development. Austin received his doctorate degree under the supervision of Professor Cathleen Crudden (Queen’s University, Institute of Transformative Biomolecules in Nagoya) and conducted post-doctoral research in the laboratory of Professor Matthew Shair (Harvard University). In his spare time, Austin enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife Karen and learning new tricks from his dog Ellie. Austin loves the Red Sox, obsesses with the Patriots, and engages in an occasional (but ultimately unfulfilling) fling with the Habs.
Daniel is a member of our founding executive team and has served as our Chief Scientific Officer since March 2018. Previously, he was Executive Director and then promoted to Vice President of Biology at Inception Sciences, Inc., or Inception, a Versant Ventures discovery engine, from February 2011 to February 2018 where he led all aspects of biology and non-clinical pharmacology, including the acquisition of the remyelination program Inception 5 by Roche Holdings Inc. Prior to joining Inception, Dr. Lorrain was Senior Director of Pharmacology at Amira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from July 2005 to November 2010 and contributed to the discovery of several clinical stage small molecule therapeutics to treat inflammation and fibrosis. Notably, he led the efforts of the LPA1R program that was acquired by Bristol Myers Squibb Company. Prior to that, he was a Research Fellow at Merck & Co., Inc. from November 1999 to June 2005 where he contributed to early central nervous system drug discovery.
Daniel received a B.S. in Psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1991 and a PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1997 and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago from 1997 to 1999.
Jon is a Vice President of CMC at Contineum Therapeutics. Previously, he was executive director of Chemistry at Inception Sciences, Inc., where he led CMC activities as well as medicinal chemistry in various programs from hearing restoration to immuno oncology. Prior to joining Inception, Jon led the medicinal chemistry team that discovered the LPA1R antagonist for the treatment of various fibrotic diseases including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and led to the acquisition of Amira Pharmaceuticals by Bristol-Myers Squibb. He began his career as a Research Fellow at Merck & Co., Inc. where he contributed to early-stage CNS drug discovery. He was a postdoctoral fellow at California Institute of Technology with Nobel laureate Bob Grubbs and received a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of California at San Diego.
Julie Iwashita joined Contineum Therapeutics in October 2020 as Vice President, Clinical Operations. She brings more than 30 years of experience leading clinical development programs through successful submissions and marketing approvals in various therapeutic areas including CNS, cardiorenal, infectious disease, metabolic disorders, and oncology. She has served as a clinical consultant for multiple private and public biotech companies exploring neurological disorders including age-related macular degeneration, spinal cord injury, and migraine headaches. Previously, she served as Vice President, Clinical Operations at Cirius Therapeutics. Prior to Cirius, she was Executive Director, Clinical Operations at Kodiak Sciences Inc., Laguna Pharmaceuticals, and Sorbent Therapeutics, and was previously Senior Director of Clinical Operations at MAP Pharmaceuticals, Proteolix (through acquisition by Onyx Pharmaceuticals), and Affymax. She has also led clinical programs at Aviron (through acquisition by MedImmune), Amgen, and Syntex. Julie holds a bachelor’s degree in human biology from Stanford University.
Karin is currently our Vice President of Toxicology, who previously served as the Senior Director of Pharmacology. Prior to joining Contineum Therapeutics, she was Associate Director of Biology at Inception Sciences where she led the in vivo pharmacology group to drive preclinical pharmacology and toxicology efforts in support of multiple research programs including the Inception 5 remyelination company which was acquired by Roche. Karin’s professional experience encompasses a diverse range of therapeutic areas including multiple sclerosis, hearing, ophthalmology, oncology, fibrosis, allergic asthma, COPD, and osteoporosis. Prior to joining Inception Sciences, Karin held Senior Scientist positions at Amira Pharmaceuticals, Organon Research Center USA, and UCB Research, and was initiated into drug discovery at Ariad Pharmaceuticals. Karin received a B.Sc. in Physiology from McGill University.
Mike is currently the Vice President of Finance. Mr. Mayberry served as our Senior Director, Corporate Controller since April 2021 and previously served as the Senior Director, Accounting for Decipher Biosciences, or Decipher, from July 2020 until their acquisition as of April 2021. Prior to joining Decipher, Mr. Mayberry was the Global Controller for Anaergia and an audit Senior Manager at EY, where he spent ten years in public accounting.
Mike is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of California. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Pennsylvania State University.
Mike joined Pipeline in 2017 and is currently Vice President of Biology. He began his industry career in 2011 at Inception Sciences as a Senior Scientist, where he contributed to their multiple sclerosis, hearing loss, and oncology programs and was later promoted to Assistant Director of Biology. Mike received his BS in Neuroscience from The Johns Hopkins University then completed his PhD in Neuroscience at UCLA with Kelsey Martin. Following, he performed postdoctoral work at UC Berkeley with Lu Chen, and later maintained his own lab as a Teaching and Research Fellow at Harvey Mudd College.
