text
Cortene

A Clinical Stage Biopharmaceutical Company With a Disruptive Hypothesis


Dysregulated serotonin signals are implicated in Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, dysautonomia, autoimmunity, chronic kidney disease, chronic pain, among other ACDs.

These signals are driven by upregulated CRFR2, which is reversible using agonist-mediated receptor endocytosis.

New Parkinson's Treatment synapse
Cortene’s Mission

Our mission is to cure acquired chronic diseases (ACDs) that result from a dysregulation of brain serotonin, which occurs via a particular receptor (CRFR2).

Our hypothesis has been partially proven in a proof-of-concept Phase 2 clinical trial.

We plan to conduct trials in Parkinson’s and Alzheimers… seeking to reverse symptoms… not slow their progression.

Success in these trials will validate that a single brain receptor can cause apparently different diseases, and revolutionize how we treat patients with ACD.

Start with brain signals

Cortene’s unique approach sought to determine how brain signals control function and how this might lead to ACD.  Essentially, we reverse engineered the problem.

What we discovered led us to where we are today–on the brink of curing several ACDs.

New Parkinson's Treatment brain2
The brain transiently adapts in response to our internal and external needs
New Parkinson's Treatment: Single Receptor synapse
A single receptor is critical to this adaptation
New Parkinson's Treatment: Brain Warning brain-warning
The receptor can maladapt, permanently
New Parkinson's Treatment: Wave wave2
This dysregulates the brain signals, and manifests as symptoms
New Parkinson's Treatment: Graph graph2
Our treatment seeks to restore the receptor and eliminate symptoms.
text
Meet the team
Management
 Gerard
Gerard Pereira President & CEO
Gerard Pereira
Founder, President & CEO

Gerard is the Founder of Cortene, where he developed Cortene’s theory on the cause of ME/CFS and novel therapeutic approach. Prior to Cortene, Gerard was Chief Business officer and Chief Financial Officer of Capnia, Inc., a company developing a drug-device combination product for migraine and allergies. Previously, he served as Vice-President of Business Development for NeurogesX, Inc., a company developing a topical therapeutic for the treatment of neuropathic pain. Gerard has extensive experience across several aspects of the drug development process, including regulatory affairs, small molecule and peptide manufacturing and formulation, clinical trials and fund-raising.

Gerard received his MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, and his MSc. and BSc. in Engineering  from the University of Bath, UK.

 Sanjay
Sanjay Chanda, PhD Chief Development Officer
Sanjay Chanda, PhD
Chief Development Officer

Sanjay has over 20 years of experience in drug development, including experience with product development, regulatory affairs, and product registration. Most recently, Sanjay served as Senior Vice President, Drug Development at Anacor Pharmaceuticals until its acquisition by Pfizer in June of 2016. He also held industry positions at NeurogesX, Cerus Corporation and PPD-Development.

Sanjay received his PhD. in Pharmacology/Toxicology from Northeast Louisiana University and completed postdoctoral fellowships at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina.

 Michael
Michael Corbett Chief Business Officer
Michael Corbett
Chief Business Officer

Michael has over 20 years of experience building client and community relationships across healthcare and hi-tech industries. He has experience in technical and financial roles, building online community networks for ground breaking startups as well as large public healthcare companies with a focus on mental and behavioral health.

Michael received his BSc. with honors in Computer Science and BSc. in Multidisciplinary Science from Curtin University of Technology (Western Australia).


Advisors
 Errol
Errol De Souza, PhD
 Errol
Errol De Souza, PhD

Dr. Errol De Souza is the Executive Chairman of Bionomics Limited, a global, clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing a pipeline of novel drug candidates targeting ion channels in CNS disorders.  He has substantial experience as an executive in the biopharmaceutical industry, having founded Neurocrine Biosciences and served as president and CEO of several public and private companies including Biodel, Synaptic Pharmaceutical Corp, Neuropore Therapies and Archemix. Dr. De Souza has raised several hundred million dollars in capital in private and public sectors, and has taken companies public as well as sold companies to provide liquidity and build shareholder value.

