New York, CHDI Foundation, Inc. has appointed Cristina Sampaio, MD, PhD, as Chief Clinical Officer. In this newly-created position Sampaio will lead and develop CHDI’s clinical programs by building both internal capabilities and further developing collaborative relationships with external partners. Her specific responsibilities include overseeing CHDI’s programs to: define clinical outcome measures, especially in early disease, including biomarkers, rating scales, and biostatistical disease modeling to inform clinical trial design that will expedite the clinical evaluation of therapeutic candidates for Huntington’s disease (HD); support clinical platforms, in particular the new global HD clinical observation study, Enroll-HD, to facilitate participation in clinical research by HD patients and their families; and co-lead, with Chief Scientific Officer Robert Pacifici, CHDI’s experimental medicine efforts to better understand the molecular pathways disrupted in HD and pursue hypothesis-driven, mechanistic, therapeutic intervention.
“We’re delighted to have someone of Cristina’s caliber join us. She is uniquely qualified to take on this new specialized role within CHDI,” said Robi Blumenstein, President of CHDI. “Her broad expertise and experience, particularly in the regulatory sphere, will be invaluable to her work at CHDI as we and the HD community as a whole ramp up our readiness for clinical trials of therapeutic candidates in the coming years. Cristina will be vital to shaping our overall clinical development strategy and driving its implementation.”
Dr Sampaio is Professor of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, senior member of the Movement Disorders Clinic, Department of Neurology and Principal Investigator at Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal. Until very recently she was also a member of both the Committee of Proprietary Medicinal Products and the Scientific Advice Working Party at the European Medicines Agency (EMA) that provides guidance on the quality and non-clinical/clinical safety and efficacy regarding new medicinal products, including those for orphan diseases like HD. Dr Sampaio’s main research interests are the design and methodology of clinical studies in neurodegenerative disorders, pharmacoepidemiology, and evidence-based medicine.
“I’m delighted to be joining CHDI Foundation at such an exciting time in the development of therapies for HD, and I look forward to working with my new CHDI colleagues and our partners in the wider HD research community to shepherd candidate therapeutics into and through clinical evaluation. We have very important work to do to develop pharmacological biomarkers and clinical endpoints, design effective trials, and work with regulators to evaluate candidate therapeutics for HD as efficiently as possible to confront this unmet medical need.”
About CHDI Foundation, Inc.
CHDI Foundation, Inc. is a privately-funded, not-for-profit, biomedical research organization exclusively dedicated to rapidly discovering and developing therapies that slow the progression of Huntington’s disease. As a collaborative enabler CHDI seeks to bring the right partners together to identify and address critical scientific issues and move drug candidates to clinical evaluation as quickly as possible. Our scientists work closely with a network of more than 600 researchers in academic and industrial laboratories around the world in the pursuit of these novel therapies, providing project management to ensure that our common goals remain in focus. More information about CHDI can be found at www.chdifoundation.org.