LEADERSHIP


JACK FERNANDES

CEO + FOUNDER

Mr. Fernandes left a hedge fund in Irvine to expand upon theories he generated while following biotechnology companies. He pursued a career as an FDA regulatory strategist, ultimately working in both Corporate and Intellectual Property at several pharmaceutical companies including Kite Pharma, Gilead Sciences, and San Diego-based Innovus Pharma. He was also formerly the principal consultant to UCLA’s Business of Science Center where he helped turn academic research into drug companies. Mr. Fernandes holds a B.A. from Claremont Mckenna College and a J.D. from UCLA School of Law with a specialization in Mergers & Acquisitions, where he served as the Senior Staff Editor on UCLA’s law review.

JOE GOLEMME

FINANCE

In 2006, Joe joined Topica, a specialty pharmaceutical company, as the 2nd employee. Joe assisted with in-licensing a novel anti-fungal compound from a Japanese drug discovery company that transitioned the Company from early-stage Angel-backed to late-stage clinical development through Series A and B investments from major venture capital firms. Successful Phase 2 clinical trials of the in-licensed anti-fungal compound led to a lucrative sub-license, purchase option transaction with Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation (“Medicis”). After a successful Phase 3 trial, Medicis, (which by then, had been acquired by Valeant Pharmaceuticals) exercised the purchase option and acquired the IP that had been spun-out of Topica to Tinea Pharmaceuticals, Inc. After acquiring Tinea, Medicis/Valeant was able to obtain FDA approval and successfully commercialized Tinea’s NCE indication for skin diseases currently marketed under the brand name LUZU (1% Luliconazole cream).

Prior to joining Topica, Joe gained significant experience with Price Waterhouse in raising debt and equity for private and public clients in different industries, including a number of IPOs. In 1992, Joe left Price Waterhouse to join a New England internet service provider, The Internet Access Company, (“TIAC”) and guided the Company through seven years of rapid growth. As TIAC’s CFO, Joe became a founding member of a coalition of internet service providers that successfully convinced then Governor Cellucci of Massachusetts to eliminate the state’s internet service tax. In 1999, Joe led a diligence team that resulted in a lucrative all cash sale of TIAC to an international internet service provider. In 2000, Joe joined an optical switch developer and assisted the CEO in raising $35 Million from four well-known Venture Capital firms over a five-year period to fund a development program culminating in a strategic acquisition in 2005. Joe has participated, at SEC’s request, in SEC sponsored Annual Small Business Capital conferences and authored published articles on issues involving capital raising and IPO readiness.

Joe holds a B.S. in Biology, a M.S. in Accounting, and an MBA with a distinction in Accounting and Finance from Northeastern University.

DR. K. BARRY SHARPLESS

SCIENTIFIC FOUNDER, CHEMISTRY

Dr. Sharpless is the 2002 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, known widely for his contributions to olefinic additions. His studies with many colleagues and fellows at the neighboring Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and with Dr. Taylor began in 2001 and have led to the development of new landscapes for nicotinic acetylcholinereceptor ligands and cholinesterase inhibitors and reactivators. Noteworthy areas of innovation in the field of cholinesterase reactivation include: REG-001, our selected antidote from our robust library of hydroxyiminoacetamido alkylamines.

DR. PALMER TAYLOR

SCIENTIFIC FOUNDER, PHARMACOLOGY

Dr. Taylor has studied ligand-enzyme interactions at the molecular level, since his post-doctoral studies with Sir Arnold Burgen at the University of Cambridge in England and the late Manfred Eigen in Gottingen, FDR. Dr. Taylor has held a faculty position at UC San Diego in the School of Medicine since 1971. He has served as Chair of the Department of Pharmacology, since its founding in1987. More recently, he became Founding Dean of the Skaggs School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences from 2002 until 2016. Through both research and teaching to medical, pharmacy and graduate students, he is intimately familiar with pharmacology, pharmaceutics and pharmaceutical chemistry. His first independent publication was on acetylcholinesterase in 1974, and he has carried a research program in cholinergic neurotransmission (nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and cholinesterases) since then. He lists over 450 publications and has edited and written major textbook chapters: Goodman & Gilman’s Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics and Pratt and Taylor’s Principals of Drug Action. Dr. Taylor was awarded France’s Legion of Honor for his commitment to international research collaborations.

DR. ZRINKA KOVARIK

CLINICAL DEVELOPMENT

Dr. Kovarik is group leader in pesticides and toxicants at the Institute for Medical Research & Occupational Health in Zagreb, Croatia. She trained with the late Elsa Reiner and with Palmer Taylor, before rising to her current position. She has collaborated with the Taylor-Sharpless group for nearly two decades and has the safety clearance and facilities at her institute to use nerve agent, organophosphates in her studies. She will be responsible for the studies in mice, comparing parenteral and pulmonary exposures to the organophosphates. She is familiar with cholinesterase mechanisms, toxicology and pharmacology.

DR. JILL HARVILCHUK

CLINICAL DEVELOPMENT

A Research Leader for the Highly Toxic Materials group at the Battelle Biomedical Research Center (BBRC). Her work focuses primarily on development of countermeasures for chemical warfare agents such as nerve agents. As a Research Leader, she ensures that studies are properly designed for FDA approval of the medical countermeasure. Since joining Battelle in 2009, she has worked on dozens of studies involving chemical and biological threat agents, including anthrax, soman and other highly toxic or pathogenic agents. She recently completed a large animal radiolabeled ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion) study that provided new insights on where toxic compounds end up in the body and how they are broken down that will guide development of future countermeasures.

DR. ZORAN RADIĆ

MECHANISTIC & STRUCTURAL STUDIES

Dr. Radić trained with Dr. Taylor after working for his Ph.D. with the late Dr. Elsa Reiner in Zagreb. He has developed expertise in cholinesterase structures and bioinformatics. He carries an independent program in X-ray crystallographic techniques, expanding them to new methodologies at higher temperatures and in microgravity. He will be engaged in the mechanistic studies with Dr. Sharpless and Taylor, adding structural dimensions to this endeavor.

DR. JEREMIAH MOMPER

PK, DRUG DISPOSITION, ADME

Dr. Momper holds Pharm.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. He served as an FDA Commissioner’s Fellow working with Dr. Gilbert Burchardt at the FDA, prior to joining the UCSD faculty in 2012. He assumes leadership in pharmacokinetic and drug disposition studies, and is experienced in contemporary analytical technologies: LC/MS/MS, spectroscopy, and magnetic resonance.

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