C-Path Appoints Key Scientific Leaders to Executive Roles

TUCSON, Ariz., March 29, 2023 — Critical Path Institute (C-Path) announced today the appointment of three accomplished leaders to key executive roles within the organization. Cheryl D. Coon, Ph.D., joins C-Path as the Vice President for the Clinical Outcome Assessment (COA) Program. Shu Chin Ma, Ph.D., M.Sc., M.Phil., EMBA, has been named Vice President of Model-Informed Drug Development (MIDD) and the Quantitative Medicine (QuantMed) Program. Alexandre Bétourné, Ph.D., Pharm.D., has been promoted to Executive Director of the Rare Disease Cures Accelerator-Data and Analytics Platform (RDCA-DAP).

To her role as Vice President for the COA Program, Dr. Coon brings 20 years of experience as a skilled psychometrician and consultant in the pharmaceutical industry. She has been involved in the development and evaluation of patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures and other COAs in all stages of the development process and has supported regulatory interactions across a broad range of therapeutic areas. She has also led statistical analysis of PRO-based endpoint data in phase 2 and 3 clinical trials. Dr. Coon completed her undergraduate education in psychology and French and received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Quantitative Psychology, all at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where her graduate research focused on item response theory.

C-Path’s COA Program was previously led by Senior Vice President Stephen Joel Coons, Ph.D., who is set retire at the end of March. “Stephen’s leadership and skills have enhanced C-Path’s programs, collaborations and culture. He has absolutely played a key role in our growth and success for more than a decade and we wish him a great retirement,” said C-Path CEO Daniel M. Jorgensen, M.D., MPH, MBA.

“We are thrilled to have Cheryl join C-Path and lead the COA Program,” said Coons. “Her extensive psychometric experience and pragmatic approach to COA development and implementation will be invaluable as C-Path continues to advance its mission of accelerating the development process for safe and effective medicines.”

As the new Vice President of MIDD and QuantMed, Dr. Shu Chin Ma will oversee the portfolio of efforts within the Program. She joins C-Path from PTC Therapeutics, where she served as Senior Director of Pharmacometrics, Clinical Pharmacology and DMPK, focusing on metabolic diseases, rare diseases, oncology, as well as viral and non-viral gene therapies to the central nervous system. She brings a wealth of experience in quantitative sciences, and a passion for integrating MIDD with novel gene therapy development to treat challenging diseases, including neurological conditions. Dr. Ma completed her undergraduate education in chemical and materials engineering at the University of Auckland and holds a Master of Science degree from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Cornell University, a Master of Philosophy from the Department of Electrical Engineering at Yale University, a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering also from Yale University, and an Executive MBA degree from the Quantic School of Business and Technology.

“Shu Chin is an accomplished leader and expert in model-informed drug development and we are excited to have her join C-Path to take the QuantMed Program to the next level,” said C-Path Chief Science Officer Klaus Romero, M.D., M.S. FCP. “Her extensive experience and vision for integrating MIDD with novel gene therapy development will be invaluable to the growth and success of C-Path moving forward.”

Dr. Bétourné previously served on C-Path’s RDCA-DAP team as Scientific Director. In his new role as Executive Director of RDCA-DAP, Dr. Bétourné will work closely with the program team to expand the platform’s reach into new disease areas, access new data and enhance C-Path’s relationships within the rare disease community. Before joining C-Path, Dr. Bétourné led a team of senior U.S. scientists, CMC, and regulatory consultants developing therapies for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Dr. Bétourné holds both a Ph.D. and a Pharm.D. from the University of Toulouse in France, has written multiple papers that intersect with several different rare disease areas and holds three patents to his name.

“The C-Path team is exceptionally fortunate to possess a remarkable depth and range of talent; Alexandre’s expertise makes him an exceptional fit for driving the platform’s strategy and vision while also providing support to the team of data scientists,” said Vice President Rare and Orphan Disease Programs Collin Hovinga, Pharm.D. “His leadership and innovative approach are invaluable assets to the initiative.”

“We welcome both Cheryl and Shu Chin to C-Path and congratulate Alex on his new role. The organization and its collaborators are sure to benefit from their knowledge and leadership across the COA, QuantMed and Rare and Orphan Disease programs,” said Jorgensen.

About Critical Path Institute
Critical Path Institute (C-Path) is an independent, nonprofit organization established in 2005 as a public and private partnership. C-Path’s mission is to catalyze the development of new approaches that advance medical innovation and regulatory science, accelerating the path to a healthier world. An international leader in forming collaborations, C-Path has established numerous global consortia that currently include more than 1,600 scientists from government and regulatory agencies, academia, patient organizations, disease foundations, and hundreds of pharmaceutical and biotech companies. C-Path U.S. is headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, C-Path in Europe is headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands and C-Path Ltd. operates from Dublin, Ireland with additional staff in multiple other locations. For more information, visit c-path.org.

Critical Path Institute is supported by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and is 55% funded by the FDA/HHS, totaling $17,612,250, and 45% funded by non-government source(s), totaling $14,203,111. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, FDA/HHS or the U.S. Government.

Kissy Black