Peter has served as our Chief Financial Officer since September 2020. Mr. Slover previously served as the Chief Financial Officer for Sophiris Bio, Inc., or Sophiris, from January 2013 to May 2020 and as the Head of Finance and Principal Accounting Officer of Sophiris from April 2012 to January 2013. From April 2004 to April 2012, Mr. Slover held a variety of significant management positions at Anadys Pharmaceuticals, including Vice President, Finance and Operations, a position that he held from July 2009 to April 2012, Senior Director, Finance and Corporate Controller, Senior Manager, Financial Reporting and Internal Controls, and Manager of Financial Reporting. Prior to joining Anadys, Mr. Slover was an auditor at KPMG LLP, where he spent seven years in public accounting.
Peter is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of California (inactive). He received a B.S. in Business Administration from Shippensburg University in 1997.
Stephen has served as our Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Clinical Development since January 2020. He has over 14 years of experience with early clinical development in central nervous system disorders across a wide range of neuroscience indications. Dr. Huhn also served as Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Clinical Development at StemCells, Inc. from 2007 to July 2016 where he led multiple clinical programs in lysosomal storage diseases, age-related macular degeneration, spinal cord injury, and leukodystrophies. After the reverse merger of StemCells, Inc. in July 2016 until January 2020, Dr. Huhn provided independent consulting services to multiple biotechnology companies focused on early clinical development for a range of CNS indications and therapeutic platforms. Dr. Huhn is a board-certified neurosurgeon and Fellow in the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. He trained in neurosurgery at the University of Maryland and completed fellowships in neuro-oncology at the University of California, San Francisco and pediatric neurosurgery at Northwestern University. Before pursuing clinical translation in industry, Dr. Huhn was Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery and an Associate Professor in Neurological Surgery at Stanford University.
Stephen holds an M.D. awarded by the University of Arizona College of Medicine in May 1987.
Tara joined Contineum Therapeutics in May 2020 as Senior Director, Project Management bringing more than 10 years of experience leading projects within a variety of environments. Prior to joining Contineum, Tara held project management positions of increasing responsibility at Bird Rock Bio, a biotech focused on inflammatory and fibrotic diseases, where she managed and coordinated CMC, regulatory, clinical, and non-clinical programs. Prior to Bird Rock Bio, Tara held healthcare focused project management positions at Henry Schein, Inc. in both the US and Australia. Tara received her BA in communications from California State University, Fullerton and is a San Diego native.
Thomas joined Contineum in June of 2017 and currently serves as Senior Director of Chemistry. Prior to joining Contineum, Thomas held the position of Associate Director, Medicinal Chemistry at Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in San Diego. During his 14-year tenure at Arena Thomas made significant contributions to high profile projects which ultimately produced drug candidates for cardiovascular disease, autoimmune dysfunction and CNS disorders. Thomas received a B.S. in Biology from Colorado State University and a doctorate in organic chemistry from Boston College. When he’s not designing small molecule therapeutics Tom can be found exploring the deserts and mountains of the Southwest with his wife and young daughter.
Bev Dixon joined Contineum Therapeutics as a consultant in 2020 and as a full time employee in September 2023. As the Senior Director of Quality Assurance, she brings a broad range of Quality experience covering GMP, GCP and GLP areas. Her experience in this capacity comes primarily from her role as Director of Quality/Regulatory Affairs at Molecular Biosystems in San Diego, CA and subsequently as a consultant for a diverse group of small and large pharmaceutical companies requiring her expertise in Quality Management. She has supported non clinical and clinical development and approval of products in the United States, Canada, Mexico and a consolidated approval in the European Union. As a consultant, she has worked with primarily early-stage companies who were developing and sustaining their respective products with the support of an effective Quality Management System, appropriate for their stage of development. Her areas of expertise include Computer Science, Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls (CMC) Regulatory Affairs, Validation, Document Control, Quality Control and Quality Assurance. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Delaware and a Masters of Science Degree in Quality Assurance from California State University, Dominguez Hills.
Varsha joined Contineum in May 2021 and brings over 20 years of experience in biotechnology business development, alliance management, and corporate strategy. Her experience spans in- and out-license agreements, asset purchases and divestments, M&A and financing activities. She joined Contineum Therapeutics from Secura Bio, where she led business development efforts including the acquisition of Copiktra®, from Verastem Oncology. Varsha previously worked at Synthetic Genomics, Viking Pharmaceuticals, and Amylin Pharmaceuticals (acquired by BMS). Varsha holds an MBA in Technology Transfer and a Master of Science in Neuroscience.