BOULDER, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Enveda Biosciences, a biotechnology company using AI and advanced technologies to translate nature’s chemistry into new medicines, today announced the formation of a Therapeutic Advisory Board (TAB), chaired by Nicholas Saccomano, Ph.D. The TAB will advise Enveda’s executive team as they enter their first platform-derived medicines into clinical trials, starting later this year, and throughout the development process.
In addition to Dr. Saccomano, a former Chief Science Officer at Pfizer’s Boulder Research and Development headquarters, the members of the TAB include James Mackay, Ph.D., CEO of Kateran Consulting and former AstraZeneca Research and Development leader, Zoe Diana Draelos, M.D., Consulting Professor of Dermatology at Duke University, Ethan Wiener, M.D., consultant at Latimer Brook Pharmaceutical Consultants and former SVP and Group Therapeutic Area Head at Pfizer Global Research and Development, and John Teijaro, Ph.D., Professor of Immunology and Microbiology at the Scripps Research Institute.
“This is an incredibly exciting time for Enveda as we launch our first trials for multiple lead assets and transition into a clinical-stage company. The members of the TAB are all leaders in their respective areas of expertise, including in specific therapeutic areas, drug development and trial design, and have already provided meaningful guidance on our pipeline progress,” says Viswa Colluru, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Enveda. “The TAB is also a voice for the patients, ensuring we are developing medicines that will truly solve patient needs.”
“I find Enveda’s accelerated methodology to navigate plant natural product space with readouts firmly based in phenotypic pharmacology very interesting. What makes it exciting is the nature, activity and progressable properties of the program’s natural product starting points that are elaborated into REAL drugs by a very capable chemistry team,” says Dr. Saccomano. “The leadership has the right balance of technical rigor, curiosity, urgency and team spirit built into their operating philosophy that I have seen in other successful organizations.”
“I have been extremely impressed by the talented team of drug hunters and drug developers that the Enveda management team have assembled. Their ability to harness the power of natural plant chemistry to rapidly identify, characterize and develop small molecule candidates towards the clinic has been thoroughly impressive and I am really looking forward to being part of the TAB that will help Enveda to progress these molecules into meaningful medicines for patients,” says Dr. James Mackay.
“There has been a slow down in novel molecule development at the bench. Plants offer tremendous molecular diversity providing the building blocks for new drug classes with the potential to address many of the unsolved problems in disease management. Enveda’s novel approach to drug discovery stemming from the identification of plant materials with medicinal effects holds great promise in advancing disease treatment,” says Dr. Zoe Diana Draelos.
“I am really excited by Enveda’s approach of using small molecules discovered and adapted from the chemistry of plants to target diseases characterized by inflammation, fibrosis and cytokine signaling. This is an area that has become dominated by large molecule biologics, and so this small molecule-based approach has the potential to vastly improve patient access and to tame the more intractable targets,” says Dr. Ethan Wiener.
“I think the discovery engine that Enveda is building could be a mold that others will follow in the future, especially at the AI interface, where they are merging that technology with the drug discovery process effectively, creating drugs that will benefit patients in the not too distant future,” says Dr. John Teijaro.
The formation of the TAB marks a significant milestone for Enveda Biosciences as they advance their first assets for a range of inflammatory and neurosensory conditions. Multiple small molecules were rapidly discovered from unique chemistry found in medicinal plants using their proprietary platform and advanced in parallel to yield Enveda’s initial wave of first-in-class programs. The Enveda platform overcomes many of the long-standing obstacles in natural product drug development such as active molecule identification, property and structure prioritization, amenability to medicinal chemistry, and large-scale material access, thereby enabling the seamless integration of the natural world into the modern drug discovery laboratory. Founded in 2019, the company plans to launch at least two clinical trials in 2024.
Nicholas A. Saccomano, Ph.D.
