Precision Neuroscience for Epilepsy and More: Abe Ceesay on The Long Run

Abe Ceesay is today’s guest on The Long Run.

He’s the CEO of Boston-based Rapport Therapeutics.

Abe Ceesay, president and CEO, Rapport Therapeutics

Rapport started with a $100 million Series A financing in March 2023 from Third Rock Ventures, Arch Venture Partners and Johnson & Johnson Innovation. As the company name subtly suggests, it’s based on biology of R A Ps, or receptor-associated proteins.

The idea is to make small molecule drugs that specifically bind with these targets, found in specific neuroanatomical regions, to get more of the desired efficacy of a given molecule, with fewer systemic side effects that have dogged so many neuroscience drugs of the past.

Abe comes to this position with a long track record in neuroscience and rare diseases. He was previously president of Cerevel Therapeutics, a company acquired by AbbVie in December for $8.7 billion.

You can go back and hear about Abe’s early life and key career turning points in a Long Run episode that aired in July 2020.

In this more recent conversation, recorded in Boston in April 2024, we talk about the company’s biological approach, and the gap it aspires to fill in the neuroscience medical kit, where precision medicine hasn’t developed as quickly as in, say, oncology. The company has since filed paperwork to do an initial public offering.

This company can trace its origin story to the inaugural Timmerman Traverse for Life Science Cares in September 2021. Subscribers can read more about the origin of the company.

Before we get started, a word from the folks at Andreesen Horowitz’s Bio & Health team, and the producers of their podcast.

Imagine a future where technology can analyze your health data in real time, and where AI can match patients with the best treatments.

For discussion on all this and more, check out Raising Health, the chart-topping life sciences podcast from a16z Bio + Health.

Each episode, they dive into the heart of biotech and healthcare innovation to explore real challenges and enormous opportunities – of how drug discovery and development works, the way healthcare is delivered, and how lifespan itself might be engineered. Hear from distinguished guests like Greg Meyers of BMS, Benjamin Oakes of Scribe Therapeutics, and more.

Follow Raising Health wherever you get your podcasts.


Now please join me and Abe Ceesay on The Long Run.

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