STAT

‘Jeff can’t help himself’: A frenzied CEO’s push to get depression drugs to market

Jeff Jonas is a 64-year-old longboard-surfing, ketchup-loving bolt of energy. And he's hoping to get new and much-needed depression drugs to market.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — For Dr. Jeff Jonas, the desire to understand complex mechanics extends from how drugs reach brain receptors to the design of a well-run clinical trial to the craftsmanship that goes into a first-class watch, of which he owns many.

“This is a Rolex, a new Daytona, which is hard to get,” Jonas was saying of the piece on his wrist the other day, racing through his mile-a-minute, no-need-to-complete-a-sentence explanation. “They have an ultrahard piece of ceramic, which is their big innovation, plus they have a clutch system in the chronograph, which makes it very accurate, so the shape of the clutch, whether it’s vertical or horizontal, it’s all — and some guy does this.”

Jonas himself is the guy in charge of Sage Therapeutics, a company fresh off positive clinical trial results for drugs to treat two forms of depression and pushing ahead with its aim of getting medicines for central nervous system disorders approved.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from STAT

STAT2 min readSociety
In A Breakthrough, Health Officials Identify Possible Culprit Behind Vaping Illnesses: Vitamin E Acetate
Health officials have identified a possible culprit behind the spate of vaping-related illnesses that have sickened thousands: vitamin E acetate.
STAT6 min readPsychology
Ignored, Threatened, Berated: After Difficult Childbirth Experiences, New Parents Seek Healing By Speaking Up
Ignored, threatened, berated: New parents seek healing by providing feedback after difficult childbirth experiences.
STAT1 min readSociety
Listen: An Uncertain Alzheimer’s Idea, Blockbuster Fish Oil, & A Little Self-indulgence
Is the latest Alzheimer's drug for real? Is three a crowd in CAR-T? Answers to those questions and more on the latest episode of "The Readout LOUD." Listen now: