Dr. James McArthur

Founder and Chief Scientific Officer

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Dr James McArthur has founded 3 rare disease companies- James is Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Cydan, the rare disease accelerator; Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Imara (www.ImaraTx.com), developing treatments for sickle cell disease; and a Co-Founder of Vtesse (www.VtessePharma.com), developing treatments for Niemann Pick Disease Type C.  James also works with Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) as a member of its Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Board.


Before co-founding Cydan in 2013, James worked at Health Care Ventures where he founded and served as chief scientific officer of Synovex Co., where he led the development of a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and fibrotic diseases. Synovex, renamed Adheron, was acquired by Roche.  Previously, he was vice president of preclinical development for Phylogix Inc, a stem cell biology company, and acting head of research and principal scientist at Cell Genesys Inc, a leader in gene therapy. He also was a senior scientist at Somatix Therapy, which was acquired by Cell Genesys. James was a postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley. He received his PhD in molecular oncology and BSc in biochemistry from McGill University in Montreal.