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About

MindImmune scientists are at the forefront in discovering mechanisms of neuroinflammation that may be targeted for breakthrough therapeutics for brain disease.

Team

MindImmune’s scientific co-founders collectively bring over a century of successful drug discovery experience from their leadership positions at large and mid-size pharmaceutical companies, as well as in biotech.

Stevin Zorn, PhD

Stevin Zorn, PhD

President and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Zorn, a neuropharmacologist with extensive executive experience throughout the pharmaceutical value chain, has over 30 years of drug discovery and drug development success across a broad range of neuro and psychiatric disorders.

Prior to co-founding MindImmune Therapeutics in 2016, Dr. Zorn was Executive Vice President and Site head for Neuroscience Research for Lundbeck’s USA Research Site, Lundbeck Research USA, and board member for Lundbeck USA. He has been a member of Lundbeck’s Global Research Committee, Development Committee, R&D Management group, the R&D Executive Committee and US R&D Management Group. He conceived of and built one of the first Neuroinflammation Disease Biology Units in the industry. There he established a talented group of scientists that brought together disciplines of immunology, inflammation, and neuroscience to capitalize on the recently growing knowledge base showing the relationship between Neuroinflammation and CNS diseases to advance new approaches for the treatment of mental illness. This became Lundbeck USA’s primary area of focus.

Prior to Lundbeck, Dr. Zorn was with Pfizer Global Research and Development for nearly 20 years. He held positions including head of General Pharmacology, Alzheimer’s Disease Clinical Development Team Leader, Head of Psychotherapeutics Biology, Head of Neuroscience Therapeutics, Co-Chair of the Global Neuroscience Therapeutic Area Leadership Team including accountability for all R&D as well as commercialization, and was Vice President and Global Therapeutic Area Head for Central Nervous System Disorders Research at Pfizer including chair of the Global Research Therapeutic Area Leadership Team. Dr. Zorn became Pfizer’s first global head of Neuroscience Research, was co-architect of what became the company’s overall Neuroscience area strategy and co-led the second largest and among the most productive therapeutic areas at Pfizer. As member of the Discovery Research Management Team of the Ann Arbor Pfizer site, Dr. Zorn was also jointly accountable for site deliverables from five therapeutic areas: Neuroscience, Cardiovascular, Inflammation, Dermatology, and Infectious Diseases. Across his industry career, Dr. Zorn shepherded or led research generating dozens of drug candidates from Lundbeck and Pfizer in clinical development for multiple indications; many have progressed to phase II/III or have advanced into commercialization.

In conjunction with his responsibilities as President and CEO of MindImmune Therapeutics, Inc., Dr. Zorn is a Ryan Research Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Rhode Island.

Dr. Zorn received a BS degree in Chemistry from Lafayette College, Easton, PA, and MS and Ph.D. degrees in Neurotoxicology and Neuropharmacology, respectively, from the University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Houston, TX. Subsequent postdoctoral research studies centered on basic research of brain and intracellular neuronal signaling mechanisms at the Rockefeller University, New York, NY, in the laboratory of Paul Greengard (Nobel Laureate).

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Frank S. Menniti, PhD

Frank S. Menniti, PhD

Chief Science Officer

Dr. Menniti is a neuroscientist with over 30 years of successful drug discovery and development experience.

After a career in CNS Discovery at Pfizer (1992-2009), Dr. Menniti founded two CNS-focused biotech companies, Mnemosyne Pharmaceuticals and MindImmune Therapeutics. Dr. Menniti served as Chief Science Officer of Mnemosyne (2010-2015) and was the principal architect of the company’s Subunit- selective NMDA Receptor Modulators platform. Mnemosyne’s novel therapeutics for depression and schizophrenia were acquired by Novartis and are advancing in clinical development.

At Pfizer, Dr. Menniti rose to the rank of Research Fellow, where he was a principal in developing the scientific rationale for use of NMDA receptor GluN2B antagonists for stroke, neuropathic pain, Parkinson’s disease, and depression and in the clinical development of the prototype GluN2B antagonist CP-101,606. Dr. Menniti also played a leading role in developing the therapeutic rationales and early clinical development of phosphodiesterase inhibitors for neuropsychiatric disease. This included the identification of PDE10A inhibitors for schizophrenia and Huntington’s disease, with the first PDE10A inhibitor to reach Phase II development. Dr. Menniti also led the discovery teams that advanced the first PDE9A inhibitor into Phase II testing for Alzheimer’s disease and the first PDE5A inhibitor into Phase II testing to improve functional recovery after stroke.

