Therapy Areas: Central Nervous System
BlackThorn Therapeutics Names Martin as President and Chief Operating Officer
6 November 2018 - - US-based biopharmaceutical company BlackThorn Therapeutics has promoted Bill Martin, Ph.D., to the position of president and chief operating officer, the company said.

The company also appointed Paul L. Berns, a biopharma industry veteran, to the board of directors as executive chair.

Martin succeeds Greg Vontz as president, who also served as chief executive officer and has departed the company.

With Berns joining BlackThorn's board, Mark Corrigan, former chairman, will now be the lead independent director.

Martin is a founding member of BlackThorn's management team and has served as chief scientific officer since the company's inception.

During that time, he established BlackThorn's vision and has been instrumental in building an integrated data science team and Research function that, together with Clinical Development, has created a robust pipeline of novel investigational therapeutics for neurobehavioral disorders, including two lead programmes in Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical development.

Prior to joining BlackThorn, Dr. Martin held multiple leadership positions at Theravance Biopharma, including leading the company's research portfolio planning initiative and serving as a member of the strategic partnership team and project team leader for an advanced clinical-stage central nervous system programme.

He began his career at Merck where he contributed to the strategic direction of Merck's Neuroscience franchise and chaired multiple CNS development teams. He has helped advance more than 12 new chemical entities into development.

He graduated from Swarthmore College, earned a Ph.D. from Brown University, and conducted postdoctoral research at the Keck Center for Integrative Neuroscience at the University of California, San Francisco.

Berns is currently a venture partner at ARCH. He previously served as president, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors of Anacor Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which was acquired by Pfizer Inc.

He was president, chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors of Allos Therapeutics, Inc. until its acquisition by Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Berns also was president, chief executive officer and a director of Bone Care International, Inc., which was acquired by Genzyme Corp.

Prior to that, he was vice president and general manager of the Immunology, Oncology and Pain Therapeutics business unit of Abbott Laboratories.

Earlier, he served as vice president, marketing, of BASF Pharmaceuticals/Knoll until its acquisition by Abbott Laboratories. He held various positions, including senior management roles, at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.

Berns is a member of the board of directors of MC2 Therapeutics, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, PLC, Menlo Therapeutics and UNITY biotechnology. He earned a B.S. in economics from the University of Wisconsin.

BlackThorn Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to transforming the lives of people with neurobehavioral disorders. BlackThorn has created a robust pipeline of first-in-class and potentially best-in-class treatments.

The company uses data-driven approaches to create a unique understanding of the core underlying pathophysiology of neurobehavioral disorders and applies these insights to generate objective neuromarkers that support target identification, patient stratification and clinical trial design. BlackThorn Therapeutics is headquartered in San Francisco, Calif.
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