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Meet the Founder


Spyros Papapetropoulos MD, PhD

Spyros is an experienced biopharmaceutical executive, a recognized researcher, a clinician, and a change agent. He has held positions of increasing responsibility at small, medium, and large CNS-focused biopharma companies.

Prior to joining Vigil Neurosciences he served at Acadia Pharmaceuticals as CDO, and SVP, Head of Development, at SwanBio Therapeutics (a gene therapy company) as CEO and at Cavion as Head of Research and Development and CMO. Before Cavion he held senior/executive positions at Biogen, Allergan, Pfizer, and TEVA. Has filed multiple INDs and has overseen a broad spectrum of biopharmaceutical development programs (small molecules, biologics, gene therapy) leading to successful regulatory filings (>20 INDs/3 NDAs/2 sBLAs) and new product launches worldwide.

For the past 17 years, he has led efforts in academic research, digital medicine, biopharmaceutical innovation and machine learning developing standards and novel technology-based tools and pioneering decentralized clinical trials. Spyros has a track record on building focused, innovative, fast-paced teams with an emphasis on science and culture.

Spyros is a board-certified Neurologist and Neuroscientist trained at the University of Patras, Greece and Queen’s Square/UCL, London, UK and holds appointments as Consultant with Massachusetts General Hospital and Voluntary Professor of Neurology with the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine.

He has authored more than 165 peer-reviewed publications, several patents, book chapters, presented and chaired meetings since 1998. Spyros has received awards and has served as a member of various US government and nonprofit committees on healthcare and biomedical research innovation.

Positions and Employment

2000 - 2001 Clinical Fellow, National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery - Queen Square, London

2003 - 2007 Assistant Professor of Neurology, University of Miami, Leonard Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL

2007 - 2008 Associate Professor of Neurology, University of Miami, Leonard Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA, University of Miami, Leonard Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL

2008 - 2010 Medical Director, Experimental Neurology, Biogen, Cambridge, MA

2010 - 2012 Sr Medical Director, Therapeutic Area Head, Neurosciences, Allergan Inc, Irvine, CA

2012 - 2015 Sr Medical Director, Neurosciences Research Unit, Pfizer Inc, Cambridge, MA

2015 - 2017 Vice President, Neurodegeneration Therapeutic Area Head, TEVA Pharmaceuticals, Malvern, PA

2017 - 2019 Executive Vice President, Head of R&D and CMO, Cavion Inc, Cambridge, MA

2019 Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors, SwanBio Therapeutics, Cambridge, MA

2019 - present Founder and President, Encephalos Life Sciences LLC – A Neurosciences Consulting Company

2019 – present Chief Business Officer, OccamzRazor Inc, An Artificial Intelligence-powered biotech company

2019 - 2020 Executive R&D Advisor (Chief Development Officer), Acadia Pharmaceuticals, Princeton NJ 

2020 - present Chief Medical Officer, Vigil Neurosciences, Cambridge MA 

2020 - present Independent Board Director, Adamas Pharmaceuticals, Emeryville CA 

Selected Publications:

