4E Therapeutics is a neuroscience company based in Austin, Texas focused on developing next generation treatments for pain. With a history of commercial success and scientific expertise, 4E Therapeutics has entered clinical development for a cutting edge therapy for chronic neuropathic pain and is also at the forefront of discovering and developing compounds to treat migraine and acute pain.
Meet Our Team
The company, founded by a world-class team of experts, is dedicated to improving the lives of those living in pain by developing innovative, non-addictive pain medications that target the underlying neurological mechanisms that cause pain.
Theodore (Ted) Price is Ashbel Smith Professor in the Department of Neuroscience in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at University of Texas (UT) at Dallas. He is also the Director of the Center for Advanced Pain Studies at UT Dallas. He did his PhD work with Chris Flores and Ken Hargreaves at UT Health San Antonio and a postdoctoral fellowship at McGill University with Fernando Cervero. He started his independent laboratory in 2007 at University of Arizona School of Medicine and moved to UT Dallas in 2014. His lab is interested in molecular mechanisms driving the transition to chronic pain with a focus on drug development for chronic pain disease modification and on peripheral and central mechanisms of neuronal plasticity in response to injury. He has won numerous awards including the Patrick D. Wall Young Investigator Award from IASP. He is editor in chief of Neurobiology of Pain and on the editorial board of Journal of Neuroscience and PAIN. Ted has published more than 150 peer reviewed studies, has been continuously funded by NIH for more than 10 years, and is a former member of the Neurobiology of Pain and Itch Study Section for NIH. He is a co-founder of several companies, including 4E Therapeutics, CerSci Therapeutics, which was acquired by Acadia Pharma in 2020, and Doloromics which is alumni company of the Illumina Accelerator program.
A major part of Ted’s work has focused on signaling mechanisms that cause nociceptors to become sensitized in chronic pain states. His work on MNK and eiF4E phosphorylation demonstrates this pathway is a central node in the signaling events that cause chronic pain. This scientific foundation formed the impetus to start 4E Therapeutics. Ted’s ongoing work at 4E Therapeutics has focused on developing this target pathway, building the neurobiology arm of 4E’s discovery platform and developing a clinical bridge program that leverages advances in human molecular neuroscience to demonstrate the efficacy of MNK inhibitors in reducing human nociceptor excitability.
James Sahn is the Vice President of Drug Development at 4E Therapeutics. He received his Ph.D. from North Carolina State University (Daniel Comins) and conducted postdoctoral studies at The University of Texas (UT) at Austin (Stephen Martin). Sahn has 20 years of experience in synthetic-organic chemistry with a focus on the design and synthesis of bioactive small molecules with medicinal properties. His research interests lie broadly in the areas of medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, and new treatment modalities for neurodegenerative- and neurological disorders. Toward this end, he has studied the sigma 2 receptor (σ2R) for its involvement in a wide range of neurological conditions.
Sahn and collaborators have synthesized hundreds of σ2R modulators across multiple compound classes, leading to the discovery of pharmacological tools with neuroprotective- and analgesic properties. These efforts led to the cloning and identification of σ2R as transmembrane protein 97 (TMEM97), enabling previously unavailable biological investigations that have further enhanced the understanding of this potential drug target. Sahn has published 20 peer review articles, is a co-inventor on nine patent applications, and is a co-founder of NuvoNuro, a UT Austin spinout.
Michele Curatolo is a professor of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA. At the University of Washington, he is the endowed Professor for Medical Education and Research, and Director of the Interventional Pain Program. After receiving his M.D. at the University of Messina in Italy, he completed his Ph.D. at the University of Aalborg in Denmark. Clinical leadership roles include 16-years as Chief of the Division of Pain Therapy in the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Therapy at the University of Bern, Switzerland, where he was also interim chair of the department for over 2 years.
With over 200 publications in prominent journals, Michele Curatolo’s research focuses mainly on studying nociceptive processes in humans to improve the understanding of pain and facilitate the development and evaluation of treatments. He has applied advanced phenotyping from his research to the conduct of clinical trials. He has been the principal investigator of several clinical trials on the pharmacological modulation and treatment of acute and chronic pain conditions. He is currently one of the principal investigators of the project: “EPPIC-Net Hub at the University of Washington”, as part of the NIH’s HEAL Initiative for carrying out phase-II clinical trials within the Early Phase Pain Investigation Clinical Network. Current NIH-funded clinical trials include two large pragmatic clinical trials on the comparative-effectiveness of treatments for chronic pain, with roles as co-investigator and principal investigator for the University of Washington site.
Michele’s research has been supported in Switzerland by the Swiss Science National Foundation, the Federal Funding Agency, and in the USA by the National Institute of Health. He has been awarded several prizes for his scientific work and an honorary doctorate at the University of Aalborg, Denmark.
