The FSHD Society today announced that Jamshid Arjomand, PhD, has joined the organization as its Chief Science Officer. The Society is the world’s largest research-focused patient advocacy organization for facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, or FSHD, a hereditary muscle-damaging condition that affects an estimated one million men, women, and children worldwide. There is currently no drug to treat or cure FSHD.
“The drug discovery and development process is a team effort involving many players, at the heart of which are the patients and families,” Arjomand noted. “I’m delighted to be joining the FSHD Society, an organization that is focused on lowering barriers to accelerate research while empowering these families and look forward to contributing to their global efforts in finding a therapy for this devastating disease.”
In seeking to speed up the development of treatments and a cure for FSHD, the FSHD Society is focusing its resources on its Therapeutic Accelerator initiative to fill gaps in the pre-clinical and early drug development space. “The Chief Science Officer will be the driving force behind our Therapeutic Accelerator project,” said Mark Stone, President and CEO of the FSHD Society. “Dr. Arjomand has the gravitas to coalesce and effectively lead all the stakeholder groups – academic researchers, industry, and regulatory agencies – to work together toward our common goal.”
Arjomand is a neuroscientist with more than 15 years of pharmaceutical and biotechnology experience in chronic pain, neurodegeneration, neuromuscular disorders and human stem cell disease modeling. He comes to the FSHD Society from Genea Biocells, a San Diego-based biotechnology company where he served for five years as Vice President of Business Development. At Genea, he managed the scientific direction and collaborative efforts necessary to expand the company’s drug discovery efforts, internal R&D capabilities and revenue streams. Genea’s pipeline included FSHD for which their lead asset, GBC0905, received orphan drug designation by the FDA in May 2018.
From 2005 to 2013, Arjomand served as Director of Basic Research at CHDI Foundation. There he designed and managed a complex portfolio of academic, clinical and industry driven projects, primarily related to biomarker discovery, stem cell development, and target discovery and validation efforts for Huntington disease.
“We are excited about the addition of Dr. Arjomand to our professional staff,” said Stone. “Jamshid is an experienced leader and his expertise will be a valuable asset to the FSHD community at large as well as to the FSHD Society’s goal of ensuring therapies to our families by the year 2025.”