Dianna deVore, PH. D., J.D., Cofounder and General Counsel

Dianna has over 18 years of legal experience with a focus on intellectual property, freedom to operate analysis and transactional law including providing product protection strategies. In addition, she also supports clients in collaboration management, merger and acquisitions, conflict of interest management and clinical trials matters. She is currently a member of the Post-Grant Patent practice group at Oblon Spivak. She was founder and partner at Convergent Law Group, LLC and VP, IP and Legal at Ariosa Diagnostics. While at Ariosa, Dr. DeVore developed a coordinated intellectual property strategy including post-grant challenges, litigation, and related patent prosecution. Based on her experience in such proceedings, Dr. DeVore has been featured in legal publications including the Recorder, the Daily Journal and the Bloomberg BNA’s Life Sciences Law & Industry Report. Previously she served as legal counsel for Cambridge Antibody Technologies, was the Chief Operating Officer and VP of Clinical Cardiac Development at the Australian Stem Cell Center and Associate Director, Patents at Elan Pharmaceuticals. Dr. DeVore obtained her Juris Doctorate at Stanford University Law School where she was a founding member of the Stanford Technology Law Review. She received her Ph. D. at Yale University and bachelor’s degree at Johns Hopkins University.

Karen s. Chen, Ph. D., Cofounder and CEO

Karen has worked in therapeutics development for over 25 years in all aspects of drug discovery from target identification to the clinic. In her position as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Scientific Officer at the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Foundation, she sets strategic and scientific direction with an annual budget >$10 million. She manages research collaborations, initiates partnerships and serves on joint steering committees with several major pharmaceutical companies. Her past research experience focused on preclinical neurodegenerative disease modeling to assess efficacy and safety of novel treatments. She has transitioned projects from preclinical to clinical development, and has designed biomarker and clinical studies. She has also served as the lead for interactions with the FDA and EMA on various projects. Prior to the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Foundation Dr. Chen was at Roche Palo Alto where she was Director of Neurosciences and Head of the Alzheimer’s disease and Neurodegeneration Group. She was Director of Pharmacology and Head of the In Vivo Neurodegeneration and Behavior Groups at Elan Pharmaceuticals primarily investigating therapies for Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease including working on the JNK, Beta-Secretase, Gamma-Secretase, PD, Stroke and Pain Projects. Her post-doctoral training was obtained at Genentech investigating neurotrophic factors therapies for neurodegenerative conditions. Dr. Chen obtained her Ph. D in Neurosciences from the University of California, San Diego working with Dr. Fred Gage on the behavioral and morphological effects of fetal grafts and neurotrophin administration in models of age-related degeneration. Dr. Chen holds an A. B. from Harvard University. She is a member of the NIH NINDS Advisory Council and has served on Scientific Advisory Boards for several rare disease foundations and the Alzforum.


About Us

Irene Griswold-Prenner, PH. D., COFOUNDER and CSO

Irene most recently led iPierian’s research efforts with value creation realized for up to $725 million plus royalties from the BMS acquisition of iPierian in April, 2014. iPierian’s preclinical assets include IPN007, the first tau antibody therapeutic to begin human testing for potential in PSP in 2014.  She was Senior Director of Neurobiology, Tau Program Lead and a member of iPierian’s Leadership Team. Previously she worked at Elan Pharmaceuticals, ran the JNK Program and contributed to Elan’s Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis programs. Responsibilities in these positions included running research, reporting research into the BOD, developing relationships with venture firms and pharmaceuticals. Using the Nobel Prize winning iPSC technology developed by Shinya Yamanaka, she has developed the first drug candidate for Alzheimer’s where the discovery originated from an iPSC approach. To date she has contributed to target and drug discovery efforts in neurodegenerative disease, cancer, and vision. Dr. Griswold-Prenner obtained a bachelor’s degree in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at the University of Colorado and a Ph. D. in Pharmacology and Cellular Physiology at the University of Chicago.