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Axial Biotherapeutics Strengthens Senior Management Team with Appointment of Jeff Young as Chief Financial Officer

Dennis Yamashita, Ph.D., joins as Vice President, Medicinal Chemistry

BOSTON and Pasadena, Calif. October 30, 2018 – Axial Biotherapeutics, a biotechnology company building a unique class of microbial-inspired therapeutics for neurological diseases, today announced the appointment of Jeffrey Young as the company’s first Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Mr. Young brings over 20 years of finance and capital markets experience, an extensive background in financial planning and operations, management and strategy, and a deep knowledge of the life sciences sector. In addition, Axial Biotherapeutics also announced the appointment of Dennis Yamashita, Ph.D., as Vice President, Medicinal Chemistry.

“Jeff is a highly experienced financial manager with a deep strategic understanding of the field. His addition to our management will greatly help us to continue building the strong financial foundations needed to support our progress in the clinic,” said David H. Donabedian, Ph.D., Co-founder and CEO of Axial Biotherapeutics. “Axial is advancing highly innovative programs for neurologic diseases and disorders, and we expect our drug candidates for both Parkinson’s disease and for Autism spectrum disorder to enter the clinic by the end of 2018.”

“Axial’s promising scientific basis, strong founders and leadership have generated a cutting-edge approach to discovering and developing novel therapeutics for neurological diseases and disorders by targeting the gastrointestinal tract,” said Jeffrey Young, Axial’s new CFO. “With multiple programs now advancing in and towards the clinic, I look forward to working with this exceptional team toward achieving our next set of milestones and establishing clinical proof of concept for Axial’s breakthrough approach.”

Mr. Young most recently served as CFO, Treasurer and Secretary at Juniper Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he played an instrumental role in Juniper’s acquisition by Catalent. Prior to that, Mr. Young served as CFO and Treasurer of OvaScience, a global fertility company focused on new treatment options for women. Mr. Young was previously the CFO and Treasurer of Transmedics, a developer of medical devices for the maintenance and transport of organs between donors and recipients. Before that, he served as CFO and Treasurer at Lantheus Medical Imaging, where he led and managed multiple public debt offerings. Mr. Young began his career holding various positions of increasing responsibility in finance at Critical Therapeutics, PerkinElmer, Inc. and PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP. Mr. Young holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Georgetown University.

Dr. Dennis Yamashita is a highly experienced and accomplished drug developer and medicinal chemist with extensive leadership experience at GSK and in biotech. Prior to joining Axial, Dr. Yamashita held various leadership roles at GSK, ORIC, and Trevena. Most recently, he was VP Drug Discovery of ORIC (Overcoming Resistance in Cancer) and was formerly VP Chemistry at Trevena. At GSK, Dr. Yamashita was Executive Director in Discovery Partnerships with Academia in Cambridge, MA and was also Director of Medicinal Chemistry in Microbial, Musculoskeletal, and Proliferative Diseases Center of Excellence Drug Discovery in Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Yamashita holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from MIT and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Yale University.

About Axial Therapeutics

Axial Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of gut-restricted, small molecule therapeutics for central nervous system (CNS) disorders. The company is leveraging its expertise in the gut-brain axis and its unique drug development platform to advance novel therapies that have the potential to transform the treatment paradigm in neurological diseases. Axial is advancing a pipeline of small molecule product candidates with lead clinical programs that address underlying pathology and resulting symptoms in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Parkinson’s Disease (PD), and additional preclinical initiatives in small molecules in other areas of autism and PD, as well as oncology and rare CNS diseases.

Contacts for Axial Therapeutics


Mike Beyer
Sam Brown, Inc.


Jeffrey Young, CFO

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