Over Dr. De Souza’s career, he has served in a number of high-ranking research and development (R&D) roles, including as the senior vice president and U.S. head of R&D for Aventis from 1998 to 2002, co-founder and executive vice president of R&D at Neurocrine from 1992 to1998, and head of CNS at DuPont Merck from1990 to 1992. He also serves on the board of directors of several public and private companies.

 Hunter
Hunter Gillies, MD
 Hunter
Hunter Gillies, MD

Hunter is trained in internal medicine and exercise physiology and has 20 years of experience with small molecule drug development in the Pharma/Biotech industry. He has successfully led drug development teams and worked in a number of therapeutic areas including cardiovascular, respiratory, sexual health and liver disease with both Pfizer and Gilead Sciences.

Hunter received his BSc., MSc. and M.B. Ch.B. from the University of Cape Town, South Africa and his Diploma in Sports & Exercise Medicine from Queen Mary University London, UK.

 Lee
Lee Sweeney, PhD
 Lee
Lee Sweeney, PhD

Dr. Lee Sweeney is the Thomas H. Maren endowed Professor of Pharmacology & Therapeutics at the University of Florida, and Director of the UF Myology Institute. Lee’s research program is translational in focus, and has produced highly cited research on inherited forms of cardiovascular disease, and on the skeletal and cardiac aspects of muscular dystrophy. Dr. Sweeney served as Chairman of the Department of Physiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine from 1999-2013, before moving to the University of Florida in 2015. He was elected as a Fellow of the American Heart Association in 2001 and a fellow of the Biophysical Society in 2018.

Dr. Sweeney earned his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and received a master’s degree in physiology and a doctorate in physiology and biophysics from Harvard University. His postdoctoral work was at Southwestern Medical School in Dallas.

 Cort
Cort Johnson
 Cort
Cort Johnson

Cort Johnson is the founder and director of Health Rising – a website dedicated to covering the latest research and treatment possibilities for chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and fibromyalgia (FM). Cort came down with ME/CFS/FM while engaged in an Environmental Studies program at the University of California at Santa Cruz during the 1980’s.

Unable to complete the program at UCSC due to ME/CFS/FM, Cort received a BA in Philosophy from Cal State Long Beach in the late 1980′s, and then an MS in Environmental Studies from San Jose State University in 2000.

Dissatisfied with the ME/CFS content available on the web, Cort has dedicated the last 15+ years to explicating ME/CFS research and treatment. He founded a non-profit, Phoenix Rising and later Health Rising where he has produced over a thousand articles that catalogue developments in ME/CFS as well as fibromyalgia (FM) research.

In 2015 Cort was Prohealth’s Advocate of the Year. In 2016 he received a Special Services award from the organization supporting ME/CFS professionals – the International Association of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (IACFS/ME). Health Rising has also been named one of the best fibromyalgia blogs.

 Susan
Suzanne Vernon, PhD
 Susan
Suzanne Vernon, PhD

Suzanne is dedicated to finding the causes and treatments for infection-associated chronic conditions, allowing patients to return to healthy and productive lives. She published one of the first papers demonstrating that an HIV protein could turn on human papillomavirus cancer-causing genes, and she spearheaded one of the first multiomics research studies to identify diagnostic biomarkers and treatment targets for MEcfs. She was part of the international team that discovered that the severity of acute infection, rather than the specific pathogen, predicted subsequent development of MEcfs. Suzanne is one of the leading researchers in the field of infection-associated chronic conditions, including ME/CFS and Long COVID.

Suzanne received her PhD in Virology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin and completed postdoctoral research in Molecular Epidemiology at the Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, Georgia.

 Shaun
Shaun Colburn, MD
 Shaun
Shaun Colburn, MD

Shaun is U.S. board certified in internal medicine, cardiology and electrophysiology. He is a practicing electrophysiologist at the Ballad Health CVA Heart Institute. He has published widely on cardiology, including cardiology related effects in a variety of post-infectious and chronic diseases.

Shaun received his medical degree from St. George’s University and completed his internal medicine residency at UPMC Pinnacle. This was followed by completing fellowships in cardiology at Geisinger Medical Center, and in clinical cardiac electrophysiology at the University of Minnesota.