Since 2015, Dr. Menniti has served as the Chief Science Officer of MindImmune and is a Ryan Research Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Rhode Island.

Dr. Menniti received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 1987 and was a Staff Fellow in the laboratory of Dr. James W. Putney at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (1988- 1992), participating in research elucidating the fundamentals of inositol phosphate and intracellular calcium signaling.

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Robert B. Nelson, PhD

Robert B. Nelson, PhD

Vice President, Biology and Corporate Secretary

Dr. Nelson has nearly 30 years of experience in pharmaceutical drug discovery and development, including work on both small molecule and biologic drug candidates.

Most recently, Dr. Nelson jointly established and built one of the first neuroinflammation units in the industry, which served as a primary focus of US research by Lundbeck. He was on the US research management team responsible for design and execution of drug discovery strategy (2010-2015). He created and headed a research division that identified peripheral immune mechanisms acting across the blood-brain barrier to propagate multiple neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, small vessel disease (SVD), and progressive MS. Dr. Nelson was project lead on two academic/industrial collaborations pursuing biologics- based therapeutic candidates for AD and progressive MS, one with Dr. Katerina Akassoglou at the Gladstone Institutes, and the other with Dr. Dave Morgan at the USF Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute.

Prior to joining Lundbeck, Dr. Nelson was an Associate Research Fellow in the CNS Discovery group at Pfizer, Inc. (1991-2009). While at Pfizer, Dr. Nelson was leader on a project that nominated for clinical development a prototype nNOS inhibitor CP-601,073 for stroke and stroke recovery. Dr. Nelson was also the biology lead on a joint collaboration with TransTech Pharmaceuticals that resulted in the nomination of TTP- 488, a RAGE antagonist currently in Phase III clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease.

In conjunction with his responsibilities as Vice President, Exploratory Biology of MindImmune Therapeutics, Inc., Dr. Nelson is a Ryan Research Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Rhode Island.

Dr. Nelson received his Ph.D. from Northwestern University (Neuroscience program/Dept. of Psychology) in 1987 and was a Freudenberger Research Fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Huntington Potter at Harvard Medical School from 1989-1991, studying the role of CNS proteases in neurite outgrowth, astrocytic differentiation, and aberrant protein production/protein refolding.

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Diane Gooding

Diane Gooding

Corporate Treasurer, Director of Business Operations

Ms. Gooding brings over three decades of experience in finance, fundraising, and project management to MindImmune, with operations presently based at the University of Rhode Island.

Ms. Gooding manages the Company’s operations, including banking relationships, corporate budgeting, and financial arrangements with key partners. Ms. Gooding most recently served as Director of Operations for Mnemosyne Pharmaceuticals (2013-2014), an early stage, drug discovery company. Prior to her position at Mnemosyne, Ms. Gooding was Chief Development Officer of Bradley Hospital (2009-2013), the pediatric psychiatric hospital affiliated with Lifespan, the academic medical center associated with the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University. Ms. Gooding was responsible for the strategic planning and implementation of the hospital’s record-breaking fundraising results for the Hospital’s programs and research. Ms. Gooding’s early career was in corporate and merchant banking in New York, NY.

Ms. Gooding received her B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, and her M.B.A. in Finance from Columbia University in New York, NY.

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Board of Directors

MindImmune’s Board of Directors bring broad scientific, executive, and venture finance experience in neuroscience drug discovery and development to company governance.

Stevin Zorn, PhD

Stevin Zorn, PhD

President and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Zorn, a neuropharmacologist with extensive executive experience throughout the pharmaceutical value chain, has over 30 years of drug discovery and drug development success across a broad range of neuro and psychiatric disorders.

Christopher O'Donnell, PhD

Christopher O'Donnell, PhD

Vice President, WRDM/Partner, Pfizer Ventures, New York, NY

Dr. O’Donnell brings over 20 years of scientific leadership and a strong track record of delivering clinical candidates both within Pfizer and for Pfizer’s equity investments in portfolio companies.

Tracy Saxton, PhD

Tracy Saxton, PhD

Managing Partner, Dolby Family Ventures, San Francisco, CA

Dr. Saxton is a venture investor with broad experience in the biopharmaceutical sector across strategy, business development, regulatory affairs, and drug discovery.

Investors

MindImmune has the financial backing of a sector-competent investment syndicate committed to developing new therapies for human brain disease, most particularly Alzheimer’s disease.