Former Pfizer research lead to drive development of Aquinnah’s neurodegenerative therapeutic development programs

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — May 15, 2018 Aquinnah Pharmaceuticals, leaders in stress granule biology, an exciting new approach in the development of neurodegenerative therapeutics for ALS and Alzheimer’s diseases, today announced the appointment of Travis T. Wager, Ph.D., as Vice President of Research. Dr. Wager brings almost 20 years of leadership experience driving neuroscience research and drug discovery programs at Pfizer. Dr. Wager will oversee all discovery biology and chemistry activities for Aquinnah’s growing pipeline of neurodegenerative therapeutics.

“We are very excited to welcome Travis to our growing team,” said Glenn Larsen, Ph.D., Co-founder, President and CEO of Aquinnah. “His leadership and experience at Pfizer, where he helped advance eight neuroscience programs to clinical development, and his deep and extensive research and development experience will be invaluable as we advance our therapeutic programs targeting stress granules in both ALS, tau biology in Alzheimer’s, and other neurodegenerative diseases.”

Prior to joining Aquinnah, Dr. Wager held various leadership positions at Pfizer including Project Leader for Neuroscience and Head of small molecule design for the Neuroscience and Pain Research Unit. Dr. Wager is an internationally recognized expert in the field of brain-penetrant small molecule design. His seminal contributions to the understanding of physicochemical properties and the development of the CNS MPO desirability tool has enabled drug discovery design across the industry. He has been published extensively in ACS Chemical Neuroscience and Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, authored nearly 40 scientific papers and holds over 30 patents. While at Pfizer, Dr. Wager’s eight small molecule programs advanced to clinical development candidates, including the first kinase inhibitor for a CNS indication. Beyond developing new medicines targeting Alzheimer’s disease, Dr. Wager has developed compounds to treat Schizophrenia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy and allergic rhinitis. He has received numerous awards including the W.E. Upjohn Award from Pfizer, the Cheves T. Walling Award from University of Utah and is also a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for ACS Chemical Neuroscience. Dr. Wager obtained a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Utah with Professor G. E. Keck, where he also conducted his postdoctoral research.

“The field of neurodegenerative diseases is vast and includes a number of conditions with high, unmet medical needs, such as ALS and Alzheimer’s, where I have dedicated my education and career,” said Dr. Wager. “I look forward to leading the research and development team at Aquinnah and advancing our first-in-class medicines to accomplish Aquinnah’s mission to provide life-changing impact for patients around the world.”

About Aquinnah Pharmaceuticals

Aquinnah Pharmaceuticals is harnessing the power of stress granule biology to develop a new class of drug candidates with the potential to prevent and possibly reverse the pathology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, as well as Alzheimer’s disease. Aquinnah is financially backed by Abbvie, Inc., Pfizer, Inc. and Takeda Pharmaceuticals.

Company Contact
Glenn Larsen, President & CEO
Aquinnah Pharmaceuticals

Media Contact
George MacDougall
MacDougall Biomedical Communications