Dr. Saccomano is a biopharmaceutical professional with over 35 years of extensive research, development and management experience across multiple therapeutic areas. He most recently worked at Pfizer R&D, Inc. as Chief Science Officer and Site Head at its Boulder facility, where he led a 170-person research and development team that advanced a portfolio of small molecule drug programs from inception to proof-of-concept. Prior to working at Pfizer, Dr. Saccomano served as Chief Science Officer at Array Biopharma Inc., and as Chief Technology Officer at SomaLogic Inc. Dr. Saccomano received a B.S. from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Columbia University under the direction of Gilbert Stork.
James Mackay, Ph.D.
Dr. Mackay is the CEO and Founder of Kateran Consulting. Prior to founding Kateran Consulting James was Founder, President and CEO of Aristea Therapeutics, an immunology focused company developing treatments for inflammatory diseases. Prior to Aristea he was President & CEO of Ardea Biosciences, and held a number of senior worldwide roles at AstraZeneca, including Global Product Vice President for Diabetes DPP-IV franchise. He played a critical role in the successful development of the AstraZeneca/Bristol-Myers Squibb worldwide diabetes alliance and managed all AstraZeneca Clinical resources, budget, and strategic partnerships with drug development CROs worldwide. Dr. Mackay has 30 years experience in the industrial chemical, agrochemical, specialty chemical and pharmaceutical business sectors and has a B.Sc. in Genetics and Ph.D. in Medical Genetics from Aberdeen University, Scotland.
Zoe Diana Draelos, M.D.
Dr. Draelos is a research and clinical board-certified dermatologist and a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. She is in solo private practice in High Point, North Carolina, and a Consulting Professor of Dermatology at Duke University. In 1988, she founded Dermatology Consulting Services, PLLC, to initiate and perform research in aging skin, acne, rosacea, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, actinic keratoses, eczema, and aesthetic procedures in the cosmetic, OTC drug, and pharmaceutical arenas. Prior to pursuing a medical career, Dr. Draelos completed an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering and was elected a Rhodes Scholar. She attended medical school at University of Arizona College of Medicine and is author of 14 books including Cosmetics in Dermatology and Hair Cosmetics.
Ethan Weiner, M.D.
Dr. Weiner is an independent consultant at Latimer Brook Pharmaceutical Consultants, specializing in issues of clinical efficacy and safety in small and large molecule drug development. A major part of his focus in consulting has been on drug safety, and development strategies for drug candidates in a variety of therapeutic areas, although primarily in inflammation and autoimmune disease. Prior to starting his consulting practice in early 2009, Dr. Weiner was Senior Vice President and Group Therapeutic Area Head at Pfizer Global Research and Development, where he was responsible for managing the design, monitoring and management of clinical programs in the multiple therapeutic areas, with an emphasis on inflammatory diseases. During his 20 years at Pfizer, Dr. Weiner oversaw bringing multiple drug candidates through the filing and approval process worldwide. Dr. Weiner received his M.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and completed his clinical training in Internal Medicine at Montefiore Hospital, Bronx, NY.
John Teijaro, Ph.D.
Dr. Teijaro serves on the Faculty of the Scripps Research Institute where he heads up The Teijaro Lab. He is a Professor in the Department of Immunology and Microbiology. The focus of the Teijaro Lab is understanding how immune suppressive and pathological environments are generated, maintained and reversed, with a specific focus on how type 1 interferon (IFN-I) production and signaling regulates these two states. John received his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Medicine in 2009.
Enveda Biosciences is a biotechnology company building the first high-resolution chemical map of the natural world to tackle the toughest problems in drug discovery. Enveda’s platform is the world’s most advanced drug discovery search engine from the expanse of nature’s unknown chemistry, building on years of cutting-edge advancements at the intersection of metabolomics and machine learning. Complementing its breakthrough technology, Enveda’s team includes seasoned drug hunters with decades of experience in the pharmaceutical industry working with preeminent data scientists. For more information on Enveda, visit enveda.com.