Dr. Menzaghi, one of our founders, has served as our Senior Vice President – Research and Development since September 2004 leading our preclinical research and pruritic clinical program. Dr. Menzaghi has over 25 years of drug development and management experience in biotechnology in the field of ion channels and GPCRs. Her expertise ranges from exploratory non-clinical research through clinical development. She has a successful track record in leading numerous drug discovery programs in the areas of pain, inflammation, obesity, psychiatric, cognitive and neurological disorders. She guided numerous compounds to late Phase clinical trials, including one compound approved by the FDA in 2013 for the treatment of obesity. She has led or contributed to the filing of numerous INDs and CTAs and has led successful interdisciplinary teams spanning the entire drug development process from the validation of novel receptor targets to novel chemical entity formulated for oral, parenteral or transdermal routes of administration.
From 2003-2004, she served as VP Pharmacology and Business Development at Psychogenics Inc., a preclinical CRO. From 1999 to 2003, she was the Research Director of In Vivo Pharmacology at Arena Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ARNA) leading a multidisciplinary research team. Prior to that, Dr. Menzaghi established and directed a preclinical research laboratory at SIBIA Neurosciences (acquired by Merck). Her research expertise ranged from the development of small molecules to small peptides. She has extensive experience with corporate partnering with large US and Asian pharmaceutical companies including Eli Lilly, Merck and J&J. Dr. Menzaghi received her Ph.D. in Neurosciences from the University of Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France and a M.Sc. in clinical psychology from the University of Nancy, France, after which she conducted her post-doctoral research at the Scripps Research Institute, San Diego, California. She has over 55 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, 100 international meeting presentations and is listed as an inventor on numerous patents.