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The DOs and DON’Ts: Perspectives from Today’s Entrepreneurs
Brett E. Crawford
Vice President of Research at Zacharon Pharmaceuticals
Head of Research and Development Chemistry at CendR Inc.
V.P. Chemistry at Aspyrian Therapeutics, Inc.
Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer at Epigen Biosciences, Inc.
Consultant at Fabio Tucci Consulting
DATE: Tuesday, August 28, 2012
TIME: 5:00 PM Social Hour, light appetizers
6:00 PM Presentation
PLACE: Pfizer, 10646 Science Center Drive, Building CB4
San Diego, CA 92121
RESERVATIONS: By Friday, August 24, 2012
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS:
Dr. Crawford is a co-founder and the Vice President of Research at Zacharon Pharmaceuticals in San Diego California. He is an expert glycobiologist who has focused on the biosynthesis of glycans and their biological roles in human disease for over 15 years. He received his B.S. with honors from the University of California at Davis in 1997 and his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of California at San Diego in 2004. At Zacharon, he led the development of a glycan inhibitor drug discovery platform that has identified novel small molecule drug candidates for lysosomal storage diseases. The scientific progress has led to two collaborations with pharmaceutical companies (Pfizer in 2011 and Acorda in 2012) to develop glycan inhibitors for therapeutic uses. In parallel with the therapeutic development work, Dr. Crawford invented and developed a novel diagnostic method (the Sensi-Pro® Assay) to identify and measure the biochemical response to therapy in patients with lysosomal storage diseases. The Sensi-Pro assay is being developed for clinical use through a partnership with ARUP labs in Utah. Dr. Crawford and the other Zacharon co-founders secured angle funding in 2006, Series A venture capital funding in 2008. To supplement the investment funding, Dr. Crawford has earned 10 NIH grants for Zacharon, bringing in over $6 million to assist in the development of Zacharon’s core technology. In his spare time, he is also an artist that works in clay. Brett has taught ceramics for 20 years, he currently teaches wheel-throwing ceramics at the UCSD Crafts Center.
Dr. Deborah Slee has over 20 years of experience in drug research & development, leading discovery and preclinical development teams. Since 2010, she has co-founded two companies, Aspyrian and CendR Therapeutics, which are focused on the development of antibody and peptide-based targeted delivery systems for the treatment of cancer. Prior to Aspyrian and CendR, she was a Director of Medicinal Chemistry at Neurocrine biosciences where she led multidisciplinary teams focused on the development of treatments for CNS disease. Before Neurocrine, Dr. Slee led medicinal chemistry efforts at Ontogen Corporation, working on the discovery and optimization of enzyme inhibitors for the treatment of inflammation, and cancer. In addition, before coming to the U.S., she worked for Glaxo Group Research and Unilever Research in the U.K. Dr. Slee completed her post-doctoral research at The Scripps Research Institute working on the development of anti-virals. She holds a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Exeter which was sponsored by Glaxo, and a B.Sc. in Applied Chemistry from the University of Hertfordshire in the U.K.
Dr. Fabio Tucci is the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Epigen Biosciences, Inc., a start-up drug discovery company. He has over 15 years of experience in drug discovery, medicinal chemistry and organic synthesis. As the Director of Chemistry at Tanabe Research Laboratories, he led the Medicinal Chemistry Department and advanced several programs on inflammation and metabolic diseases to the pipeline of Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation in Japan. While at Neurocrine Biosciences, Dr. Tucci served as Principal Scientist in the Medicinal Chemistry Department where he was part of the team that conceived and optimized Elagolix, a potent small-molecule GnRH antagonist that has recently advanced to phase III clinical trials in humans and partnered with Abbott. In addition, he was the lead medicinal chemistry scientist in the melanocortin-4 (MC4) program for obesity and cancer-cachexia and histamine-1 (H1) antagonist for insomnia. Dr. Tucci received a Ph.D. degree in organic chemistry from the Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil, and conducted postdoctoral studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla. He authored/co-authored 62 peer-reviewed publications and is an inventor in 14 patents and patent applications.