Press Releases 07.08.2003
Hypnion founders elected to National Academy of Sciences
Elections represent highest honors accorded U.S. scientists, underscore significance of company's scientific research and developments in chronic sleep-wake disorders
From dBusinessNews.com, July 8, 2003
WORCESTER - Hypnion, Inc., a pioneering neuroscience drug discovery company focused on sleep-wake neurobiology and pharmaceuticals, today announced that two of its founders - Michael Rosbash and Joseph S. Takahashi - have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).
Drs. Rosbash and Takahashi are both leading neurobiologists with unparalleled expertise in circadian rhythms, sleep-wake disorders, in vivo assays and functional genomics. In addition to their many scientific accomplishments and prestigious appointments, collectively they have authored more than 370 scientific publications, including articles on the first isolation of a circadian gene, and the principal molecular model for circadian rhythms.
"Dr. Rosbash and Dr. Takahashi are renowned scientists and vital members of Hypnion's Scientific Board of Advisors," said Hypnion President and CEO John Dee. "Their contributions provide our company with the critical scientific foundation for our efforts to address the large, underserved markets of sleep-wake disorders, and they have been instrumental in helping to establish Hypnion as a recognized emerging leader in this area."
Hypnion recently received $47.5 million in financing, which will advance the company's lead program into clinical trials with several proprietary compounds that have superior pre-clinical efficacy and safety compared to current sleep-wake therapeutics. The company is addressing a tremendous market need for people worldwide suffering from serious sleep disorders including insomnia, sleep apnea, and circadian rhythm abnormalities. Sleep disorders affect more than 70 million Americans, and among these individuals nearly 60 percent have a chronic disorder, according to the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research.
Initially, Hypnion is transforming safe, marketed compounds into sleep-wake therapeutics by designing patentable analogs that have optimal sleep-wake efficacy and minimal side effects. The patient population for sleep disorders is larger than those for anxiety or depression and represents a potential $10 billion market in the U.S.
Michael Rosbash, Ph.D. - Dr. Rosbash is Professor and Chair of the Biology Department and an Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Brandeis University. He also holds a Professor appointment in the Department of Molecular Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Rosbash is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a recipient of the Caltech Distinguished Alumni Award. His frequent lectures at scientific universities and conferences have included the Feodor Lynen Lecture at the Mosbacher Colloquium, and the keynote address at the French Developmental Biology Society. Dr. Rosbash serves on the editorial boards of RNA and Cell, and the advisory panels of the RNA Society and the Genetics Review Panel for NCCR (Switzerland). He is the author of more than 230 scientific publications, including articles reporting the first isolation of a circadian gene, the Period (PER) gene in Drosophila, and one describing the principal molecular model for circadian rhythms, a light-interactive, transcription-translation feedback regulatory mechanism.
Joseph S. Takahashi, Ph.D. - Dr. Takahashi is the Walter and Mary Elizabeth Glass Professor in the Life Sciences, and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, at Northwestern University. He holds Professor appointments in the Department of Neurobiology and Physiology and in the Department of Neurology at Northwestern University Medical School, and is the Director of the Center for Functional Genomics. He has served on the editorial boards of Neuron; Physiological Genomics; Gene; Brain and Behavior; and Journal of Biological Rhythms. He was also a member of the National Advisory Mental Health Council of the NIH. Among the honors received by Dr. Takahashi for his research accomplishments are the Honma Prize in biological rhythms research; NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award; Searle Scholars Award; Bristol-Myers Squibb Unrestricted Grant; the C.U. Ariens Kappers Medal; W. Alden Spencer Award in Neuroscience; Eduard Buchner Prize of the German Biochemical Society, and Fellow of American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the author of more than 140 scientific publications, and is widely recognized for identification, isolation and characterization of the Clock gene in mice, the first vertebrate circadian gene to be isolated using forward genetics.
About The National Academy of Sciences
The National Academy of Sciences is a private organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to the advancement of science. It was established in 1863 by a congressional act, signed by Abraham Lincoln, which calls on the Academy to act as an official adviser to the federal government in any matter of science or technology.
Hypnion is a venture-funded neuroscience drug discovery company founded in 2000 by leading scientists in the field of sleep research and circadian rhythms. The company's initial focus is on the discovery and development of innovative new therapies for people worldwide suffering from sleep-wake disorders and circadian rhythm abnormalities. Hypnion has proprietary rights to the world's most advanced in-vivo sleep-wake system, SCORE-2000(TM). For more information, visit www.hypnion.com.