News & Insights

May 26, 2024

NodThera Announces Appointment of Daniel Swisher as Chief Executive Officer

Dan joins NodThera with over 30 years of pharmaceutical industry leadership experience, including as President and COO of Jazz Pharmaceuticals and CEO of Sunesis Pharmaceuticals

Interim CEO Alan Watt becomes President and CSO including leadership of R&D to further build out NodThera’s pioneering work in CNS modulation of chronic inflammatory diseases

BOSTON, MA, May 28, 2024 – NodThera, a leading clinical-stage biotech delivering a paradigm shift in the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases through selective modulation of the NLRP3 inflammasome, today announces the appointment of Daniel Swisher as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), to strengthen the Company’s commercial capabilities, effective immediately. Alan Watt, the interim CEO moves to an expanded role as President and Chief Scientific Officer (CSO).

Dan joins NodThera with significant leadership expertise of over 30 years in the life sciences industry. During his career, he has led the advancement and commercialization of novel therapeutics across geographic regions and in multiple therapeutic areas, including neuroscience, oncology and rare diseases. He brings to NodThera significant private and public company experience driving cross functional, high-performing teams and building relationships with investors, analysts and corporate partners.

Dan joins NodThera from Jazz Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: JAZZ), where he recently served as President and Chief Operating Officer. At Jazz, he was instrumental in the geographic and therapeutic expansion of the company’s commercial and R&D pipeline, as well as playing a critical role in many key corporate development transactions. Prior to his time at Jazz, Dan was CEO and President of Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, guiding the evolution of its early-stage chemistry platform into a multi-asset development platform. During his CEO tenure at Sunesis, he oversaw equity capital market fundraises totaling over $400 million and led the Group to an IPO on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

Earlier in his career, Dan served as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at ALZA Corporation, where he was responsible for its flagship pharmaceutical businesses based in the United States. He also played a pivotal role in the company’s growth into a fully integrated specialty pharmaceutical company and eventual $10.5 billion acquisition by Johnson & Johnson.

Alan Watt, who as the Company’s founder has also served as NodThera’s interim CEO, becomes President and CSO. He will be responsible for the growing R&D organization and focused on strengthening NodThera’s world-leading position in NLRP3 inflammasome inhibition research, with a focus on modulation of neuroinflammation for the treatment of obesity, cardiometabolic disease and neurodegeneration.

Don Nicholson, Executive Chair of the Board of Directors of NodThera, said: “Dan is an accomplished, results-driven leader with a proven track record in developing and commercializing novel therapeutics and building strong, successful businesses. We look forward to drawing on his deep understanding of the biopharmaceutical and financial markets, as well as his substantial experience in advancing clinical-stage assets towards commercialization, as we progress our broad pipeline of NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitors to deliver a paradigm shift in the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases.

“We are extremely grateful for Alan’s strategic and scientific leadership during his tenure as interim CEO. His creativity, determination and integrity have been invaluable to NodThera in shaping the Company’s strategy and we are delighted that NodThera will continue to benefit from his expertise in his new role.”

Daniel Swisher, newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of NodThera, said: “NodThera is leading the NLRP3 inflammasome space with its best-in-class molecules and a wealth of pre-clinical and clinical data that is setting the tone for the field. NodThera has the potential to drive a positive and meaningful difference to the lives of patients suffering with obesity, cardiometabolic and neurodegenerative diseases and I am delighted to be leading the team at such an exciting point in the Company’s development, ahead of the readout from our ongoing cardiovascular risk trial in an inflamed obese population. I look forward to working alongside Alan, the Board and the wider team to achieve NodThera’s full potential.”

Alan Watt, President of Clinical & Preclinical R&D of NodThera, said: “I would like to extend the warmest welcome to Dan, who joins us at an exciting and pivotal moment. Our sector leading research in the field of NLRP3 inflammasome inhibition, our pioneering and demonstrated approach to reversal of neuroinflammation in humans and the strength of the NodThera team, provide an opportunity to bring about profound change in the management of obesity and multiple cardiometabolic and neurodegenerative diseases. I have the utmost confidence that, together, we will deliver on this opportunity.”

For more information about NodThera please contact:


Tel: +44 (0) 1223 608130


ICR Consilium

Amber Fennell, David Daley, Sukaina Virji

Tel: +44 (0)20 3709 5700


About NodThera NodThera is a leading clinical-stage biotech developing brain-penetrant NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitors to treat chronic inflammatory diseases. Led by an experienced management team, NodThera is combining a deep understanding of NLRP3 inhibition, pharmaceutical neuroscience expertise and precision molecular chemistry. Its two lead clinical candidates are oral, small molecule NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitors, which have demonstrated differentiated, potentially best-in-class clinical profiles with significant anti-inflammatory effects and the ability to penetrate different areas of the brain, offering distinct opportunities to treat multiple indications. The Company is backed by top-tier investors including 5AM Ventures, Blue Owl Capital, Epidarex Capital, F-Prime Capital, Novo Holdings, Sanofi Ventures and Sofinnova Partners. NodThera is headquartered in Boston, MA, with additional operations in Cambridge, UK and Seattle, WA. Learn more at or follow the Company on LinkedIn.