ILLUMINATING A NOVEL PATH FOR DRUG DELIVERY
NEW GENERATION OF PHOTO-ACTIVATED THERAPEUTICS
Iris Biomed LLC is a drug delivery company with a platform technology developed in the laboratories of Prof. David Lawrence, Fred Eshelman Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Medicine and Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The approach is based on novel concept of using light sensitive decoupling “antennas” to allow the release of wide variety of therapeutics from proprietary conjugates. Such an approach can allow for site specific and dose controlled therapies.
Two of the major issues with almost all therapeutics are side effects and safety due to systemic exposure and site specific bioavailability. This technology addresses both of these issues as it is designed to release the drug, from the conjugate, at the desired site, thereby reducing systemic exposure and increasing site specific bioavailability. Further, it will provide clinicians more therapeutic control through precision of site specific and optimal dosing that can be customized for the therapy and the patient.
Dr. Sundeep Dugar
Over 28 years in drug discovery and development that has included therapeutic areas ranging from oncology, inflammation, CNS/CV, and metabolic disorders. This has resulted in several IND candidates. Founder of Sphaera Pharma, Advantium Pharma, President/CSO of Sai Advantium Pharma, Vice President at Johnson & Johnson/ Scios Inc. Successfully completed equity sale of Advantium Pharma to Sequoia Capital, part of leadership team that concluded the acquisition of Scios Inc by Johnson&Johnson, member of the due diligence team at Johnson & Johnson that successfully in-licensed Xeralto® from Bayer.
Member of the Board of Directors of Cardero Therapeutics and Ternus Pharma. Trustee on the University of California Davis Foundation Board, current member on the Deans Advisory Council, University of California at Davis and a Senior Research Fellow, School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, University of California at Davis.
Co-inventor of Zetia® and Vytorin®, recipient of the National Inventor of the Year Award in 2005, American Chemical Society’s Heroes of Chemistry Award in 2004, New Jersey R&D Council’s Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award in 2002. Co-author of over 60 publications and presentations and co-inventor in over 80 issued and applied patents. PhD from University of California at Davis and post-doctoral fellowships at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich and Cornell University, NY.
Dr. David Lawrence
David Lawrence works to understand the biochemical processes of the cell by studying them as they happen in the cell as opposed to studying them in vitro. He currently focuses on applying his discoveries to cancer detection and treatment and, to a more limited extent, inflammatory diseases. Lawrence is a Fred Eshelman Distinguished Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and holds joint appointments in the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Pharmacology and is a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Before joining the School in 2007, Lawrence spent eleven years as a professor of biochemistry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in New York. Before that, he was at the State University of New York at Buffalo for ten years.
Dr. Melanie Priestman
Vice President of Research & Development
Melanie has over 10 years of experience in photochemistry, biosensors and imaging techniques. Prior to joining UNC as a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Lawrence’s lab, she performed graduate research at the University of Kansas in Professor Ernst Schönbrunn’s lab. There, she focused on characterizing EPSP synthase which advanced our understanding of glyphosate resistance. Melanie has published 16 peer-reviewed publications.
Dr. Don Rose
Don Rose is the Director of UNC’s Carolina KickStart Program (formerly NC BioStart). Prior to that, he held senior leadership roles at a number of life science startups: Metabolon (metabolomics, RTP), Deerac Fluidics (nanoliter dispensing, Dublin), and DataCentric Automation (high-throughput crystallography, Nashville). Before that, he was a general partner with Catalysta Partners (now Hatteras Venture Partners), a seed stage venture fund specializing in information technology and biotechnology start-ups. During this time, Don was co-founder and CEO of Phase Bioscience, a biomaterials start-up, spun out of Duke University. Dr. Rose received his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry and BS in Nutrition from the University of North Carolina. He has published eight papers, two book chapters, and holds six US patents.