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Leading biotech appoints senior industry figure as Chief Medical Officer to define clinical strategy and oversee trials

SynaptixBio, the only company developing a treatment for a rare, deadly disease, has appointed Dr Uwe Meya – formerly of Roche and Minoryx – to key position


Oxford-based SynaptixBio, the first and only company developing a therapy for TUBB4A-related leukodystrophies, has appointed Uwe Meya as Chief Medical Officer (CMO).


In a career spanning almost 40 years, Dr Meya has worked for major international biotech firms in clinical research and development for neurological and psychiatric indications.


He is a qualified neurologist and psychiatrist with five and a half years of clinical tenure in academia and has written or co-written over 30 peer-reviewed scientific and medical papers, which have been published in Lancet Neurology, Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, Movement Disorders and elsewhere.


Dr Uwe Meya


Dan Williams, CEO at SynaptixBio, said; “This is a hugely significant appointment for us. We have reached a critical point in the company’s growth and now need exceptional people to help take us up to and through clinical trials.


“There is an enormous amount of work to be done between now and then, but Uwe has the experience, expertise and knowledge to help us navigate the complex medical and scientific regulatory processes.”


Meya will be the key point of contact and decision maker for SynaptixBio’s clinical program, with responsibility for defining clinical strategy, clinical feasibility, and the risk mitigation and development plan for the company’s emerging development candidates.


The position will involve medical and safety supervision of clinical trials from both a medical and scientific perspective, with oversight of medical monitoring activities and safety/pharmacovigilance activities. He will be the medical/safety liaison between SynaptixBio and the regulatory bodies.


Uwe Meya added; “It’s a really exciting time to be joining SynaptixBio, as we approach clinical trials of a therapy that could be life-changing for patients and families affected by this terrible disease.


“The mechanisms and underlying causes of rare diseases are becoming increasingly known and the opportunity to work with a company that’s right at the cutting edge of rare disease drug development was, for me, unmissable.”

TUBB4A-related leukodystrophies are a group of rare neurodegenerative diseases primarily affecting young children. They are caused by mutations in the TUBB4A gene, resulting in disruption to the signals between nerve cells in the brain.

Currently, there is no cure.


SynaptixBio is using antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) technology to tackle TUBB4A-related leukodystrophies; ASOs can alter the expression of genes, in this case a specific ASO molecule targets the mutated TUBB4A gene to stop it forming toxic proteins, which in turn help the proper function of the cells that form myelin sheaths surrounding nerve fibres in the brain. With the toxic protein suppressed, other proteins step in to help form normal myelin.


Dr Meya has specific experience with the regulatory processes for orphan drug and Rare Paediatric Disease Designation applications.


In addition, he successfully designed, conducted and evaluated a pivotal study in adult patients with adrenoleukodystrophy, which is currently under review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for Market Authorization Application (MAA).

In the UK, a rare disease is defined as a condition that affects fewer than 1 in 2,000 in the population. According to the European Commission, "1 in 17 people will be affected by a rare disease at some point in their lives. This amounts to 3.5 million people in the UK and 30 million people across Europe.”


SynaptixBio attracted further private investment of c£11m (in 2023) to take a potential therapy through to clinical trials. See article here:


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