With an extensive experience in university teaching and mentoring, Michele was invited to hold over 300 lectures, courses, and workshops in national and international meetings. He has served as reviewer for multiple highly ranked scientific journals, funding agencies and external academic institutions. Current journal editorial responsibilities include membership in the editorial board of Pain, and role as section editor of the European Journal of Pain and the Scandinavian Journal of Pain.
Since February, 2020, T. Craig Benson has served as CEO of 4E Therapeutics, Inc., an early stage virtual therapeutic development company. In addition, Benson has been Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of Beyond Batten Disease Foundation (BBDF) since October 2008. BBDF is engaged in therapeutic development and patient advocacy for the juvenile form of Batten Disease. Its lead candidate, BBDF-101, has recently been approved by the FDA to commence clinical trials and has been licensed to a publicly traded pharmaceutical company for further development. From 2002-2014, Mr. Benson was CEO and President of Rules-Based Medicine, Inc. (later MyriadRBM, Inc.), a life science pharma service/diagnostic company, after directing its spin-off from Luminex Corporation (NASDAQ:LMNX). The business was acquired by Myriad Genetics (NASDAQ:MYGN) in 2011. During 2000-2004, he also served as Chairman of the Board for Equity Resource Partners, LLC, a private investment company. From 1987- 2000, Benson was employed by Service Corporation International (NYSE: SCI). During his tenure with SCI, he held various senior executive management positions, which included domestic and international merger and acquisition responsibilities, Vice-President of Marketing and Corporate Alliances, as well as President of SCI International, Ltd., SCI’s International holding company with over $2 billion in overseas operations. From 1990 to 1994, Benson served as President of Investment Capital Corporation, the private equity arm of SCI, which held over $350 million in assets. From 1984 to 1987, he held management positions with Pulaski Investment Corporation, a bank holding company engaged in commercial and mortgage finance activities.
Benson has been General Partner of CTX Capital Partners, LLC since 2019. CTX is engaged in developing and managing attainable housing communities as well as other real estate investments. Mr. Benson has served as General Partner at Caddo Minerals, Inc. since 2013, which is a private energy investment company. Mr. Benson has served on the Board of Directors of four publicly held companies and is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO). Also, he is a member of the International Advisory Board of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston, Texas. He received a BBA degree from Southern Methodist University in 1984.
Joe Price co-founded and is currently the President and Chairman of 4E Therapeutics. Joe has also co-founded and led several other companies, including CampusOptics, Inc. and AcademicWorks, Inc., which was acquired by Blackbaud, Inc. (NASDAQ: BLKB) in 2017. Joe is an attorney who previously practiced law at Baker Botts L.L.P., where he represented clients in both business and patent litigation, and served as the law clerk to the Honorable Leonard Davis of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, who, at the time, had one of the largest patent dockets in the Federal Judiciary. Joe holds a BA in Government from the University of Texas at Austin, a JD, magna cum laude, from Baylor Law School, where he served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Baylor Law Review, and an MBA in entrepreneurship from the Acton School of Business.
Claire Aldridge, Ph.D. serves as Director of Biotech for Capital Factory, the center of gravity for entrepreneurs in Texas. She recently stepped down as Senior Vice President, Chief of Staff and Corporate Strategy at Taysha Gene Therapies, a Dallas based company focusing on eradicating monogenic CNS disease. She previously served as Associate Vice President for Commercialization and Business Development at UT Southwestern Medical Center and VP, Venture Development with Remeditex Ventures, a local biotech venture fund. Dr. Aldridge brings more than 20 years’ experience facilitating the translation of scientific discoveries into patient and commercial benefits. Dr. Aldridge is also on the Scientific Advisory Board for Colossal Biosciences, the Board of Directors for MedCognetics, and is the chair for the Industry Advisory Council for the UT Dallas Department of Biomedical Engineering.
Dr. Aldridge has leveraged her training as a translator, or liaison, between scientists and non- scientists, communicating effectively about the potential of science. Her roles have included technology commercialization; improving patient outcomes through quality based initiatives; working with disease-specific nonprofits; development and venture philanthropy; and biotech and life science investing through venture capital.
Dr. Aldridge received her Ph.D. from Duke University in the Department of Immunology and Program in Genetics, and her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science is from Texas A&M University.
Suzanne has over 20 years experience in business and non-profit accounting and operations management. As the Accounting Manager at AcademicWorks, she managed Accounting, Human Resources, and Operations. Prior to working with AcademicWorks, she was the Purchasing, Payables & Receivables Manager at SafePlace. She managed several aspects of the merger of SafePlace and the Austin Children’s Shelter, bringing together Finance and Development processes for 2 large non-profits, training and supervising staff, and happily answering many, many questions. Suzanne holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.