Therapeutic Pathways & Target Identification

  1. Lesnick TG, Papapetropoulos S, Mash DC, Ffrench-Mullen J, Shehadeh L, de Andrade M, Henley JR, Rocca WA, Ahlskog JE, Maraganore DM. A genomic pathway approach to a complex disease: axon guidance and Parkinson disease. PLoS Genet. 2007 Jun;3(6):e98. PubMed PMID: 17571925; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1904362.
  2. Maraganore DM, de Andrade M, Elbaz A, Farrer MJ, Ioannidis JP, Krüger R, Rocca WA, Schneider NK, Lesnick TG, Lincoln SJ, Hulihan MM, Aasly JO, Ashizawa T, Chartier-Harlin MC, Checkoway H, Ferrarese C, Hadjigeorgiou G, Hattori N, Kawakami H, Lambert JC, Lynch T, Mellick GD, Papapetropoulos S, Parsian A, Quattrone A, Riess O, Tan EK, Van Broeckhoven C. Collaborative analysis of alpha-synuclein gene promoter variability and Parkinson disease. JAMA. 2006 Aug 9;296(6):661-70. PubMed PMID: 16896109.
  3. Shehadeh LA, Yu K, Wang L, Guevara A, Singer C, Vance J, Papapetropoulos S. SRRM2, a potential blood biomarker revealing high alternative splicing in Parkinson's disease. PLoS One. 2010 Feb 8;5(2):e9104. PubMed PMID: 20161708; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2817002.
  4. Zheng B, Liao Z, Locascio JJ, Lesniak KA, Roderick SS, Watt ML, Eklund AC, Zhang-James Y, Kim PD, Hauser MA, Grünblatt E, Moran LB, Mandel SA, Riederer P, Miller RM, Federoff HJ, Wüllner U, Papapetropoulos S, Youdim MB, Cantuti-Castelvetri I, Young AB, Vance JM, Davis RL, Hedreen JC, Adler CH, Beach TG, Graeber MB, Middleton FA, Rochet JC, Scherzer CR. PGC-1α, a potential therapeutic target for early intervention in Parkinson's disease. Sci Transl Med. 2010 Oct 6;2(52):52ra73. PubMed PMID: 20926834; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3129986.

Neurogenetics and Genomics

  1. Farrer MJ, Williams LN, Algom AA, Kachergus J, Hulihan MM, Ross OA, Rajput A, Papapetropoulos S, Mash DC, Dickson DW. Glucosidase-beta variations and Lewy body disorders. Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2009 Jul;15(6):414-6. PubMed PMID: 18829375; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2970615.
  2. Papapetropoulos S, Shehadeh L, McCorquodale D. Optimizing human post-mortem brain tissue gene expression profiling in Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders: from target "fishing" to translational breakthroughs. J Neurosci Res. 2007 Nov 1;85(14):3013-24. PubMed PMID: 17503538.
  3. Papapetropoulos S, Singer C, Ross OA, Toft M, Johnson JL, Farrer MJ, Mash DC. Clinical heterogeneity of the LRRK2 G2019S mutation. Arch Neurol. 2006 Sep;63(9):1242-6. PubMed PMID: 16966501.
  4. Papapetropoulos S, Paschalis C, Athanassiadou A, Papadimitriou A, Ellul J, Polymeropoulos MH, Papapetropoulos T. Clinical phenotype in patients with alpha-synuclein Parkinson's disease living in Greece in comparison with patients with sporadic Parkinson's disease. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2001 May;70(5):662-5. PubMed PMID: 11309462; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1737360.

Drug Development and Clinical Trials in Neurosciences

  1. Papapetropoulos S, Lee MS, Boyer S, Newbold EJ. A Phase 2, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of CX-8998, a Selective Modulator of the T-Type Calcium Channel in Inadequately Treated Moderate to Severe Essential Tremor: T-CALM Study Design and Methodology for Efficacy Endpoint and Digital Biomarker Selection. Front Neurol. 2019;10:597. PubMed PMID: 31244760; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6579833.
  2. Reilmann R, McGarry A, Grachev ID, Savola JM, Borowsky B, Eyal E, Gross N, Langbehn D, Schubert R, Wickenberg AT, Papapetropoulos S, Hayden M, Squitieri F, Kieburtz K, Landwehrmeyer GB. Safety and efficacy of pridopidine in patients with Huntington's disease (PRIDE-HD): a phase 2, randomised, placebo-controlled, multicentre, dose-ranging study. Lancet Neurol. 2019 Feb;18(2):165-176. PubMed PMID: 30563778.
  3. Papapetropoulos S, Liu W, Duvvuri S, Thayer K, Gray DL. Evaluation of D1/D5 Partial Agonist PF-06412562 in Parkinson's Disease following Oral Administration. Neurodegener Dis. 2018;18(5-6):262-269. PubMed PMID: 30453303.
  4. Cha Y, Erez T, Reynolds IJ, Kumar D, Ross J, Koytiger G, Kusko R, Zeskind B, Risso S, Kagan E, Papapetropoulos S, Grossman I, Laifenfeld D. Drug repurposing from the perspective of pharmaceutical companies. Br J Pharmacol. 2018 Jan;175(2):168-180. PubMed PMID: 28369768; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5758385.

