PsychoGenics Strengthens Executive Team to Boost CNS Drug Discovery and CRO Capabilities
Biopharmaceutical Industry Veterans David Bleakman and Thomas Oakley Each Bring Three Decades of Experience to the Company
Paramus, N.J., June 28, 2022 – PsychoGenics Inc. (“PsychoGenics” or the “Company”), a leader in AI-enabled phenotypic drug discovery and preclinical CRO services, announced today that it has appointed David Bleakman, Ph.D., to President, Drug Discovery and Development, and Thomas Oakley to President, Contract Research Organization, and Chief Operating Officer. Both will report to Emer Leahy, Ph.D., CEO, PsychoGenics.
“David’s strong leadership, track record and extensive CNS discovery and development knowledge will significantly benefit our pharmaceutical partners and be instrumental as we advance our own drug candidate pipeline,” said Dr. Emer Leahy, President and CEO of PsychoGenics Inc. “Additionally, Tom’s vast industry knowledge, financial expertise and significant strategic and operational skills will be invaluable as PsychoGenics continues to expand its cutting-edge CRO services with dedicated CNS drug testing.”
Dr. Bleakman will lead the Company’s drug discovery team and strategically advance the multiple research programs in development. He is an internationally recognized neuroscientist and expert in drug discovery and development with over 30 years of experience. Notably, Dr. Bleakman served in multiple leadership roles over his 25-year tenure at Eli Lilly and Company, including as Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, Neuroscience. He has led programs through clinical proof of concept for pain, migraine, and psychiatric disorders, with several advancing to therapeutic approval. More recently, he served as Chief Scientific Officer at Redpin Therapeutics, a chemogenetics company developing treatments for nervous system disorders. Dr. Bleakman received his Ph.D. from King’s College London, University of London, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago. He is an adjunct professor in neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.
Mr. Oakley will oversee PsychoGenics’ service business expansion and be responsible for ensuring operational excellence across the Company. With over 25 years of strategic and operational experience in the contract research industry, Mr. Oakley most recently served as COO at Inotiv, a position that he assumed following his role as CEO at Seventh Wave Laboratories. Other prominent roles included serving as President and COO at MPI Research, President and CEO at ChanTest Corporation and President and CEO at Bridge Laboratories. Mr. Oakley has also held multiple leadership positions with Covance. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Ripon College and Master of Business Administration degree in finance, accounting, and management from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is also a veteran of the U.S. Army.
“As PsychoGenics pushes ahead in its mission to help advance improved treatments for patients around the world who continue to suffer from severely disabling neuropsychiatric disorders, I look forward to working with Tom and David to bring new hope to these patients and their families,” added Dr. Leahy. “Both our AI-enabled discovery engine and CRO are unmatched in today’s industry, and our leadership team is laser-focused on growing our business, supporting our partners’ needs and challenging existing drug discovery norms to deliver improved CNS treatment options.”
PsychoGenics Inc. and its discovery arm, PGI Drug Discovery LLC (collectively known as PsychoGenics), have pioneered the translation of rodent behavioral and physiological responses into robust, high-throughput and high-content phenotyping. PsychoGenics’ AI-enabled phenotypic drug discovery platforms SmartCube®, NeuroCube®, PhenoCube® and eCube™ have been used in shared-risk partnerships with major pharmaceutical companies, including Sunovion, Roche and Karuna, resulting in the discovery of several novel compounds now in clinical trials such as SEP-363856 (Ulotaront), a novel treatment for schizophrenia, now in Phase 3, discovered in partnership with Sunovion. PsychoGenics’ capabilities also include standard behavioral testing, electrophysiology, translational EEG, molecular biology, microdialysis and quantitative immunohistochemistry. In addition, the Company offers a variety of in-licensed transgenic mouse models that support research in areas such as Huntington’s disease, autism spectrum disorders, psychosis/schizophrenia, depression, PTSD, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, ALS and seizure disorders.