Axial Therapeutics Announces Key Research and Development Promotions to Advance Clinical and Preclinical Pipeline of Small Molecule Microbiome Therapeutics

– Phase 2b clinical trial for AB-2004 in autism irritability ongoing and enrollment anticipated to be complete by end of 2023 –

– IND-enabling studies ongoing for Parkinson’s Disease development candidate to support a Phase 1 clinical trial initiation in 2024 –

WOBURN, Mass., March 29, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Axial Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of gut-targeted, small molecule therapeutics for neurological conditions and oncology, today announced key promotions in its research and development organization. These promotions recognize the Axial team’s scientific and clinical expertise and support its continued growth to advance the company’s pipeline, including the ongoing Phase 2b clinical trial in autism and preclinical evaluation of a development candidate for Parkinson’s Disease. Preclinical R&D promotions include: Rebecca Senter, PhD, to Vice President, Head of Preclinical Research and Development, Radka Graf, to Director, Preclinical Development and Operations and Chris Oalmann, PhD, to Senior Director, Chemistry. In addition to these promotions, Gabriel Belfort, MD, PhD, who was appointed Vice President, Clinical Development Science and Operations in 2022, also was promoted to Senior Vice President, Clinical Development Science and Operations.

“The significant advancement of our pipeline of novel microbiome therapeutics has only been possible because of our dedicated and talented team. Their expertise and commitment are reflected in the progress that we’ve made across all areas of the company, and we are recognizing their key contributions and professional growth through these promotions in R&D,” said Stewart Campbell, CEO of Axial Therapeutics. “As we execute on our mission, we are continuing to invest in our people – aligning the company’s growth with the build out of critical functions to support the advancement of multiple programs into and through clinical trials – with the ultimate goal of delivering potentially transformative microbiome-based medicines to patients.”

Dr. Campbell added, “Led by Dr. Senter, our preclinical R&D team will continue to be at the forefront of discovering microbiome therapeutics as we apply our novel research platform and process to neurological conditions and diseases as well as additional therapeutic areas.”

Dr. Senter joined Axial in January 2022, bringing expertise in drug discovery and extensive experience leading non-clinical pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, and toxicology efforts to identify and validate therapeutic targets and drive development programs to IND and through clinical development. At Axial, Dr. Senter has played a critical role in advancing Axial’s unique and proprietary preclinical models to identify and validate targets and generate drug candidates designed to address the microbiome-driven pathology of a particular disease. Prior to Axial, Dr. Senter held roles of increasing responsibility at Flexion Therapeutics, most recently as Director, Non-clinical and Translational Research. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the Picower Institute of Learning and Memory. Dr. Senter received her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Vanderbilt University’s School of Medicine, and a Bachelor of Science degree from St. Lawrence University.

“During my time at Axial, I have seen first-hand the team’s commitment to both advancing microbiome science and transforming the treatment paradigm for people living with neurological diseases and disorders,” said Dr. Senter. “I am excited to lead the preclinical discovery and development efforts and help the team to advance our innovative drug discovery platform that has the potential to treat any disease negatively impacted by bacteria in the microbiome, and to drive us closer to bringing small molecule microbiome therapeutics to patients with limited or no treatment options today.”

About Axial Therapeutics
Axial Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the lives of people with neurological disorders and conditions. The company is a scientific leader in the biological role of the microbiome-gut-brain axis and its influence on the central nervous system. Harnessing its unique expertise in the microbiome, Axial is developing small molecule drugs with defined mechanisms of action that act on new targets to mitigate the impact of metabolites and bacteria in the gut linked to neurological disorders and disease pathology, progression, and symptoms. The company is advancing a pipeline of “microbial-inspired therapeutics™” for conditions with significant unmet patient need, including autism and Parkinson’s disease, and is also pursuing pre-clinical discovery of gut-targeted therapies in oncology. Axial’s lead product candidate is AB-2004, a molecular therapeutic in Phase 2b clinical trials for the treatment of irritability in children with autism. For more information, visit

Contacts for Axial Therapeutics

Maura Gavaghan
Red House Communications

Jeffrey Young, CFO