Digital Medicine and Digital Measures

  1. Arnerić SP, Cedarbaum JM, Khozin S, Papapetropoulos S, Hill DL, Ropacki M, Rhodes J, Dacks PA, Hudson LD, Gordon MF, Kern VD, Romero K, Vradenburg G, Au R, Karlin DR, Facheris MF, Fitzer-Attas CJ, Vitolo OV, Wang J, Miller BM, Kaye JA. Biometric monitoring devices for assessing end points in clinical trials: developing an ecosystem. Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2017 Oct;16(10):736. PubMed PMID: 28935908.
  2. Espay AJ, Bonato P, Nahab FB, Maetzler W, Dean JM, Klucken J, Eskofier BM, Merola A, Horak F, Lang AE, Reilmann R, Giuffrida J, Nieuwboer A, Horne M, Little MA, Litvan I, Simuni T, Dorsey ER, Burack MA, Kubota K, Kamondi A, Godinho C, Daneault JF, Mitsi G, Krinke L, Hausdorff JM, Bloem BR, Papapetropoulos S. Technology in Parkinson's disease: Challenges and opportunities. Mov Disord. 2016 Sep;31(9):1272-82. PubMed PMID: 27125836; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5014594.
  3. Papapetropoulos S, Mitsi G, Espay AJ. Digital Health Revolution: Is it Time for Affordable Remote Monitoring for Parkinson's Disease?. Front Neurol. 2015;6:34. PubMed PMID: 25767462; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4341545.
  4. Papapetropoulos S, Jagid JR, Sengun C, Singer C, Gallo BV. Objective monitoring of tremor and bradykinesia during DBS surgery for Parkinson disease. Neurology. 2008 Apr 8;70(15):1244-9. PubMed PMID: 18391156.

Translational Neurosciences and Clinical Trial Innovation

  1. Hirsch IB, Martinez J, Dorsey ER, Finken G, Fleming A, Gropp C, Home P, Kaufer DI, Papapetropoulos S. Incorporating Site-less Clinical Trials Into Drug Development: A Framework for Action. Clin Ther. 2017 May;39(5):1064-1076. PubMed PMID: 28413148.
  2. Durham P, Papapetropoulos S. Biomarkers associated with migraine and their potential role in migraine management. Headache. 2013 Sep;53(8):1262-77. PubMed PMID: 23848170.
  3. Brooks DJ, Papapetropoulos S, Vandenhende F, Tomic D, He P, Coppell A, O'Neill G. An open-label, positron emission tomography study to assess adenosine A2A brain receptor occupancy of vipadenant (BIIB014) at steady-state levels in healthy male volunteers. Clin Neuropharmacol. 2010 Mar-Apr;33(2):55-60. PubMed PMID: 20375654.
  4. Papapetropoulos S, Katzen H, Schrag A, Singer C, Scanlon BK, Nation D, Guevara A, Levin B. A questionnaire-based (UM-PDHQ) study of hallucinations in Parkinson's disease. BMC Neurol. 2008 Jun 20;8:21. PubMed PMID: 18570642; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2443167.

A complete List of Published Work in My Bibliography (more than 165 publications in peer-review journals with ~7K citations) can be found by clicking the button below.

Selected List of Collaborators (full or part time):

Pharma/Biotech Companies:

Biogen, Allergan, Teva, Pfizer, Acadia, SwanBio Therapeutics, Cavion Pharma, Auspex, MAP Pharmaceuticals, Vernalis

Venture Capital firms:

Sofinnova Partners, Syncona, Partner Innovation Fund, Novartis Venture Fund, Lilly Ventures

Tech/Digital Health/AI Companies:

Intel, IBM Watson, Apptomics, AiCure, OccamzRazor, GreatLakesNeurotechnology, Empatica

Non-Profit Organizations:

MJFF, Parkinson’s disease Foundation, CHDI, Huntington’s disease Society of America, Tuberous Sclerosis Association, International Essential Tremor Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Alzheimer’s Foundation, National Institute of Mental Health

Academic Institutions:

Massachusetts General Hospital, Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery/UCL/Queen Square London, University of Miami, Karolinska Institutet Stockholm, Brain and Spine Institute (ICM) Paris

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