Blackfynn, a company using a systematic approach that combines data, technology and disease-specific clinical expertise to develop a growing pipeline of targeted, clinical-stage therapeutics for Parkinson's and neurodegeneration, today announced that Stephen Hahn, M.D. will join its Board of Directors.
Dr. Hahn, a Radiation and Medical Oncologist by training who held senior leadership positions at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and the University of Pennsylvania, most recently served as Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, where he led the development of new regulatory paradigms that ultimately allowed the expedited development, review and approval of the first vaccines against COVID-19.
"Blackfynn's approach to the optimized development of clinical-stage drugs for neurodegenerative disease is grounded in novel regulatory strategies, including data-responsive trial-design and clinical endpoints based on patient-reported outcomes," said Amanda Banks, M.D., CEO of Blackfynn. "Steve is a bold visionary who led new approaches to drug testing, development and distribution at the FDA. His leadership enabled the approval of not one, but two safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19, in record time and in an extremely challenging political environment. I've known Steve a long time; he is driven by evidence, is passionate about issues of fairness and access, and always puts patients first. We are thrilled that Steve will bring this same principled, focused, transformative leadership to Blackfynn as we look to change how drugs are developed and approved for people living with Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases."
"I am thrilled to join Blackfynn's Board of Directors as my first commitment after transitioning from leading the FDA," said Stephen Hahn, M.D. "Blackfynn's core philosophy revolves around the primacy of patient data and science to drive domain-expert decision making at all stages of drug development. Their methodology will increase the likelihood that impactful drugs will get to patients in the near-term. Blackfynn's platform and tools have the potential to drive new regulatory paradigms, and I am excited to be at the leading edge of this new approach."
Blackfynn's novel approach to drug development is grounded in its roots as a technology and data analysis company focused on neurodegenerative diseases. Blackfynn's business model is to acquire and complete the development of clinical-stage drugs with the potential for significant, near-term impact for patients.
Blackfynn is a new kind of therapeutics company: one using high-quality clinical data, data modeling and analytics – first and always – to drive every aspect of drug development. We focus on optimizing clinical-stage assets for the near-term benefit of patients with Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases. Blackfynn is growing a substantial data and expert ecosystem, having established key strategic collaborations with The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research to support the data acquisition and analysis needs of its landmark Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) study, the University of Rochester focused on using our software tools to understand Parkinson's progression, and the University of Pennsylvania to predict which PD patients are at risk for common and dangerous side effects of PD drugs. It is our mission to improve the lives of everyone living with Parkinson's across the globe, and to use our technology to democratize access to studies and medicines regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic status or geography.