Luca Santarelli named Head of CNS Discovery and Translational Area for Roche’s Pharma Research and Early Development (pRED) organization
Nutley, N.J. - April 13, 2010 - Roche announced today that Luca Santarelli, M.D., has been named Head of the Central Nervous System (CNS) Discovery and Translational Area (DTA), ¹ effective immediately. The CNS DTA is one of five disease-focused organizations at Roche and oversees research and early development up to late stage development in the field of Neurology/Neurosciences.
Since 2007, Luca has been the Global Head of Neuroscience, Clinical Research and Early Development (CRED). He joined Roche in 2005, and has helped progress five internal and partnered programs to Phase 2 in schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, treatment-resistant depression and fragile X, and one schizophrenia trial to late stage development. (link to Roche’s current CNS pipeline)
Luca received his medical training, including Residency in Psychiatry, at the University of Turin, Italy (his native country), followed by a Postdoctoral Fellowship and Associate Research Scientist position at New York’s Columbia University in the laboratory of Prof. René Hen. He gained clinical experience in both hospital and university settings, and served one year as an attending medical lieutenant in the Italian Air Force.
Published in high profile scientific journals including Science, Nature, PNAS and Nature Neuroscience, Luca’s academic research focused on the molecular basis of depression and anxiety, mechanism of action of antidepressants and adult neurogenesis.
For his works on the involvement of adult neurogenesis in the mechanism of action of antidepressant, in 2004 Luca was awarded the Freedman Award for Outstanding Breakthroughs in Basic Brain and Behavioral Science from the National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia Anxiety and Depression (NARSAD).
“Luca’s appointment underscores Roche’s commitment to translational medicine and its significant relationship to early discovery/research,” said Jean-Jacques Garaud, Global Head of pRED (Pharma Research and Early Development). “Combined with his vision and passion for revolutionizing translational medicine in neurosciences, Luca’s excellent scientific and leadership credentials will serve Roche well as we address unmet medical needs in neurosciences.”
¹ There are five Discovery and Translation Areas within Roche’s Pharma Research and Early Development organizations that oversee research and early development up to full development decisions. The other DTAs are focused on Oncology, Inflammation, Metabolics and Virology.
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche’s personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2009, Roche had over 80’000 employees worldwide and invested almost 10 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 49.1 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information: www.roche.com.
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