TARA Appoints Michael P. Graziano as Chief Scientific Officer

August 22, 2017 | Press Releases

TARA Appoints Michael P. Graziano as Chief Scientific Officer

August 22, 2017. NEW YORK, (Newswire.com) -

TARA Biosystems, Inc., a company developing physiologically relevant "heart-on-a-chip" tissue models for both toxicology and drug discovery applications, announced today that it has appointed pharmaceutical industry leader, Michael P. Graziano, Ph.D., as its Chief Scientific Officer. 

TARA Biosystems offers testing services on its human stem cell-derived cardiac tissue platform. The company's platform, which is based on its proprietary BiowireTM technology, enables discovery efforts for novel heart medicines via its disease modeling and phenotypic screening capabilities. TARA can also utilize its precision cardiology efforts to help successfully translate research efforts to the clinic.

Dr. Graziano's 30 years of experience in developing new medicines for cardiovascular disease uniquely qualifies him for expanding the TARA technology to cardiovascular disease modeling with applications for drug discovery and translational medicine. "Dr. Graziano brings to TARA a wealth of pharmaceutical industry experience which bolsters TARA's leadership team," said Dr. Misti Ushio, CEO of TARA. "He will lead the technology development for heart failure drug discovery and future applications such as precision cardiology for translational medicine."

Dr. Graziano joins TARA from MyoKardia, where he served as Vice President of Research Biology and was a member of MyoKardia's Executive Committee. At MyoKardia, Dr. Graziano led efforts to identify and characterize novel therapeutics in heritable cardiomyopathies. Previously, Dr. Graziano was Executive Director of Cardiovascular Research at Merck where his work focused on the development of novel translational models of cardiovascular disease. Prior to Merck, Dr. Graziano was Head of Cardiometabolic Drug Discovery and a member of the Cardiometabolic Development Leadership Team at Schering-Plough where his responsibilities included defining and executing R&D strategy. His organization identified currently marketed agents including the marketed cholesterol absorption inhibitor ezetimibe (Zetia®) and the anti-platelet agent vorapaxar (Zontivity®).

Dr. Graziano trained as a molecular pharmacologist with his early research focused on identifying and characterizing components of G protein-mediated signal transduction pathways. He began his career in drug discovery R&D at Merck Research Laboratories, initiating and leading several programs in the cardiometabolic and neuroscience arenas. "It's an exciting time to be joining the TARA team. TARA's BiowireTM platform creates tissue models that recapitulate human cardiac physiology with unprecedented fidelity. We at TARA look forward to working with biopharma partners to enable more effective decision making at each stage of the discovery and development pipeline," said Dr. Graziano.

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As a result, currently 8 out of 9 drugs tested for cardiotoxicity fail in clinical trials, after spending significant time.

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