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Ovid Therapeutics Appoints Dr. Joy A. Cavagnaro and Dr. Bruce A. Sullenger to its Scientific Advisory Board

  • New appointments strengthen neuroscience-focused Scientific Advisory Board

NEW YORK, May 26, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ovid Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: OVID), a biopharmaceutical company committed to developing medicines that transform the lives of people with rare neurological diseases, today announced the appointment of Joy A. Cavagnaro, Ph.D., and Bruce A. Sullenger, Ph.D. to its Scientific Advisory Board.

“Ovid is building the intellectual and scientific platform to tackle the big questions in neuroscience so as to develop new medicines. To that end, Ovid is deepening the expertise and strengths of our Scientific Advisory Board by the addition of key leaders in specific areas. Accordingly, I am delighted to welcome Dr. Cavagnaro and Dr. Sullenger to the SAB,” said Professor Robert S. Langer, Sc.D., Chair of Ovid’s Scientific Advisory Board. “Dr. Cavagnaro is renowned for her work in pre-clinical development and safety assessments for novel treatments, and Dr. Sullenger is a recognized thought leader in translational research. I’m confident that their collective experience will contribute to Ovid’s mission.”

Joy A. Cavagnaro, Ph.D., DABT, ATS, RAC, FRAPS, has more than 30 years of experience in the biotechnology industry and is the President of Access BIO, where she consults globally on science-based preclinical development strategies. She served as a member of the Senior Biomedical Research Service at the United States Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER). During her tenure, she chaired several working groups, including one responsible for FDA’s 1996 Comparability Guidance Document. Dr. Cavagnaro was also the past Chair of the Regulatory Affairs Professional Society, National Capital Area Chapter of the Society of Toxicology (SOT), and recipient of the Society’s 2019 Arnold J. Lehman Award, recognizing significant contributions to risk assessment and/or the regulation of chemical agents, including pharmaceuticals, and she was recognized for the Society’s 2011 Biotechnology Specialty Section First Career Achievement Award. Dr. Cavagnaro has also co-authored numerous white papers, articles, and book chapters related to various aspects of preclinical safety assessment. She received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, followed by post-graduate work at Duke University and Boston University Medical Centers.

Bruce A. Sullenger, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Surgery at the Duke University School of Medicine, and a Founding Director of the Duke Translational Research Institute. He is the pioneer of using RNA guided endonucleases to revise genetic instructions for therapeutic applications (Nature, 1994), and published the first study demonstrating that short structured RNA molecules, subsequently termed aptamers, can directly bind to and inhibit the activity of clinically relevant proteins (Cell, 1990), during his Ph.D. studies at Weill Cornell University Medical Center and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. An internationally renowned expert in translational research, Dr. Sullenger has been recognized with the Outstanding Achievement Award by the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) in 2015 and elected as a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2014.

About Ovid Therapeutics

Ovid Therapeutics Inc. is a New York-based biopharmaceutical company using its BoldMedicine® approach to develop medicines that transform the lives of patients with rare neurological disorders.  We believe these disorders represent an attractive area for drug development as the understanding of the underlying biology has grown meaningfully over the last few years and today represents a substantial opportunity medically and commercially. Based on recent scientific advances in genetics and the biological pathways of the brain, we aim to identify, discover and acquire novel compounds for the treatment of rare neurological disorders. We have built a deep knowledge of such disorders, how to treat them and how to develop the clinically meaningful endpoints required for development of a compound in these disorders. We continue to execute on our strategy to build this pipeline by discovering, in-licensing and collaborating with leading biopharmaceutical companies and academic institutions. Ovid’s emerging pipeline programs include OV329, a small molecule GABA aminotransferase inhibitor for seizures associated with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex and Infantile Spasms; OV882, a short hairpin RNA therapy approach for Angelman syndrome; OV815, a genetic therapy approach for KIF1A associated neurological disorder; and other non-disclosed research targets. Additionally, Ovid maintains a significant financial interest in a program directed to the exploitation of soticlestat, for which Takeda is responsible for the global development and commercialization, if soticlestat is successfully developed and commercialized. Two phase 3 trials for soticlestat in Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome are expected to begin in mid-2021.For more information on Ovid, please visit

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes certain disclosures that contain “forward-looking statements,” including, without limitation, statements regarding the development of Ovid’s pipeline and the clinical and regulatory development and commercialization of soticlestat. You can identify forward-looking statements because they contain words such as “will,” “appears,” “believes” and “expects.” Forward-looking statements are based on Ovid’s current expectations and assumptions. Because forward-looking statements relate to the future, they are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that may differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements, which are neither statements of historical fact nor guarantees or assurances of future performance. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, without limitation, uncertainties in the development and regulatory approval processes, and the fact that initial data from pre-clinical and clinical trials may not be indicative, and are not guarantees, of the final results of the trials and are subject to the risk that one or more of the clinical outcomes may materially change as patient enrollment continues and/or more patient data become available. Additional risks that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are set forth in Ovid’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the caption “Risk Factors.” Such risks may be amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic and its potential impact on Ovid’s business and the global economy. Ovid assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in expectations, even as new information becomes available.


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