May 24, 2023

Welcome to hubXchange’s CNS Therapeutics Xchange East Coast 2023, bringing together executives from pharma and biotech to address and find solutions to the key issues faced in developing CNS therapies.

Discussion topics will cover Novel Targets, Preclinical, Clinical Studies and Drug Delivery.

Take advantage of this unique highly interactive meeting format designed for maximum engagement, collaboration and networking with your peers.

Please note this is an In-Person meeting. 

VENUE DETAILS: Hilton Boston Woburn Hotel, 2 Forbes Road, Woburn MA 01801


  • Novel Non-Invasive Targeted Drug Delivery to the CNS
  • Emerging non-Amyloid targets for Alzheimer’s disease
  • Opportunities from emerging therapeutic modalities: Target selection in an evolving druggability landscape
  • Methods to increase the success rates of drugs entering clinical phases
  • Relevant in vitro mechanistic profiling to guide SAR and downstream in vivo studies
  • Utilizing clinical biomarkers to enhance drug development in neurodegenerative diseases
  • Clinical trials for rare diseases: challenges and opportunities
  • Non-invasive methods to increase brain drug uptake
  • Transcytosis-mediated brain delivery for proteins, antibodies, oligonucleotides, and small molecules
  • Novel strategies of drug delivery into the brain

Full Xchange Agenda

Click on each track for detailed agenda

Novel Targets

Titles and Bullets
08:00 – 08:30

08:30 – 09:00

Opening Address & Keynote Address
Expanding the horizon of EEG applications to accelerate CNS therapeutics development

The process of drug discovery is both costly and time-intensive. Through this keynote, we will explore the high translational potential of electroencephalography (EEG), a technique that finds use in both clinical and preclinical settings. The relevance of this tool will be illustrated by examples from epilepsy research. We’ll discuss how the development of more advanced EEG technology and analysis methods is also anticipated to further enhance the usefulness of EEG in understanding brain function and developing new therapeutic strategies against neurodegenerative, neurodevelopmental or rare CNS disorders.

Head of Technology, SynapCell

Julien holds a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Lyon, France. Julien joined SynapCell in 2017 after two post-docs in different structures in Toronto. Since then, he manages R&D Preclinical projects and develops new innovative solutions for sponsors. With over 12 years’ experience in the field, he is well-versed in the emerging technologies and industry trends.

Julien Volle Headshot

Scientific Sales Manager, SynapCell

After a MSc in Neuroscience and in international business in science, Hugo now manages the USA and LATAM zone. His background allows him to understand the current needs of the biopharma industry towards drug discovery for CNS disorders, and how to address them.

Hugo Monchal Headshot

09:05 – 10:05

Opportunities from emerging therapeutic modalities: Target selection in an evolving druggability landscape

  • Emerging therapeutic modalities especially for targeting traditionally undruggable or
    poorly druggable targets are opening new therapeutic avenues.
  • Beyond conventional small molecule and biologics, these approaches include
    ASO/siRNA, small molecule RNA therapeutics, protein degradation approaches, gene
    therapy and blood brain barrier delivery approaches.
  • Judicious pairing of target or target combinations with appropriate therapeutic
    modalities has the potential to propel the next phase of innovation in CNS therapeutics.

Global Head, Neuroscience Search & Evaluation, AbbVie

Murali Gopalakrishnan is responsible for Search & Evaluation-in Neuroscience at AbbVie. In prior roles, Murali held positions of increasing responsibility at Abbott / AbbVie leading Discovery research programs across multiple therapeutic areas including neuroscience, pain, nephrology and urology and delivering multiple clinical candidates to the R&D pipeline. At Abbott, Murali led the Global External Research group with responsibility for sourcing Discovery research-focused external innovation & establishing early-stage partnerships. He also had
responsibility for the growth and leadership of Abbott China R&;D Center in Shanghai, while leading the Renal Discovery Research. Murali obtained his undergraduate training in pharmacy, PhD in Pharmacology with post-doctoral training in molecular biology and also holds an M.B.A degree.

Murali Gopalakrishnan
10:10 – 10:40
1-2-1 Meetings/Networking Break
10:40 – 11:10
1-2-1 Meetings / Networking Break
11:10 – 11:20
Morning Refreshments
11:20 – 12:20

Clinical Studies topic
Multimodal, remote assessments for decentralized CNS clinical trials

  • Lowering burden on patients, CROs and clinic sites to allow robust enrollment and low early termination rates
  • The importance of capturing day to day fluctuations in cognition and mood
  • Ensuring remote assessments have high reliability and adherence and are equivalent to in-clinic assessments

Co-founder & Chief Scientific Officer, Cumulus Neuroscience.

Brian is a computational neuroscientist who is an expert in brain-reading technology, using machine learning methods to decode brain states from EEG, fMRI, MEG. His academic career a faculty position at Queen’s University Belfast, senior researcher at Carnegie Mellon University’s Department of Machine learning and as post-doc at the Centre for Mind/Brain Sciences, University of Trento, Italy. He has a Ph.D. in Cognitive Science from Trinity College Dublin, is a member of the Alzheimer’s Association EEG PIA committee, and organised the MLINI series of workshops on machine learning with neuroimaging data at NeurIPS.

