Mike Patane, PhD
Mike Patane has 20 years of drug discovery and development experience with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology organizations. Most recently, he was CSO at Eyegate Pharmaceuticals where he focused on the development of ophthalmic products, which included oversight of all R&D, clinical, and regulatory functions. Prior to that, he was Executive Director, Global Discovery Chemistry, at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research where he was responsible for infectious diseases and ophthalmology drug discovery franchises and fulfilled a variety of strategic roles. Previously, Mike was Director, Medicinal Chemistry at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he led drug discovery efforts for their oncology and metabolic disease programs. Earlier in his career, Mike was a Research Fellow in Medicinal Chemistry at Merck & Co. He earned a BS in Chemistry from Fordham University, a PhD in Synthetic Organic Chemistry from the University of Southern California, and completed his post-doctoral studies in Synthetic, Natural Products, and Medicinal Chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute.
Bharat Lagu, PhD
Vice President, Chemistry
George Mulligan, PhD
Senior Vice President, Translational Medicine
George has 20 years of experience in the strategy and process of drug discovery, translational research and clinical drug development. Previously, as Senior Director of Translational Medicine at Takeda Pharmaceuticals, George led translational research for multiple programs that target the ubiquitin-proteasome system, including several first-in-class molecules that are now approved or in clinical development. The research spanned both model systems and clinical trials, including mechanism of action and patient selection, as well as pharmacodynamic studies of target engagement & pathway inhibition. These strategies included accelerated approval, differentiation, drug combination and targeted development components. While at Takeda and earlier within Millennium Pharmaceuticals, George played an integral role clinical research and targeted development of the proteasome inhibitors bortezomib (VELCADE) and ixazomib (NINLARO). In this role he also led the clinical pharmacogenomics research to define mechanisms of sensitivity and resistance to proteasome inhibition in different cancers and collaborated with academic centers, pharmaceutical partners and patient advocacy leaders to initiate a broad personalized medicine initiative in myeloma. Prior to Millennium Pharmaceuticals, George led personalized medicine strategies at the start-up Millennium Predictive Medicine and also worked at Aventis Pharmaceuticals and the Hoechst-Ariad Genomics Center. George received his BS degree in Biology from Fordham University and his Ph.D. in Cellular Biology from SUNY Stony Brook. After thesis research at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the MIT Center for Cancer Research.
Controller, Director of Operations
Effie Tozzo, PhD
Senior Vice President, Translational Sciences
Effie Tozzo has 20 years of drug discovery experience with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology organizations. Most recently, she served as Director in the Diabetes department at Merck Research Laboratories, where she successfully led the strategy and implementation of critical studies in non-human primate translational models. In addition, Effie initiated and led the establishment of experimental platforms and academic collaborations to execute on the department’s diabetic nephropathy strategy. Previously, as the Head of the In Vivo Pharmacology group in the Metabolic Diseases departments at Hoffmann-La Roche and Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Effie developed and implemented cellular and animal models to evaluate and validate new biological targets and profile lead molecules through in vitro, in vivo, ex vivo efficacy testing, pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic correlations, target engagement and mechanism of action studies. Effie interacted closely with development and life cycle teams to support clinical programs through translation, differentiation, biomarker and mechanism of action studies. Earlier in her career, Effie served as Senior Principal Scientist in the Diabetes group at Bristol Myers Squibb, Senior Scientist in the In Vivo Pharmacology group at Chiron Corporation and Scientist at ErgoScience (now VeroScience). Effie’s academic career started at the University of Paris 7, where she earned a BSc in Biochemistry followed by a MSc and a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology at the University of Paris XI. She completed her education with a post-doctoral training in the Endocrine Division of Beth Israel Hospital at Harvard Medical School.
Scientific Advisory Board
Johan Auwerx, MD, PhD
Andrew Dillin, PhD
Ron Evans, PhD
H. Robert Horvitz, PhD
Jodi Nunnari, PhD
Mason Freeman, MD
Mason W. Freeman, MD is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and serves as Chief of the Lipid Metabolism Unit and Director of Translational Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Trained in internal medicine and endocrinology, Dr. Freeman has spent twenty years studying the trafficking of cholesterol into and out of macrophages. From 2005-2007, while on a leave of absence from MGH/Harvard, he served as a head of the Novartis Translational Medicine program for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases as well as the company’s Global Head of Biomarker Development. Dr. Freeman is a Venture Partner at 5 AM Ventures, an early-stage life science venture firm, and in that role he has served as a consultant to multiple life science startup companies. He has contributed to the creation of over 29 companies since 2007, serving on the board of Envoy Therapeutics, a neuroscience company acquired by Takeda in 2012, as well as playing a key medical advisor role at Relypsa, which developed the first chronic oral therapy for hyperkalemia. Dr. Freeman is the editor of the Adult Primary Care lipid section of a leading medical textbook, UpToDate. He graduated from Harvard and received his MD at the University of California, San Francisco. He served as an intern, resident, endocrinology fellow, and Chief Resident in Medicine in the Department of Medicine at MGH. He trained as a post-doctoral research fellow in the Biology Department at MIT where he cloned the first macrophage scavenger receptor to be molecularly identified.