Global Healthcare Industry Veteran Plans to Leverage Extensive Advocacy Experience, Rare Disease Expertise, and a History of Creating Important Public-Private Partnerships to Benefit ME/CFS Patients; Timing Could Not Be More Critical
LOS ANGELES, May 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Solve M.E., the leading, national non-profit organization solely dedicated to solving Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, formerly known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), today announced that Oved Amitay has been named as President and Chief Executive Officer as of June 1, 2020. Maryellen Gleason, who has been acting as Interim President and CEO of Solve M.E. for the last year, will step down when Amitay's appointment begins.
Throughout his career, Amitay has enjoyed extensive engagement with healthcare systems and patient advocacy organizations around the world, forging collaborations to address the needs of people affected by rare genetic diseases. Amitay will be leaving his position as Chief Business Officer at CENTOGENE, a global leader in the diagnostics of rare hereditary disorders where he has been responsible for the company´s programs within the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.
"We could not be more pleased to welcome Oved," said John Nicols, Solve M.E.'s board chair. "His extensive background in developing and commercializing therapies for a wide range of debilitating diseases will be a highly valuable asset for patients and for Solve M.E. These experiences have brought Oved to directly collaborate with patient advocate groups across a range of diseases, and he has played key roles to help bring therapeutic solutions to improve the lives of those patients. Potential links between COVID-19 and chronic, viral diseases such as ME/CFS are becoming more apparent, so Solve M.E.'s role as the leading advocacy and research organization in the world is critical."
Prior to CENTOGENE, Amitay served as President and COO of Arrett Neuroscience, where he led the company's strategy for developing therapies for Rett syndrome. He also served as Vice President and Head of Commercial at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, held a long tenure at Genzyme Corporation (now Sanofi Genzyme) as Vice President of Strategic Development, and served as General Manager of the Gaucher Disease and MPS Portfolios, where he was responsible for the flagship product Cerezyme®. Amitay also oversaw the development of the drug Eliglustat, which was approved by the FDA and EMA for the treatment of Gaucher Disease. In addition to these accolades, Mr. Amitay is also a Founding Advisor of Splisense Therapeutics, Israel.
"My goal is to build on the remarkable work of Solve M.E. and cement the organization's position as the leading advocate of ME/CFS research," said Amitay. "We need to shorten the diagnostic odyssey of people affected by the disease, continue to support basic research, and build an infrastructure that includes the You + M.E. registry to enable novel translational research and clinical studies. It's shocking to me that that this disease continues to be missed for long periods of time in terms of diagnosis, while having such a profound impact on every moment of a patient's life. This realization is a personal impetus for me to join and lead the fight to overcome ME /CFS."
Amitay recognizes opportunities for Solve M.E. to evolve their work to include enabling public-private collaborations and expanding the connectivity within the ME/CFS community—both in the U.S. and globally. His overall vision for the organization includes a better understanding of ME/CFS as a disease, its underlying causes, personal variability, and the full scope of impact to ultimately arrive at the identification of targets for intervention and the availability of therapies that can improve quality of life.
"Getting to know the patients and families affected by ME/CFS is truly a privilege," said Amitay. "Recognizing the potential for a wave of post-viral ME/CFS during the current COVID-19 pandemic creates a sense of urgency and personal commitment. Because COVID-19 could significantly swell the ME/CFS population, I believe Solve M.E. has a responsibility to create risk awareness."
A link to Oved Amitay's full bio can be found here: Oved Amitay Bio
About the Organization
The Solve ME/CFS Initiative (Solve M.E.) is the leading, national non-profit organization solely dedicated to solving ME/CFS. We are committed to making ME/CFS understood, diagnosable, and treatable. Solve M.E. works to accelerate the discovery of safe and effective treatments, strives for an aggressive expansion of funding for research that will lead to a cure, and seeks to engage the entire ME/CFS community.
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