“Christian and Martin are at the vanguard of their respective fields, known for applying cutting edge technologies to uncover the molecular basis for physio-pathological activity,” said Leon Murphy, Ph.D., chief scientific officer of Casma Therapeutics. “Their expertise will greatly enrich the work of our scientific advisory board as we explore ways to leverage autophagy, the cell’s natural recycling process, to develop a new class of therapeutics.”
Christian Grimm, a Professor of Molecular Pharmacology at the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Medical Faculty, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany, brings world-leading expertise in the study of endo-lysosomal ion channels and their role in human disease. With a focus on electrophysiology, cell and chemical biology, Grimm has developed multiple tools and techniques to understand the role of intracellular ion channels in rare and common disorders. His extensive training from top academic institutes and experience in the pharmaceutical sector has allowed him to develop highly selective small molecule probes that modulate ion channels. He received his Ph.D. from the Free University of Berlin, Germany, followed by postdoctoral research fellowships at Harvard University and Stanford University, USA (2004-2009).
“Casma’s focus on developing treatments that leverage the autophagy-lysosomal system is an exciting opportunity to address several important human disorders in a whole new way,” Grimm said. “I look forward to working with my fellow SAB members to advise Casma on the path forward.”
Martin Kampmann, an Associate Professor at the University of California, San Francisco, and a Chan Zuckerberg Biohub investigator, has pioneered the development and use of genome-wide editing approaches to study proteostasis networks in health and disease with a major focus on neurodegeneration. Kampmann has received numerous honors for his research, including the Chan Zukerberg Initiative Ben Barres Early Career Acceleration Award in 2018 and the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award in 2015. He earned his Ph.D. in biological sciences from The Rockefeller University.
“The autophagy-lysosomal system plays a fundamental role in preserving cellular health and is a very exciting target for neurodegeneration” Kampmann said. “Casma has the opportunity here to pioneer a new class of medicines based on these insights, and I’m excited to be working with their team and their stellar scientific advisers.”
Grimm and Kampmann will join founding scientific advisory board members Sascha Martens of the University of Vienna, Austria, and Pietro De Camilli of Yale University, both appointed in March 2019, and Steven Gygi of Harvard Medical School, who was appointed in October 2019.
About Casma Therapeutics
Casma Therapeutics is harnessing the natural cellular process of autophagy to open vast new target areas for drug discovery and development. Casma uses several approaches to intervene at strategic points throughout the autophagy-lysosome system to improve the cellular process of clearing out unwanted proteins, aggregates, organelles and invading pathogens. By boosting autophagy, Casma expects to be able to arrest or reverse the progression of lysosomal storage disorders, muscle disorders, inflammatory disorders and neurodegeneration, among other indications. Casma was launched in 2018 by Third Rock Ventures and is based in Cambridge, Mass. For more information, please visit www.casmatx.com.