Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Stigma Podcast - Mental Health

Feb 15, 2021

In this episode we speak with Dr. Errol De Souza, PhD, Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors at Bionomics.  Bionomics just raised nearly $16mm to conduct clinical trials on their revolutionary drug to treat PTSD. 

Dr. De Souza is one of the premier entrepreneurs in the biotech space with a special focus on development of therapeutics for treatment of Central Nervous System disorders. During his career as an entrepreneur, Dr. De Souza has raised several hundred million dollars in capital in both private and public markets and has taken companies public (Neurocrine Biosciences IPO) and sold companies (Synaptic sale to Lundbeck).

Over Dr. De Souza's career, he has served in a number of high-ranking R&D roles, including SVP and U.S. head of Aventis (1998-2002), co-founder and EVP of R&D at Neurocrine (1992-1998) and Head of CNS at DuPont Merck (1990-1992).

Dr. De Souza is currently a Director of several public and private companies and currently serves as a member of the board of directors of Catalyst Biosciences (CBIO). He has previously served on the board of directors of several public companies including IDEXX Laboratories (IDXX), Neurocrine Biosciences (NBIX), Palatin Technologies (PTN) and Synaptic Pharmaceuticals (SNAP). 


  1. De Souza shares his background and how it led him to the biopharmaceutical industry.

  2. We discuss what goes into the process of developing a drug for the Central Nervous System and ways that this process is the same and different from the development of other pharmaceuticals.

  3. De Souza discusses the two categories of disorders that come from the Central Nervous System, psychiatric and neurological, and the drug development history of the two dating back to the 50’s.

  4. We talk about the story behind Bionomics, their new compound BNC210 which is used for the treatment of PTSD which received a “Fast Track” designation from the FDA.

  5. De Souza helps us break down exactly what is PTSD, how it occurs, what’s going on in the brain and talks about how we can use that knowledge to develop biopharmaceutical treatments for PTSD (which is what Bionomics is leading the way on right now). He talks about current PTSD treatments and their shortcomings as well.

  6. We talk about the Bionomics collaboration with Merck which uses similar compounds in the clinical treatment of cognitive deficits in Alzheimer’s disease and why there are similarities between Alzheimer’s and PTSD based on the neurochemistry of the brain.

  7. Finally, Dr. De Souza gives some advice for entrepreneurs who are starting out early in their career and investors that are coming into this space who lack the background knowledge.

Connect with the Stigma Podcast in the following ways: Patreon, Website, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Email

Connect with host Stephen Hays here: Stephen Hays Personal Website, Twitter, LinkedIn, What If Ventures (Mental Health Venture Fund)