Strong leadership team and advisors: We are a proven, cohesive, interdisciplinary and internationally recognized team with deep experience in drug development (e.g., therapeutic bioconjugates), business development (e.g., licensing, intellectual property and partnerships) and brain biomarker development (e.g., TBI). Together with our advisors, we have 1000+ previous peer-reviewed publications and $100M+ in previous grant awards. Moreover, we have successfully led several preclinical and clinical studies on successful high impact assets in industry and academe.

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Will Haskins, PhD

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) & Co-Founder

Dr. Haskins, in collaboration with Drs. Wang and Forsthuber, discovered unexpected waves of brain molecules in the blood as temporal biomarkers and therapeutic targets. He previously led teams for R&D of gene therapies, therapeutic antibody and antibody-drug conjugates from Research through Phase I/II/III clinical trials for small and large biotechnology companies. Dr. Haskins is well-respected for developing and applying out-of-the-box solutions to challenging problems as a consultant for numerous biotechnology companies.

 

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Kevin Wang, PhD

Co-Founder 

Dr. Wang is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Neuroscience at the University of Florida, leading the Program for Neurotrauma, Neuroproteomics and Biomarker Research. He is an internationally-renowned leader for his discovery of temporal biomarker and therapeutic targets for traumatic brain injury with prominent roles in a number of national and international multi-institutional studies in traumatic brain injury and related neurological or neurodegenerative diseases. He was previously the Co-Founder and CSO of Banyan Biomarkers and President (current councilor) of the National Neurotrauma Society.

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Henry Lowman, PhD

Chief Technology Officer, Antibody Engineering & Large Molecule Technical Leader

Dr. Lowman has over 25 years of experience in drug discovery and development, with a focus on biologics. Following an NIH post-doctoral fellowship and scientist career at Genentech, he has held departmental leadership roles in antibody engineering at Genentech and NGM Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: NGM), led the research team as CSO at CytomX Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CTMX), and served as Executive Vice President, Head of R&D at Triphase Accelerator US Corporation, a privately funded drug-development company.  During his tenure at Genentech, he contributed to clinical-stage programs including Avastin®, Xolair®, and Rituxan®, led the antibody engineering department to advance more than 20 antibody research projects to early development, and led pre-IND project teams ultimately resulting in approved drugs Lucentis® for age-related macular degeneration and Ocrevus® for multiple sclerosis, programs for which he was also a co-inventor.  At CytomX, he led the research team to establish preclinical proof-of-concept for a novel protease-activated antibody platform (Probody™ therapeutics) and established collaborative pre-clinical partnerships with Pfizer, Immunogen, and Bristol-Myers Squibb.  At Triphase, he contributed to studies of marizomib, a clinical-stage novel proteasome inhibitor for malignant glioma (acquired by Celgene) and led the early development team for TRPH-222, a novel antibody-drug conjugate through successful IND (US) and CTA (Canada) submissions and into a Phase 1 clinical trial in lymphoma beginning in 2018.  He has been named one of the top 25 most influential people in the antibody field in a Total Biopharma survey and serves as a scientific advisor to multiple biotechnology companies including Navigen Pharmaceuticals, Soteria Biotherapeutics, and pH Pharma.

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Brad Pollock, MPH, PhD, FACE

Advisor (Biostatistics, Epidemiology, & Clinical Trials)

Dr. Pollock is the Chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences and Associate Dean for Public Health Sciences at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine. He is an internationally-renowned academic leader in the fields of clinical epidemiology, biostatistics, and clinical trials with prominent roles in a number of national multi-institutional studies in cancer etiology, clinical oncology, diabetes, HIV, obesity, etc. He previously served as President of the Association of Clinical and Translational Statisticians and is Co-Chair of the Methods & Processes Domain Task Force for the NIH-sponsored Clinical Translational Science Award Consortium.

 

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Thomas Forsthuber, MD, PhD

Advisor (Neuroimmunology)

Dr. Forsthuber is the Jesse H. and Mary Gibbs Jones Chair in Biotechnology at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He is an expert in neuroimmunology with significant contributions to the fields of T cell biology and the role of T cells in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, including: T cell cryptic determinant spreading, neonatal Th2 immune deviation, development of the cytokine ELISPOT assay, applying humanized HLA-DR transgenic mice for T cell epitope discovery and drug testing, and temporal biomarkers and therapeutic targets for multiple sclerosis.  

