About

Management Team

Tom Thomas, MD, PhD. Chief Executive Officer and Founder
Albert J. Azzaro, Ph.D. Acting Vice President, Research and Delopment
Prem Thomas Chief Financial Officer and Cofounder
David V. Sheehan, M.D., M.B.A. Vice President, Clinical Affairs

Tom Thomas, MD, PhD.
Chief Executive Officer and Founder

Dr. Thomas is CEO and Founder of Sagene Pharmaceuticals and is the director of a multispecialty medical facility in Florida. Sagene was formed to commercialize 10 years of research by Dr. Thomas in which he identified novel properties and unique clinical applications of several drug combinations. The major focus of his work has been targeting multiple pathways in disease process by combining existing drugs for novel applications. Dr. Thomas has several approved and pending patents relating to novel clinical applications.

Prior to founding Sagene he was Professor at College of Medicine at University of South Florida where he also served as Acting Director of Roskamp Institute for Psychiatric Research. He is the author of numerous publications and has lectured internationally in the fields of Inflammation, vascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, neuroscience and menopause. Dr. Thomas developed a patented blood test for panic disorder, the first test for a psychiatric disorder. In a 1996 article published in Nature, Dr. Thomas demonstrated for the first time a role for vascular dysfunction in the Pathology of Alzheimer’s disease. Two patents have been issued for treating Alzheimer’s disease based on this discovery. Since then, work by Dr. Thomas and associates have led to the development of an animal model of Alzheimer-like vascular pathology and inflammation and a new imaging technique to study cerebrovascular function and inflammation in a live animal brain.

Albert J. Azzaro, Ph.D.
Acting Vice President, Research and Delopment

Dr. Azzaro is the Acting VP of Research and Development for Sagene. He is a neuropharmacologist with more than 35 years of research experience in basic neuropharmacology, clinical pharmacology and pharmacokinetics, and drug development in neurological and psychiatric disorders. He is an expert on CNS drugs, working with CNS drugs for over 30 years in all aspects of preclinical and clinical development.

Dr. Azzaro is the Director of Pharmacologic Research at Cognitive Research Corporation, a full-service CRO, and specializes in the design and direction of studies in preclinical pharmacology, human pharmacokinetics, CNS imaging, and pharmacodynamics related to drug mechanism of action and/or safety. He is skilled at manuscript preparation for scientific publication, and he directs Phase II/III clinical trials in neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Dr. Azzaro’s professional background includes academic teaching and research at West Virginia University School of Medicine where he held the rank of Professor in the Departments of Neurology, Psychiatry, and Pharmacology/Toxicology. He also served as Director of Scientific Operations at the Covance CNS Center (Covance, Inc.) and as Chief Scientific Officer with Somerset Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (acquired by Mylan Inc.) where he played a major role in the development, NDA preparation, and the 2006 FDA approval of the selegiline patch (EMSAM®) for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).

Dr. Azzaro has authored more than 150 manuscripts and scientific abstracts, and 5 book chapters. In addition to his work at Cognitive Research Corporation, Dr. Azzaro maintains an Adjunct Appointment as Professor in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of South Florida College of Medicine.

Prem Thomas
Chief Financial Officer and Cofounder

Prem is CFO and Cofounder of Sagene. Prior to founding Sagene, Prem spent two years as a Senior Associate at the New York City Investment Fund (NYCIF), a venture capital fund with a civic mission to help build a stronger and more diversified local economy. At NYCIF, he focused on investments in media and healthcare where he made several venture-stage equity and debt investments. Prior to joining the Fund in 2007, Prem spent two years as an analyst with Banc of America Securities’ Healthcare Investment Banking Group in New York, where he advised and raised capital for mid-large cap life sciences, medical device and healthcare services companies. Prem received his B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

David V. Sheehan, M.D., M.B.A.
Vice President, Clinical Affairs

Dr. Sheehan is VP of Clinical Affairs at Sagene. He is a clinical psychiatrist and expert in CNS clinical trial design. Previously he was a Distinguished University Health Professor and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of South Florida and Director of the Depression and Anxiety Disorders Research Institute at the University of South Florida College of Medicine. Prior to that he served as Director of Psychiatric Research for the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at the University of South Florida College of Medicine from 1985-2007. He completed his residency training in psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, where he was Assistant Professor of Psychiatry. He was the Director of Anxiety Research and Director of the Psychosomatic Medicine Clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Sheehan has been a consultant to and served on national and international advisory boards of numerous pharmaceutical companies and non profit foundations, including the World Health Organization, the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry, the International Academy for Biomedical and Drug Research, and the US Food and Drug Administration. He is also a research grant reviewer for the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH). He has been awarded $17 million for 117 research grants and been invited to give lectures throughout the world on anxiety and mood disorders, psychopharmacology and biological psychiatry.