Casma Therapeutics Appoints Nagesh Mahanthappa, Ph.D., MBA, to Board of Directors

November 17, 2020

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.-November 17, 2020 – Casma Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company harnessing the process of autophagy to design powerful new medicines, today announced the appointment of Nagesh Mahanthappa, Ph.D., MBA, to its Board of Directors.

“We are pleased to welcome Nagesh to our Board of Directors at this significant next stage of Casma’s development,” stated Keith Dionne, Ph.D., chief executive officer. “Nagesh is a highly respected industry leader with valuable executive, company creation and strategic business development experience in both start-ups and larger biotechnology companies. We look forward to drawing on Nagesh’s expertise as we create breakthrough products for patients by harnessing the degradative power of the autophagy pathway.”

Nagesh was most recently the founding employee, president and CEO of Scholar Rock, Inc. (Nasdaq:SRRK), a Cambridge biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of a novel class of medicines that modulate signaling by protein growth factors to treat musculoskeletal, fibrotic diseases and cancer. During his eight-year tenure, Nagesh took the company public and led two distinct drug candidates into clinical testing. His previous professional experiences include being a founding employee and VP of corporate development at Avila Therapeutics, Inc. (acquired by Celgene in early 2012) and a founding employee of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals where he held the position of VP, scientific & strategic development. He has also worked at Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Ontogeny (now a part of Curis, Inc.).

“I am excited about joining Casma’s Board,” stated Dr. Mahanthappa. “I am looking forward to working with Casma’s existing Board members as well as the company’s experienced and passionate management team to help create a new generation of drugs based on this important area of biology. Targeted degradation has become a rich area for drug development and Casma, with its insightful approach to harnessing autophagy, is leading the way with a truly differentiated approach.”

Nagesh completed his post-doctoral training at E.K. Shriver Center for Mental Retardation (then an affiliate of Massachusetts General Hospital) and Harvard Medical School after receiving his Ph.D. in neurobiology from the California Institute of Technology. Nagesh received his B.A. in biology and chemistry from the University of Colorado and his MBA from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Management at Babson College.

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 has developed a novel targeted degradation platform that utilizes the autophagosome to degrade disease causing aggregates, dysfunctional organelles and other large and complex difficult to drug targets. In addition, Casma uses several other approaches to intervene at strategic points in the autophagy-lysosome system to improve the cellular process of enhancing membrane repair. By boosting autophagy, Casma expects to be able to arrest or reverse the progression of multiple disorders. Casma was launched in 2018 by Third Rock Ventures and is based in Cambridge, Mass. Additional investors include The Column Group, Eventide Asset Management and Schroder Adveq. For more information, please visit


Investors and Media
Courteney Backstrom
Casma Therapeutics, Inc.

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