12:20 – 13:20

Networking Lunch

13:20 – 13:50

Spotlight Presentation

AI-enabled phenotypic drug discovery delivers first-in-class treatments for major neuropsychiatric disorders

PsychoGenics’ has developed AI-enabled phenotypic platforms that have led to the discovery of numerous putative treatments for neuropsychiatric disorders including ulotaront, a novel antipsychotic discovered in partnership with Sunovion.  Ulotaront, is a non-Dopamine D2 treatment for schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders in Phase III.  It has produced robust effects across a broad range of symptoms of schizophrenia, including negative symptoms, with a placebo-like safety profile similar.  The presentation will describe SmartCube and eCube, high throughput, mouse behavioral and physiological platforms that offer unique
opportunities to reinvigorate the drug discovery process by identifying promising first-in-class compounds with novel mechanisms of action.

President, Drug Discovery and Development, PsychoGenics Inc

David is a neuroscientist and expert in drug discovery and development who most recently held the position as Chief Scientific Officer of Redpin Therapeutics. Previously, David served in multiple leadership roles at Eli Lilly and Company, including Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer in neuroscience research.

David Bleakman
13:55 – 14:25

1-2-1 Meetings / Networking Break

14:25 – 14:55

1-2-1 Meetings / Networking Break

15:00 – 16:00

Emerging non-amyloid targets for Alzheimer’s disease

  • What are the targets that you are most excited about? What kind of patient population do you think that type of therapy should target?
  • What kind of targets will be most suitable for early patients vs mild to moderate patients vs advanced patients?
  • Any targets that are not currently in development, but you think we should focus on as well?

Senior Vice President, Research & Development, Annovis Bio

Dr. Cheng Fang is an accomplished neuroscientist with two decades of experience in neurodegenerative diseases with broad scientific knowledge and hands-on experience. She has a successful track record of scientific publications and contributions.  Dr. Fang has deep drug development knowledge with both pre-clinical and clinical development experience.

Cheng Fang

16:00 – 16:30

Spotlight Presentation

Gold among the rubble: where digital innovation is finally impacting CNS medicine

The wave of digital innovation has at once inspired and frustrated those passionate for a medicine revolution. Santosh Shanbhang (CFO) will explain that, if you know where to look, investments are finally paying off. Among a host of false starts in the last decade, there’s also enough data to prove a few specific areas where digital is living up to the hype. Santosh will discuss these with examples, and discuss why CNS therapeutic areas are poised to realize the biggest immediate growth.

Chief Financial Officer, Akili, Inc.

CFO responsible for Finance, Corporate and Business Development, and Company Operations Shanbhag is a senior financial executive with 20 years of experience leading financial operations for U.S. and international organizations and executing complex business programs for transformative healthcare companies. Prior to joining Akili, Shanbhag held senior finance leadership roles at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, most recently as Vice President and Head of International Finance and Accounting, where he helped build-out the international business and secure reimbursement for novel medicines in key international markets. Prior to Vertex, Shanbhag served in positions of increasing responsibility at Capgemini Consulting and Texas Instruments. He holds an M.S. in Management & Engineering from MIT and Sloan School of Management and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

16:35 – 16:45
Afternoon Refreshments

16:45 – 17:45

Novel non-invasive targeted drug delivery to the CNS

  • Novel non-invasive delivery systems that can target within the CNS.
  • Targets within the CNS for different diseases — which targets for PD or ALS or AD, etc.
  • Are the targets on cell surface or cell interior — if so, how to access.
  • Is there a difference delivering RNA, small molecules, or proteins, related to targets.

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer. Founder Lauren Sciences

Susan Rosenbaum, J.D., is the Founder, Chairman & CEO of Lauren Sciences; 10 years successful biotech visionary, entrepreneurial leader, strategic executive, motivated manager w/experience and expertise. Licensed breakthrough V-Smart nanotechnology for BBB delivery from BGU, Israel; built Lauren Sciences LLC, multiple medical and scientific collaborations, 5-member MAB/SAB of KOLs, 12 foundation grant awards, innovative V-Smart platform applications, transformative V-Smart pipeline products in pre-clinical development for CNS; co-authored DD&D March 2018 cover feature, presented at 42 scientific conferences, w/posters at 8 scientific meetings, made Lauren Sciences 1st Place Winner Global Healthcare Innovation at BIO 2019. Founder (present): Lauren Sciences LLC; Maya Sciences LLC; Founder (past): investment banking firm (Rosenbaum & Co.), corporate finance law firm (Rosenbaum, P.C.); Private and public company BODs; Nat’l/internat’l author/speaker.

Susan Rosenbaum Photo
17:45 – 18:45
Evening Drinks Reception


CNS Therapeutics Xchange | East Coast 2023