Noema Pharma Appoints Ilise Lombardo, M.D., as Chief Executive Officer

Company is well-positioned to advance robust clinical-stage CNS pipeline, following oversubscribed Series B financing earlier this year

BASEL, Switzerland, June 21, 2023 – Noema Pharma, a clinical-stage biotech company targeting debilitating central nervous system (CNS) disorders, today announced the appointment of Ilise Lombardo, M.D., as Chief Executive Officer of the Company.

“We are very excited that Ilise will be stepping into the CEO role at Noema Pharma. Ilise has the expertise and experience to lead Noema as the Company enters its next phase of growth,” said Jeffrey Jonas, M.D., Chairman of Noema Pharma’s Board of Directors. “Noema is advancing a broad clinical-stage pipeline of therapeutics in highly undertreated CNS conditions; Ilise’s proven record of leadership in biotech combined with her extensive knowledge of CNS disease will be invaluable as we continue to advance multiple compounds through clinical trials in order to more fully address the needs of patients living with a variety of debilitating conditions.”

Dr. Lombardo succeeds Luigi Costa, a co-founder of Noema, who has stepped down from the position after leading the Company for three years to pursue other opportunities. “On behalf of the Board, I’d like to thank Luigi for his many contributions to the Company and wish him success in his future endeavors. His passion for advancing science and his ability to foster a culture of innovation have been truly commendable,” added Dr. Jonas.

“I am thrilled to assume this leadership position with Noema Pharma at such a critical phase in the Company’s growth,” said Dr. Lombardo. “Conditions of the central nervous system have been my focus and passion for more than two decades and I am excited by the potential of Noema’s broad and unique pipeline as we approach multiple clinical milestones. I look forward to working with the talented and dedicated team at Noema in a shared commitment to bring new, innovative therapies to patients living with devastating CNS conditions.”

Dr. Lombardo is a seasoned biopharma executive with more than 25 years of experience in the CNS space, spanning clinical practice, academic research, large pharma and biotech. She joined Noema Pharma’s Board of Directors in 2021 and will continue to serve on the Board. In 2019, Dr. Lombardo co-founded Arvelle Therapeutics where she served as Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Lombardo was instrumental in building Arvelle into a launch-ready European CNS company, which was acquired by Angelini Pharma in 2021 for approximately $1 billion. Prior to joining Noema Pharma, Dr. Lombardo was President of the Therapeutics Division at gene therapy company Kriya Therapeutics. Dr. Lombardo has also held senior roles in clinical and medical development at Pfizer, Forum Pharmaceuticals and Axovant Sciences. She was previously on the faculty of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Lombardo completed two fellowships, one in neuroreceptor imaging and one in molecular genetics. She completed her residency in psychiatry at Columbia University and obtained her medical degree from Yale University, an M. Phil from the University of Cambridge and a bachelor’s degree from Brown University.

Noema is currently investigating multiple compounds in clinical trials, including a Phase 2b clinical trial for childhood onset fluency disorder (COFD), also known as stuttering, a Phase 2a clinical trial for the management of involuntary tics associated with Tourette syndrome (TS), a Phase 2b clinical trial for the treatment of seizures associated with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) and a Phase 2b clinical trial for pain associated with trigeminal neuralgia (TN). Additionally, Noema is looking to initiate clinical trials with a Phase 2-ready triple reuptake inhibitor. The Company expects to report data from the Phase 2b trial for COFD in the first half of 2024.

Earlier this year, Noema announced the closing of an oversubscribed CHF 103 million (USD 112 million) Series B financing that was co-led by leading European healthcare focused investment firms Forbion and Jeito Capital. UPMC Enterprises and an additional new investor joined existing investors Sofinnova Partners, Polaris Partners, Gilde Healthcare and Invus to complete the round.

About Noema Pharma

Noema Pharma ( is a clinical-stage biotech company targeting debilitating central nervous system (CNS) disorders characterized by imbalanced neuronal networks. The Company has a well differentiated pipeline with four mid clinical-stage therapeutic product candidates in-licensed from Roche. Noema currently has three active Phase 2b clinical trials in highly undertreated CNS conditions: seizures in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, severe pain in Trigeminal Neuralgia and Childhood Onset Fluency Disorder. The Company has completed a Phase 2a clinical trial in adult patients with Tourette Syndrome that is currently being extended with an adolescent cohort. The Company has also completed preclinical validation studies in Atypical Depression and Binge Eating Disorder. Noema Pharma was founded in 2019 by the leading venture capital firm Sofinnova Partners. Additional investors include Biomed Partners, Forbion, Gilde Healthcare, Invus, Jeito Capital, Polaris Partners, UPMC Enterprises, and an undisclosed investor.


Luke Heagle
Real Chemistry

Sheryl Seapy
Real Chemistry