Management Team

Jim O’Mara
President and Chief Executive Officer

Jim brings to Neurogastrx decades of biotech industry experience, and more than 10 years in gastrointestinal drug development and commercialization with the IBS product LINZESS® at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals. Among Jim’s notable contributions are numerous LINZESS deals he closed in the US, Europe, Japan and China. Prior to joining Ironwood, Jim was Vice President, Corporate Development for Cozint Interactive, one of the first on-line market intelligence companies. Jim began his biotech career at MPM Capital, where he focused on business development transactions for emerging biotech companies. He has a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy.


Cyril De ColleCyril De Colle, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer

Cyril, a Neurogastrx co-founder, has more than 20 years of drug development experience, having led multiple programs from IND submission to late-stage clinical development. Before Neurogastrx, Cyril led the division at Kinemed responsible for advising global and venture backed pharmaceutical companies on neuroscience drug development programs. Prior to Kinemed, he led clinical development programs targeting neurological disorders at Jazz Pharmaceuticals and served as a senior research scientist at Amgen and Roche Pharmaceuticals. These experiences led him to explore the role of the enteric nervous system in GI conditions, such as gastroparesis, the focus of our NG-101 development program. Cyril has a Master of Science in Pharmacology and a doctorate in Neuroscience from the University of Montpellier in France.


Sara BurkeSara Burke
Head of Program Management

Sara has 20 years of biopharma industry experience leading IND and NDA submissions through late-stage clinical development programs. At Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, she led the NDA submission and subsequent approval of LONHALA® MAGNAIR®, a drug-device combo to treat COPD, and was as a key contributor to the label expansion of APTIOM® for treatment of epilepsy. Prior to that, she served as development lead for Ironwood Pharmaceuticals’ linaclotide partnerships in the EU, Japan, and China. Sara began her career working in molecular biology labs for companies including Archemix and Cereon Genomics. Sara received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Stonehill College and Master of Business Administration from Babson College.


Steve Wax, M.D., PHDSteve Wax, M.D., PHD
Head of Clinical Research

Steve joined Neurogastrx after nearly 15 years in clinical research for Roche and EMD Serono. Steve was drawn to work in industry following a three-year fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, focused on clinical work and basic research. He first went to Roche, where he worked on rheumatoid arthritis programs, and then to EMD Serono, where he spent more than a decade working on several Phase 1 and 2 development programs for immune-related diseases. Steve received his Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy from Mount Sinai Medical School in New York.


James DeTore
Chief Financial Officer

Mr. DeTore has been a consulting chief financial officer to several high growth life science companies since 2017. Prior to this, he served as chief financial officer of Bluebird Bio and Proteostasis Therepeutics, in each case leading the company’s financing and investor relations strategies, helping to raise over $750 million in equity capital. He also served as vice president of corporate finance at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals where he worked directly on several debt and equity transactions, including the company initial public offering. Before that, he held senior financial roles at Genzyme. Mr. DeTore received his Master of Business Administration and bachelor’s degree in finance from Northeastern University.


Paul Rogers
Chief Commercial Officer

Paul is a results oriented executive with over 30 years of experience across a variety functions and therapeutic classes. He combines extensive commercial experience (strategic brand man-agement, marketing/sales operations) and drug development knowledge to build motivated teams, find innovative solutions and deliver exceptional business results.

Paul has extensive experience in the Gastroenterology Therapeutic Area. Paul worked at Astra Zeneca for 15 years where he oversaw the Development and Commercialization of multi-billion dollar products such as Nexium and Crestor. Paul led the US Clinical Development Program for Nexium resulting in four indications at launch. Paul assumed full US commercialization re-sponsibilities for Nexium managing the brand to over a billion dollars in sales. Also at Astra Zeneca Paul served as the Vice President of Marketing where he oversaw the hiring, training and deployment of 120 FTE’s and $100+ million in spend. Paul also served as the Vice Presi-dent of Global Marketing at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals where he led all Marketing Activities for the company’s flagship GI brand, Linzess in the US, as well as, the commercial planning with partner organizations to prepare for launches in Europe, Japan and China.

More recently Paul has served as the Chief Commercial Officer for a small biotech where he efficiently and effectively led large cross functional teams consisting of Medical Affairs, Market Access, Marketing, Sales, and Finance to launch a product in the midst of the Covid-19 Pan-demic.

Paul has an MS in Clinical Immunology from Hahnemann University and an MBA in Finance from St. Joseph’s University.


Christophe Arbet-Engels, M.D., Ph.D.
Chief Medical Officer

Christophe brings more than 25 years of experience in life sciences, academia, biotech & large pharmaceutical industry and, more recently, as Chief Medical Officer at Millendo Therapeutics and Poxel Pharmaceuticals, with responsibility for all medical activities, including driving portfolio strategy and execution of US and global registration programs. Prior to joining Millendo Therapeutics, he led and contributed to several pre-IND to late-stage development programs in Cardiometabolic, Oncology, Neurology, Hematology and Rare Diseases and he launched several therapies as global or US head of Clinical Development and Medical Affairs, including blockbusters Lantus and Jardiance and, recently, Twymeeg in Japan. Christophe has a M.D. and a Ph.D. in internal medicine/endocrinology-metabolism from the University of Paris, France and an MBA in finance from Rutgers University, NJ.