Axial Biotherapeutics Appoints Federico Bolognani, M.D., Ph.D., Vice President and Head of Clinical Science

Axial further strengthens its Autism Spectrum Disorder SAB to help advance AB-2004 into Phase 2b development with the appointment of Dr. Pamela Ventola, Yale University, and Dr. William Martin, Evolution Research Group

WALTHAM, Mass., September 22, 2020 – Axial Biotherapeutics, a biotechnology company dedicated to building a unique class of gut-targeted programs for neurodegenerative diseases and neurodevelopmental disorders, today announced the appointment of Federico Bolognani, M.D., Ph.D. to the newly-created position of Vice President and Head of Clinical Science, effective November 2, 2020. Dr. Bolognani brings vast expertise in developing therapeutics for neurological, psychiatric, and rare disease indications including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  In this new role, Dr. Bolognani will oversee Axial’s clinical development and regulatory strategy as the Company prepares to initiate its Phase 2b clinical program in ASD.

“We are delighted to welcome Federico to the Axial team and look forward to his valuable contribution to the organization. Federico brings a proven track record, a strong translational medicine skill set and has led the development of therapeutics through all stages of the clinical and regulatory process,” said David H. Donabedian, Ph.D., Co-founder & CEO of Axial Biotherapeutics. “As we further advance our ASD and Parkinson’s Disease (PD) programs and preclinical pipeline, Federico’s leadership and drug development experience will allow him to make an immediate and lasting impact on our programs and will allow us to achieve our goal of treating underserved patient communities.”

Dr. Bolognani joins Axial Biotherapeutics with over 20 years of experience in translational neuroscience research in academia, pharmaceutical and the biotechnology industries. Most recently, Federico served as the Vice President and Head of Clinical Science at VectivBio in Basel, Switzerland. Prior to VectivBio AG, Dr. Bolognani was VP and Head of Clinical Science at Therachon AG, which was acquired by Pfizer in 2019. Prior to Therachon, Dr. Bolognani held various senior-level positions at Roche.  As Translation Medicine Leader, Dr. Bolognani led several of Roche’s programs in neuroscience, including the successful Phase 2 Balovaptan program in ASD, which was granted Breakthrough Designation in 2018. Dr. Bolognani received his Ph.D. and M.D. from Universidad Nacional de La Pata, Argentina and has an extensive scientific publication record in translational neuroscience research.

“Axial Biotherapeutics is at the forefront of developing safe, effective therapies for patients and families impacted by neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. I am delighted to become a part of the company and its transformative approach to treating diseases like ASD and PD,” stated Federico Bolognani, M.D., Ph.D. “There has been little innovation in developing safe and effective therapies for treating ASD, and I am thrilled to join the Axial team to translate the deep scientific foundations of Axial’s programs into commercial therapies. I look forward to working with David and the entire Axial team to further advance the development of AB-2004 and Axial’s small molecule pipeline in PD and oncology.”

Axial Expands Scientific Advisory Board

In addition, Axial Biotherapeutics announced the appointment of Dr. Pamela Ventola, Associate Professor, Yale University and Senior Science Director, Rare Disease and Pediatrics, Cogstate and Dr. William Martin, CSO, Evolution Research Group to Axial’s Scientific Advisory Board. They will help to further the advancement of AB-2004 into Phase 2b development for ASD.

“We are fortunate to be able to work with Pam and Bill as part of our ASD SAB. Their collective experience in ASD, neuropsychiatric disorders and drug development will be instrumental to the Company as it continues to advance our assets,” added Dr. Donabedian.

About Axial Therapeutics

Axial Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of gut-restricted, small molecule therapeutics for central nervous system (CNS) disorders. The company is leveraging its expertise in the gut-brain axis and its unique drug development platform to advance novel therapies that have the potential to transform the treatment paradigm in neurological diseases. Axial is advancing a pipeline of small molecule product candidates with lead clinical programs that address underlying pathology and resulting symptoms in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Parkinson’s Disease (PD), and additional preclinical initiatives in small molecules in other areas of autism and PD, as well as oncology and rare CNS diseases.

Contacts for Axial Therapeutics


Mike Beyer
Sam Brown, Inc.


Jeffrey Young, CFO