Delaware – November 2019, iQure Pharma Inc., a company dedicated to preclinical and early development of oncology and CNS compounds, announced today that Dr. Joseph Wettstein is joining the company to serve as Chief Scientific Officer for the portfolio focused on Neuropathic Pain. Joe Wettstein’s most recent position was with F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. in Basel where he was Vice President and Head of Functional Neuroscience overseeing preclinical research activities associated with programs designed to discover new drugs for patients with disorders of the nervous system.
“Dr. Wettstein is a proven leader with vast experience in assessing and selecting new, promising and commercially attractive drug candidates. He has guided numerous projects from target validation in discovery research through clinical trial across multiple neurologic and psychiatric indications with four drugs reaching Phase III and one marketed.”
About Dr. Joseph Wettstein
Dr. Joseph Wettstein has a long-standing interest in brain research and its potential to lead to new medicines for neurologic and psychiatric disorders. Dr. Wettstein began his career in academic science, first as a student in biology at the University of California San Diego, followed by his doctoral research on opioids at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine where he received a Ph.D. in pharmacology. In the mid-1980’s, Dr. Wettstein was appointed Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. While at Harvard, he developed an international reputation as a pharmacologist and neuroscientist in the field of psychiatry while conducting research on the physiological and behavioral actions of clinical and experimental psychoactive drugs. In late 1988, Dr. Wettstein moved into pharmaceutical R&D at Jouveinal Laboratories near Paris where he built a Department of CNS Pharmacology around a neuropeptide platform focused on pain and depression. From 1996 to 2003, Joe worked for Hoechst Marion Roussel through two mergers concluding with Aventis Pharmaceuticals in New Jersey where he was Department Head of Systems Biology. In addition to his other accomplishments there, he and his team played a critical role in the discovery of teriflunomide, an orally-active immunomodulatory and neuroprotective drug that is now prescribed for patients with multiple sclerosis under the trade name Aubagio with annual sales in 2018 at US$ 1.6 billion.
Dr Peter Schiemann, Chairman
We are delighted to announce that Joe will extend his already successful relationship with iQure and will help drive our Neuropathic Pain portfolio toward clinical development. This is a great step forward for iQure as Joe has been instrumental in helping the company select the most promising candidates in the area of Neuropathic Pain. We all know how much unmet medical need there is for patients suffering from chronic pain related to diabetes and chemotherapy. Although this market continues to grow, so far it has produced few truly innovative medicines. iQure is looking forward to moving their compounds into development early next year, which will make a significant difference for patients. We are also targeting markets in China, where patients with exceptionally high needs experience huge difficulties getting access to state-of-the-art remedies.