 

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Franklin Okumu, PhD

Reformulation, Regulatory & Small Molecule Technical Leader

Dr. Okumu is an experienced pharmaceutical development executive having previously led R&D teams from research through the development of multiple products and regulatory approvals for Genentech and Promius Pharma (Dr. Reddys Laboratories) including Kadcyla®, Perjeta®, Dificid®, Sernivo®, ZembraceSymtouch®, and Impoyz®. Dr. Okumu is the President and Chief Scientific Officer of EVO Pharmaceuticals Inc. and brings over 20 years of pharmaceutical product development experience to EVO. He founded the company in 2009 leveraging his experience with global pharmaceutical development of multiple innovative drugs, antibiotics and technology-based drug-device combination products that have had and continue to have a significant impact on healthcare outcomes. In addition to EVO Pharmaceuticals Dr. Okumu serves as a board member and scientific advisor to multiple life science companies including Armis Biopharma and Life Dose. Prior to founding EVO was Vice President and a member of the senior management team of the Proprietary Products division of Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (NYSE: RDY) where he contributed to the development and approval of multiple innovative products including co-inventing Impoyz™, Sernivo™, and several other injectable products.  Previously Dr. Okumu was a Principal Scientist in the Diabetes Research Unit at the Novo Nordisk A/S (NYSE: NVO) global Research and Development headquarters.  Before this, Dr. Okumu was the Executive Director of Biopharmaceutical Research and Development at DURECT Corporation (NASDAQ: DRRX).  Prior to this, Dr. Okumu was the Associate Director of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Optimer Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:  OPTR) where he worked on the development of multiple anti-infective products including co-inventing Fidaxomicin the only locally acting first-in-class macrocyclic antibiotic approved by the FDA in the past 30 years.  Based on the FDA approval of Dificid (Fidaxomicin) Optimer Pharmaceuticals was acquired by Cubist Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CBST) in 2013 for $535M and the following year Cubist Pharmaceuticals was acquired by Merck (NYSE: MRK) for $9.5B.   Dr. Okumu started his career with Genentech (NASDAQ: DNA) where he spent a year as a Visiting Scientist during his Ph.D. program and finally returning to Genentech as a Scientist in the Pharmaceutical Research and Development Department after working at Aradigm (NASDAQ: ARDM) as a Scientist where he developed novel inhaled therapeutic products.  Dr. Okumu has authored multiple peer-reviewed papers and issued patents.

 

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Eric Bernath, MBA

Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Mr. Bernath has worked 13 years in the biomedical industry. He has a chemical engineering degree from University of Michigan. With a strong focus on quality, project management, and planning, he most recently led strategy and operations for the global marketing organization at Amgen. Prior to his seven years in commercial marketing and strategy at Amgen he was a certified quality engineer and quality auditor at Edwards Lifesciences with six sigma black belt certification. He is a chemical engineer from the University of Michigan, completing his MBA at the University of Virginia.

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Chris Hanson

Strategic Advisor

Mr. Hanson has a 20-year proven track record in sales and marketing with more than $200 million in direct sales at both Fortune 500 companies and technology startups.  A fluent speaker of Russian, after US Government service at Embassy Moscow, he opened and then ramped sales for Seagate Technology in Russia and Eastern Europe from zero to $50 million. He also led the effort to transform IBM Research from IBM-funded to being funded by corporate customers and government agencies. At IBM he ran a sales pipeline of $100 million. He has been a cofounder or early employee at several Silicon Valley start-ups, including a sensor company that was acquired by Honeywell. He is an advisor to cybersecurity company Trivalent, AI startup Block Systems and sleep technology company Lumos. He procured $40 million in DARPA funding for the IBM Research effort to make a computer chip that processed sensory information more like the human brain does. He also worked on the DARPA program called REALNOSE to put a dog nose in a box, to detect IEDs and nerve agents. Remarkably dogs are still DARPA and the military’s main sensor system.  There has been little progress in wideband chemical sensors or in olfactory sensing.  These experiences convinced him to start Aromyx and to digitize the sense of smell. He began his career at the National Security Agency as a computational linguist specializing in Natural Language Processing (NLP), after earning Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Linguistics from Stanford University.

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Donnie McCarthy, PhD

Advisor (Licensing, Intellectual Property, Partnering)

Dr. McCarthy is a Managing Director at Panorama Research, Inc., a biotech holding company that owns and operates therapeutics companies. In this capacity, he oversees all business and technical development and maintains C-level positions in several holding companies.