Travecta Therapeutics Announces Broad Expansion of its Executive, Governance and Scientific Advisory Leadership Teams

Oct 27th, 2021 7:00 EST

SINGAPORE and PRINCETON, N.J., Oct. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Travecta Therapeutics, Pte Ltd., a preclinical stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering a portfolio of product candidates engineered to cross the blood-brain-barrier and blood-retinal-barrier, today announced the expansion of the Board of Directors, the addition of Donald C. Manning, M.D., Ph.D., as Chief Medical Officer and Head of R&D, Peter Milligan, M.B.A., as Chief Financial Officer, Peter Tate, M.B.A., Ph.D., as Head of Singapore Operations and Sr. Director, Business Development, and the addition of Peter Honig, M.D., M.P.H., to the Scientific Advisory Board.  The new members of the Board of Directors include June Bray, M.B.A., Ivan Gergel, M.D., M.B.A., Pascal Heberling, M.B.A., Bob Huang, M.D., M.B.A., and Charles Ryan, J.D., Ph.D., the Company's President and Chief Executive Officer.  Mr. Eustache Besancon and Mr. Bruno de Pampelonne will continue to serve on the Board of Directors. Travecta is currently funded through a Series A investment round that was led by TKS I, a life sciences and digital health focused venture capital fund with Tikehau Capital serving as the lead investor.

"Travecta's proprietary mVECTA™ platform and our expertise in MFSD2A transporter protein science offer the potential to open up an unprecedented range of previously inaccessible targets within the brain and eye to molecules with a low-cost, oral therapy," said Dr. Ryan. "This technology is now at an inflection point, with multiple proprietary programs advancing through research and toward the clinic, including a lead compound expected to enter Phase 1 study in 2022, and several ongoing proof-of-concept collaborations with large pharmaceutical companies. The support of this broad group of esteemed scientists, physicians, investors and business leaders adds critical depth of expertise as we look to take advantage of this powerful technology across multiple disease areas, including ophthalmology, pain, neuro-oncology, neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration."

Dr. Manning added: "Travecta is an exciting story, with a platform designed to deliver a broad range of payloads, from lipids to kinase inhibitors, anti-inflammatory anti-oxidants and disease modifying agents, directly to the brain and eye. We have the opportunity to rapidly crystalize the therapeutic potential of this platform in several different areas in the coming quarters, and I look forward to working with the management team, board and our scientific advisors toward this goal."

Dr. Honig, who joins scientific advisory board members David Silver, Ph.D., and Jerold Chun, M.D., Ph.D., added: "The blood-brain and blood-retinal-barriers remain an obstacle in developing simple, elegant therapeutic solutions against key disease targets in these organs. Building on work from the lab of Dr. Silver at Duke-NUS Medical School, Travecta has the opportunity to open an entirely new therapeutic pathway to a number of intractable diseases of the eye and brain."

Management Team

Donald C. Manning, M.D., Ph.D. (Chief Medical Officer and Head of R&D)

Dr. Manning has over 25 years of experience in drug development and has held increasing levels of management responsibility in a range of pharmaceutical settings including Novartis, Celgene, Alpharma, Shionogi and Adynxx. During his career, Dr. Manning has developed a broad experience across all aspects of drug development from target selection, through development, approval and medical affairs in a wide range of therapeutic areas including CNS and oncology. Don received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology, an M.D. and Board Certification in Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine with subspecialty training in Pain Management all from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Before joining the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Manning held faculty positions at Johns Hopkins and University of Virginia.

Peter Milligan, M.B.A. (Chief Financial Officer)

Mr. Milligan has over 30 years of experience in a variety of finance roles across a number of industries. Most recently Peter was the Chief Financial Officer of Melinta Therapeutics, LLC (previouslyNASDAQ: MLNT). At Melinta, he successfully led refinancing efforts with the company's secured lender while helping to raise $75M of convertible unsecured debt. From 2016 through 2018, Mr. Milligan was the Chief Financial Officer of a privately held generic pharmaceutical company named G&W Laboratories, Inc. Still prior, Peter was the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Exelis, Inc. (NYSE: XLS). Peter started his career in public accounting, working for both PWC and Arthur Andersen & Co. Peter received a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in accounting from Hofstra University and an MBA from New York University with a concentration in finance and economics.

Peter Tate, M.B.A., Ph.D. (Head of Singapore Operations and Sr. Director Business Development)

Peter Tate is a pharmaceutical leader with more than 15 years of industry experience in R&D, operations and business development. Prior to joining Travecta, Peter spent ten years at EMD Serono, the healthcare business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, where he led analytical chemistry, logistics and pharmaceutical development teams; progressing many molecules from exploratory research to IND. He then took on a business development role, partnering clinical immunology and oncology assets with venture capital.  Peter began his career at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, where he held roles of increasing responsibility leading pre-clinical analytics in support of immunology and inflammation research, as well as driving integration efforts during the Pfizer acquisition. Peter holds an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Florida State University, and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Rhode Island.

