Meet the Midwest Biomedical Accelerator Consortium (MBArC) External Review Board members.
Lu Alleruzzo, MBA
CEO & Co-Founder of Immunophotonics Inc.
Lu Alleruzzo is the CEO & Co-Founder of Immunophotonics Inc. (Immunophotonics, based out of STL, is a biotech company developing a proprietary polymer that turns a common local tumor ablation into a systemic immunotherapy for cancer.) He received a bachelor’s degree in bioengineering and an MBA from the University of Missouri – Columbia, and also worked at the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center. Mr. Alleruzzo was a Market Analyst for HP and World Wide Technology, as well as a Business Intern for Cerner prior to his position with Immunophotonics. He is also Chairman of the board for the American Cancer Society - St. Louis Chapter, and sits on the University of Missouri - Crosby MBA Advisory Committee.
David Anderson, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer, Ivogen (Subsidiary of Nanova Biomaterials, Inc.)
Dr. David Anderson, PhD, is currently the Chief Scientific Officer of Ivogen (subsidiary of Nanova Biomaterials), a biotech company focused on the discovery and development of novel antibiotics/antivirulence agents to treat antibiotic resistant bacteria. He has deep expertise in target-based drug discovery/development & personalized molecular diagnostics in autoimmunity/inflammation and oncology. He built and managed innovative drug discovery and development companies, including Signal Pharmaceuticals from start-up (focused on kinases and other gene-regulating targets) to acquisition by Celgene Corporation and Proprius Pharmaceuticals from start-up (focused on Personalized Medicine and Molecular Diagnostics) to acquisition by Cypress Bioscience. David has held senior positions at Ignyta (CSO/ VP Cancer Biology acquired by Roche), Eclipse Therapeutics (VP R&D acquired by Bionomics), Proprius Pharmaceuticals, (CSO) Celgene Corporation (CSO/Senior VP R&D), Johnson & Johnson (Senior Director Immunotherapy/Inflammation Drug Discovery), and Monsanto/ Searle (Senior Group Leader in Immunology). He was leader or member of teams responsible for development of six FDA approved drugs (Procrit®, Leustatin®, Revlimid® and Rozlytrek® for hematology/oncology indications, Zubrin® for veterinary arthritis, and Surfaxin® for respiratory distress syndrome), two NDAs, and ten INDs, two Personalized Diagnostic products (AVISE-PG® & AVISE-MCV®) for rheumatoid arthritis. David managed human, technical, and financial resources, represented start-up companies to venture capital and banking firms to raise over $200M, partnered with world-class biopharmaceutical companies for $150M in milestone/equity payments, received over $4M in SBIR grants, and conducted research leading to the first $1B biotechnology product, Procrit® (Johnson & Johnson). He has established translational research with world-class academic investigators to enhance and compliment expertise for successful research and product development. He has served as a consultant for numerous companies (Johnson & Johnson, Celgene, Santarus/Salix, AdventRx, aTyr Pharma), VC and investment firms (Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Venrock Ventures, CID Equity Partners and Clarian Health, City Hill Ventures) and is currently a scientific advisor for several biotechnology companies (Visionary Pharmaceuticals, Capella Therapeutics, Immunophotonics, and CryoCrate).
David has held academic positions at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and The Scripps Research Institution. He has organized, chaired, and spoken at international conferences focused on discovery and development of novel anti-inflammatory/immunomodulatory and cancer drugs, and has refereed articles for peer-reviewed journals such as Science, Journal of Rheumatology, and Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. David also has an outstanding record of scientific publications and presentations (35 peer reviewed publications and over 50 presentations/abstracts) and has received a number of research awards and 10 patents for his innovative research.
Sharon Ayd, PhD, MBA
Chief Executive Officer, Ayd BioPharma Consulting Group LLC
Sharon Ayd is a senior, international operations executive with proven leadership in creating and operationally implementing corporate strategy for highly competitive multi-national Biopharmaceutical companies. Dr. Ayd is the former Global Vice President, Innovation and Development of Fresenius-Kabi. Previously, Sharon was Global Vice President, Research & and Development of Hospira/Pfizer. Dr. Ayd also has experience in venture-backed biopharmaceutical companies. She was a founding member of Transcend Therapeutics (TSND:NASDAQ), Chief Operations Officer at Advanced Life Sciences (ADLS:NASDAQ) and Chief Science Officer at Pinnacle Biologics (private). Five years ago, Sharon formed Ayd BioPharma Consulting Group LLC. The company is a consultancy to Pharma/Biotech companies from pre-IPO to Fortune 500. Emphasis is on Pharmaceuticals, Biologics and combination products. Areas of specialty include; FDA regulations and regulatory strategy, product development, clinical trials, regulatory approval. Other services include post commercial life cycle management and due diligence to support M&A transactions.
Suzette Dutch, MBA
Managing Partner, Triathlon Medical Ventures
Suzette Dutch, Managing Partner of Triathlon Medical Ventures, has 20 years venture investing and 10 years operating experience in pharmaceuticals, surgical devices and diagnostics. At Senmed she served on the investment committee from its creation in 1987 and led the strategic planning, clinical/regulatory, market and business development due diligence efforts for start-ups through later stage investments. Previously she was responsible for strategic marketing for Sentron’s surgical stapling business until its sale to Ethicon. Prior to that she held various positions in clinical studies design, market research, and corporate planning at SmithKline integrating the acquisitions of Allergan, Beckman, and Clinical Laboratories. She has an MBA from Wharton in Finance and Decision Science, and a BA in economics from Case Western Reserve University.
Randel Frazier, MS
Board of Directors, Sealantis Ltd.
