Joseph Watson, Ph.D.

Senior Research Scientist

Joseph Watson, Ph.D.

Senior Research Scientist

As a Senior Research Scientist at Rho, Dr. Joseph Watson has served as a contributor, lead, and expert reviewer for products targeting rare diseases across multiple neurological, musculoskeletal, and infectious disease indications.

He has served as overall lead on both IND and NDA rare disease products, actively facilitating cross-communication between clinical, nonclinical, and CMC authors and reviewers. And during both early development and marketing stages, Dr. Watson has acted as primary author across multiple clinical documents (protocols, CSRs, clinical summaries, clinical overviews, and packaging inserts).

Additionally, he has supported clients during their post-submission interactions with FDA by authoring and reviewing briefing documents, managing interactions with the agency, and acting as a subject matter expert. Dr. Watson has also written and reviewed multiple orphan drug indications and rare pediatric disease designation applications.

Dr. Watson’s most recent experience includes serving as an NDA submission lead, author, and expert reviewer for a product targeting a rare infectious disease, which was approved based on a limited population size.

Dr. Watson holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Vanderbilt University.

Why rare disease?

“I’m passionate about guiding clients as they prepare to consult with external experts and with the Agency. In the orphan drug space, when you’re dealing with serious diseases, companies are often trying to conduct the best single Phase 3 study possible. At this stage, clear communication with FDA and proper study design will increase the chances of producing compelling data. This preparation can take extra time, but in the long run, proper consultation could save you on the back end (either by convincing the agency that the benefits far outweigh the risks, or by having enough information in place to properly run your second well-controlled study).”

This is what drives Dr. Watson:

“I am so fortunate to work on products that save lives. The key moment for me typically comes when topline data are first available. When we see a clear benefit for patients with a serious and debilitating disease, it’s extremely satisfying to know that many of these patients will get to have families, be grandparents, and spend more time on this earth and with their loved ones. This is magnified even more during advisory committee meetings and at the time of NDA approval, so playing even the smallest role in this type of drug approval is what drives me.”