Tal Medical Expands its Leadership Team to Accelerate the Path toward Pivotal
Trials for its Rapidly Acting Device Treatment for Depression and other
BOSTON, April 10, 2014
BOSTON, April 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Tal Medical, Inc., a clinical-stage
company developing breakthrough treatments for psychiatric diseases, has added
two industry veterans to its leadership team. Jan Skvarka has joined as the
company's President, CEO and member of the Board of Directors, and Ben
Shapiro, MD as a member of the Board of Directors.
Jan Skvarka is joining Tal after spending 14 years with Bain and Company, a
leading global management consultancy. As one of Bain's leading partners in
the company's Healthcare Practice, he advised senior executives of medical
device and pharmaceutical companies on issues of strategy and operations, as
well as entering and building new businesses. Prior to Bain, he worked with
Price Waterhouse Corporate Finance in M&A and capital raising. He holds an MBA
from Harvard Business School.
Ben Shapiro, MD is a Senior Partner and Chairman of the Board at PureTech
Ventures, a leading healthcare venture creation company. Prior to PureTech,
Dr. Shapiro spent 13 years with Merck, most recently as EVP, Worldwide
Licensing and External Research, and prior to that as EVP, Basic Research. In
his role at Merck, he led research programs resulting in FDA registration of
about 25 drugs and vaccines. Previously, he was Professor and Chairman of the
Department of Biochemistry at the University of Washington. He received his MD
from Jefferson Medical College.
Steve Paul, MD, Tal's Chairman of the Board and previous acting CEO, is moving
into an Executive Chairman role, to further play a hands-on role in the
company's management and capital raising efforts. Dr. Paul is former head of
R&D at Eli Lilly, which under his direction developed some of the most
successful CNS drugs/medications, incl. Zyprexa® and Cymbalta®. Previously, he
served as Scientific Director of the National Institutes of Mental Health.
Andrew Miller, PhD, will continue in his role as Tal's COO. Dr. Miller is also
a Principal at PureTech, where he has helped launch several innovative
"We are very excited to have Mr. Skvarka and Dr. Shapiro join us at Tal," said
Dr. Paul. "After recently publishing encouraging human proof-of-concept data,
our low-field magnetic stimulation (LFMS) technology has also been selected by
the NIMH for their RAPID treatment program evaluating novel rapidly-acting
anti-depressant treatments. We are now at a point that we are ready to
accelerate our path towards pivotal clinical trials and commercialization. Mr.
Skvarka and Dr. Shapiro are industry visionaries, who are bringing to Tal a
wealth of expertise in medical devices, neuroscience and in building new,
innovative businesses with revolutionary clinical and commercial potential,"
added Dr. Paul.
Last year, Tal received proof-of-concept data from a randomized, double-blind,
sham-controlled trial in patients with major depressive and bipolar disorders
at the McLean hospital, a leading psychiatric research hospital. The data
indicate an anti-depressant response within minutes of patients receiving a
single 20-minute LFMS treatment. Given this unique, rapid effect of LFMS
treatment, the NIMH has selected LFMS for a multi-site clinical trial led by
Maurizio Fava, MD, Director of the Clinical Research Program at Massachusetts
General Hospital and a world-renowned researcher in psychiatric disorders. The
trial will examine the efficacy and durability of LFMS treatment over an
extended period of time in patients with major depressive disorder. The need
for rapidly acting treatments in depression patients is one of the key unmet
clinical needs in the disorder, where anti-depressant drugs typically take 4-6
weeks until the onset of action.
About Tal Medical
Tal Medical, Inc. (www.talmedical.com) is a privately-held, Boston-based
medical device company pursuing the development of low-field magnetic
stimulation (LFMS) for the treatment of depression and other neuropsychiatric
disorders. LFMS is a first-in-class, non-invasive, neuromodulation technology.
Tal's table-top LFMS device works through a completely novel mechanism of
action compared to any existing depression treatment. LFMS uses an external
electromagnetic coil to apply a time-varying magnetic field to the brain,
which induces a time-varying electrical field. LFMS uses electric fields that
are orders of magnitude lower than those in existing neuromodulation
technologies electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and repetitive transcranial
magnetic stimulation (rTMS). Tal was founded in 2010 by PureTech
(www.puretechhealth.com), in conjunction with leading scientists in the fields
of depression and neuromodulation. The LFMS technology was licensed from
SOURCE Tal Medical, Inc.
Contact: Jan Skvarka, President and CEO, Tal Medical, firstname.lastname@example.org,
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