Randel Frazier, a highly accomplished Global R&D leader, has directed and advised multibillion-dollar Fortune 500 operating units and smaller joint venture collaborations, startup incubator companies, and engineering universities in senior executive, board and advisory board roles. Leveraging 25+ years of experience driving the development and launch of 20 to 50 products annually, Randel has led international R&D, built new sites from the ground up and expanded partnering and joint venture opportunities. Continuously shaping collaborative development relationships in internal corporate business units, external companies, incubator groups, universities and government entities, Randel delivers new technologies and products that meet changing global customer and markets’ needs.
Randel holds a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). As Head of R&D and Chief Technology Officer at Medtronic’s Covidien Group, Randel directed new medical device product development in the US, Europe, Asia and Latin America. Randel held prior R&D and Medical Affairs leadership roles with Covidien, Tyco International, and Valleylab. He also held earlier R&D and Engineering roles with Colorado MedTech, Cobe Laboratories, Storagetek Corporation, 3M Corporation and United Technologies Corporation. He has been a Board Member with MindUP, a digital health incubator, Medtronic joint venture in Haifa, Israel, and an Advisory Board Member for a Covidien supported startup in women’s health. Randel has also served as an Industrial Advisory Board Member for the St. Louis Museum of Science, Southern Illinois University’s School of Engineering, and University of Colorado’s Mechanical Engineering school.
Rachael Hagan, MSc
President & Chief Executive Officer NephroDI Therapeutics, Inc.
Rachael Hagan is the CEO of NephroDI Therapeutics and a recognized leader with a demonstrated track record of commercializing early-stage technology out of universities. Ms. Hagan is experienced in promoting emerging technologies and businesses to investors with a strong record of identifying, planning, and implementing strategic partnerships. Ms. Hagan formerly served as the Managing Director of the Coulter Translational Partnership Fund (CTPF), an evergreen fund providing $1.5M a year for investments at both Emory University/Georgia Tech and previously at the University of Washington. Beyond providing capital, she evolved the Coulter Fund into a team-based approach that is a rich resource for advancing translational projects to clinical adoption.
Ms. Hagan managed, conceived and implemented investment processes and procedures that brought business discipline to academic environments. She served as interim management on all investments. She actively participated and invested in more than 72 teams of innovators and co-investors on operational, funding, growth and exit strategies culminating in the formation of 38 start-up companies of which raised follow-on-funding of over $200M and introduced new products to the market. Additional, 12 of the 72 investments were licensed directly to established medical device companies.
Ms. Hagan has provided expert advice on medical technology investment to early-stage funds and angel investors, including Keiretsu Forum Northwest, Wings, Seraph Capital Network, Johns Hopkins University, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Imperial College London, University of Calgary and NIH through BioComX C3i. Ms. Hagan has an M.Sc. in Medical Regulatory Affairs and was a lecturer at the University of Washington’s School of Pharmacy Master program for Medical Regulatory Affairs.
Karen Mullis, PhD
Vice President, R&D Project Management, WUGEN
Karen Mullis is the Vice President, R&D at WUGEN in St. Louis. Dr. Gheesling Mullis has over 20 years of drug discovery, drug development, and investing experience in global pharmaceutical and drug biotech. Prior to joining WUGEN, Dr Gheesling Mullis was President of RiverVest's Archer Seed Venture Partners, LLC, investing in early stage biopharma companies. From 1995-2016, Dr. Gheesling Mullis held increasingly responsible positions in research and development at Pfizer and heritage companies Searle/Pharmacia. She was an asset project manager in early and late clinical development programs from IND submissions through global submissions and new drug approvals, including IBRANCE (palbociclib) for mBC and XALKORI (Crizotinib) ROS1 + NSCLC. Dr. Gheesling Mullis holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at University of Alabama, Birmingham followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Washington University, St. Louis in glycobiology. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Emory University.
Rifat Pamukcu, MD
Biotechnology Serial Entrapreneur & Angel Investor
Rifat serves as CEO of Midway Pharmaceuticals, Managing Partner of RxMP Therapeutics and Mobius Innovations, Director of Atrin Pharmaceuticals and Midway Animal Health. As Founder and CSO of Cell Pathways, he raised over $140M and took the company public on NASDAQ. He has been featured in Time, Business Week, Forbes and Dateline NBC, has authored over 110 academic publications, and is an inventor on 150+ issued patents. Rifat received his BA from the Johns Hopkins University and MD from University of Wisconsin. He trained in GI at the University of Chicago.
Alan Wright, MD, MPH
Chief Scientific Officer, Roche Diagnostics Corporation
As the Chief Medical Officer for Roche Diagnostics Corporation, Alan serves as our clinical spokesperson and lead counsel on everything from the policy to the practice of diagnostic medicine. With his extensive history in the managed care, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, Alan is well-versed in the changing landscape of healthcare including emerging trends and technologies, regulatory and legislative hurdles, payer challenges and the growing relevance of diagnostics with the advent of outcome-based reimbursement.
Alan’s Medical and Scientific Affairs organization serves as the clinical partner to Roche customers by managing both Investigator Initiated and Roche Sponsored Studies, scientific consulting, advisory boards, PACE and CEU education, an on-site applications lab, Visiting Scientist Program and Fellows Program. By cultivating relationships with other industry thought leaders, Alan helps align our diagnostic development to Roche’s focus in infectious disease, cardiology, oncology, women’s health, inflammation and blood screening.
Alan brings with him medical and scientific leadership experience from his work at Miraca Life Sciences, Caris Life Sciences, Star Pharmaceuticals, Caremark, Inc. and AdvancePCS. He earned his medical degree from University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and a masters of public health degree from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Hygiene.