Scientific Advisory Board

Peter K Honig, M.D., M.P.H. (Scientific Advisor)

Peter Honig is an experienced leader in the strategic and tactical aspects of medicine and vaccine development with expertise in clinical pharmacology, clinical programs, setting clinical trial design, compliance, medical product safety, and medical product regulation. Dr. Honig recently retired from Pfizer as Senior Vice President and Head of Global Regulatory Affairs and Group Head of Development for China and Japan. Prior to joining Pfizer, he held senior leadership positions at AstraZeneca and Merck Research Laboratories and with the FDA, including a role as the first Director of the Office of Drug Safety in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). In addition to his industry and FDA experience, Dr. Honig has been the PhRMA representative to the International Conference on Harmonisation (ICH) Steering Committee from 2002 to 2021, is a past President of the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (ASCPT) and is currently an associate editor of their flagship journal. Peter received an M.D. and M.P.H. from Columbia University in New York.

Board of Directors

June Bray, M.B.A. (Director)

Ms. Bray brings over forty years of extensive U.S. and global regulatory experience in the healthcare industry. She most recently served as Senior Vice President, Global Regulatory Affairs and Medical Writing at Allergan, where she was responsible for regulatory strategies on development projects and lifecycle management in all therapeutic areas, including psychiatry and neurology. During her tenure, she led numerous NDA approvals, including Namenda XR®, Namzaric®, Vraylar®, and Ubrelvy®. Previously, Ms. Bray served as Vice President, Regulatory Affairs at Organon (now Merck), where she led regulatory activities for development and marketed products. Earlier in her career, Ms. Bray held numerous roles of increasing responsibility over a 25-year period at Berlex Laboratories, Inc. (now Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals). Ms. Bray holds a B.S. in Pharmacy from the University of Rhode Island and an M.B.A. in Pharmaceutical Marketing from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Ivan Gergel, M.D., M.B.A. (Director)

Dr. Gergel has been a Managing Partner and CMO at New Rhein since 2017. Ivan is a medical doctor and experienced global pharmaceutical R&D executive whose successes to date include 14 drug approvals. Ivan has held senior leadership positions in several U.S. companies and overseen teams in the development, approval, and commercialization of numerous new medicines. Prior to joining New Rhein, from 2014 to 2017 Ivan was CMO and Head of Drug Development for Nektar Therapeutics, Inc. From 2008 to 2014, Ivan served as Executive VP and Chief Scientific Officer of Endo Health Solutions. Ivan held various roles at Forest Laboratories, Inc. from 1998 to 2008, including Senior VP of R&D and President of the Forest Research Institute. From 1989 to 1998, he worked for SmithKline Beecham in the UK and the U.S. Ivan received his M.D. from the Royal Free Medical School, University of London, and his M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Ivan is a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and a fellow of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine of the UK College of Physicians.

Pascal Heberling, M.B.A. (Director)

Mr. Heberling is a partner at BC Partners and covers the healthcare sector and DACH region. Previously, Pascal was a member of the Executive Committee of the Private Equity Department and Head of Healthcare at the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) where he led a number of transactions, primarily in the healthcare space. Prior to this, he was a partner at Cinven, where he spent 12 years. He began his career at Merrill Lynch. Pascal is a graduate of Sciences Po Paris (summa cum laude) and holds an M.A. and M.B.A. from the University of Toronto (dean's list).

Bob Huang, M.D., M.B.A. (Director)

Dr. Huang is an Executive Director at Tikehau Capital and covers the healthcare sector. Bob is a medical doctor and healthcare investor with experience in biotech, diagnostics, healthcare IT and healthcare services. Prior to joining Tikehau, Bob was an investment executive at Seidler Equity Australia and Archer Capital, focusing on healthcare investments in Australia and New Zealand. Prior to this, Bob was a management consultant at Bain & Company with a focus on advising Fortune 500 healthcare companies on growth strategy, operational optimization, and M&A in North America and Asia Pacific. Bob holds an M.D. from University of New South Wales and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

About Travecta Therapeutics

Travecta Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company developing a broad portfolio of product candidates engineered to cross the blood-brain-barrier and blood-retinal-barrier. The company's proprietary platform mVECTA™ allows the company to screen and develop product candidates that can cross the blood-brain-barrier targeting novel and untapped neurological pathways as well as ocular targets in the eye via the blood-retinal-barrier. Travecta's mVECTA™ proprietary platform is built upon a deep understanding of the MFSD2A transporter protein and its function at the blood-brain-barrier as well as in other key physio-pathological conditions discovered by Dr. David Silver. The new chemical entities discovered through mVECTA™ have significant advantages over existing therapies and allow the company to address large patient populations with conditions that were previously hard to treat using existing modalities. Travecta focuses on biological pathways that have been clinically validated but where key biological targets have not been drugged or have been inadequately drugged due to the BBB challenge. To date, we have leveraged the mVECTA™ platform to design and test novel molecules with high brain penetration focused in the areas of pain, ophthalmology, neuro-oncology, neuropathic pain and neuro-inflammation.

For more information, visit:

Argot Partners
Jason Finkelstein
212.600.1902 | [email protected] 

SOURCE Travecta Therapeutics Pte Ltd

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