Tiaki hires Bruhn as CEO for Alzheimer's drug discovery push

Tiaki Therapeutics CEO Suzanne Bruhn (Business Wire)

Tiaki Therapeutics has appointed Suzanne Bruhn as CEO. Bruhn, a serial biotech CEO, arrives at Tiaki shortly after the Alzheimer’s disease startup entered into a collaboration with Eisai.

The Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF), an investment vehicle backed by seven big biopharma companies, formed and seeded Tiaki to support efforts to identify modulators of microglial function. Tiaki thinks targeting microglia, immune cells found in the brain, could lead to disease-modifying treatments for a range of neuroinflammatory conditions, starting with Alzheimer’s.

Barbara Tate, chief strategy officer at DDF, guided Tiaki through its early years as interim CEO but has now stepped aside to let Bruhn take over as the permanent leader of the neuroinflammation startup. The leadership change comes as Tiaki looks to build on its early research activities. 

“Sue’s appointment comes at an exciting time for Tiaki, as we launch the company into drug discovery based on targets emerging from its systems biology platform,” DDF CEO Angus Grant said in a statement.

Bruhn was last seen leading Proclara Biosciences, a neurodegenerative disease biotech with drugs against Alzheimer’s and amyloidosis in early-phase clinical development. The new Tiaki CEO spent 18 months at Proclara before quietly being replaced by Chief Scientific Officer Richard Fisher last year.

Prior to taking up the Proclara post, Bruhn served as CEO of Promedior for several years, departing shortly after Bristol-Myers Squibb paid $150 million for an option to acquire the fibrotic disease biotech.

Bruhn landed the CEO roles on the strength of her work at Transkaryotic Therapies and, following an acquisition in 2005, Shire. During her time at the companies, Bruhn was involved in the development of rare disease candidates including Replagal and Vipriv, approved treatments for Fabry and Gaucher diseases, respectively.