Dr. Varney received his Ph.D. and postdoctoral training in pharmacology from Oxford University, U.K. He is chief scientific officer at PsychoGenics. Dr. Varney has more than 30 years of experience in drug discovery, clinical development, and executive leadership positions in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry. He co-founded Neurolixis and served as CEO for eight years and was CSO and/or CEO of Cortex Pharmaceuticals for six years.
Prior to joining Cortex, Dr. Varney held senior level positions at Sepracor, Inc. (now Sunovion), where he was vice president of discovery, and at Bionomics, Ltd., where he was vice president of drug discovery. Dr. Varney held positions of increasing responsibilities over his six-year tenure at SIBIA Neuroscience Inc., including his most recent position as director of neuropharmacology. Upon the acquisition of SIBIA by Merck, Inc. in 1999, he was appointed a director at Merck’s San Diego facility. Dr. Varney’s career has focused on drug discovery and clinical programs for treating schizophrenia, depression, cognitive disorders, anxiety, pain, epilepsy, and insomnia.
He has been successful developing drug candidates in several of these disease areas and has published over 75 peer-reviewed scientific papers and filed numerous patent applications relating to new chemical entities and methods of use.