#IAmNYAS: Anthony Giovinazzo
Finding effective therapeutic interventions for Parkinson’s can dramatically improve people’s quality of life and Academy Member and pharmaceutical CEO Anthony Giovinazzo is passionate about developing those therapies.
Published April 26, 2016
Academy Member Anthony Giovinazzo of Toronto, Canada is the President, Chief Executive Officer, and Director of Cynapsus Therapeutics, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company developing products to treat the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Anthony's current work on the "business side" of science is one that reflects his lifelong enthusiasm for merging science with industry. Read on to learn more about Anthony, his work, and the best career advice he's ever received.
What project(s) are you currently working on?
Building on 23 years of experience working in the field of neurological sciences in the US and Europe, I am currently leading Cynapsus Therapeutics as it prepares to commercialize a new product. I helped develop and patent APL-130277, a sublingual, bilayer thin film for the treatment of the motor symptoms known as 'OFF' episodes associated with Parkinson's disease. I am actively managing the team that is conducting the pivotal trials required for potential regulatory approval in the US, while preparing for commercialization and for potential European approval as well.
What is one of the biggest challenges you're facing right now?
One of the biggest challenges that we are currently facing is that beyond a small number of specialists in Parkinson's disease, awareness of the unmet need for treatment of OFF episodes is low. We are supporting educational programs for doctors and patients to increase awareness of OFF episodes. Despite the challenges, I am passionate about bringing this therapy to Parkinson's patients around the world who lose much of their day to OFF episodes. The seriousness of the problem justifies significant effort in developing a solution.
What's a fun fact about you that might surprise your friends or colleagues?
In addition to my curiosity about medical science, I've also had a longstanding interest in semiconductors. When I did my MBA in Europe my year-long thesis was on strategic drivers in the global semiconductor industry.
What is one of your hobbies?
Although working on the business side of science and medicine full-time is like being paid for a hobby, I do enjoy golf when I have the time.
When did you start to get excited about science?
My enthusiasm for science goes back to an early age. In the eleventh grade, I read Scientific American for the first time and I clearly remember a specific article about gene splicing and the biotechnology industry that helped lead to my full-time work in the sciences.
What's the best piece of career advice you've received?
I have accumulated a lot of advice over the years, but the most important guidance received to date is to be honest, both with the people around you and with yourself. I have also learned first-hand that it's important to know when to be firm and when to be flexible. It is critical to be firm about boundaries, firm about your goals and firm in your respect for others, but to be flexible in encouraging out-of-the-box thinking and when it's required to keep balance in your daily life.
An experienced captain of industry, Anthony is a valued Academy Member with excellent career advice to share. Does that sound like you? Why not pass along your expertise and mentor a fellow Academy Member who is just embarking on their career. Sign up for Member-to-Member Mentoring or one of our other STEM mentoring programs today!