Our Team

Management Team

Ish Khanna, PhD - Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Khanna has over 30 years of pharmaceutical industry experience with proven record of success in advancing drug molecules from “concept to clinic and market” He has held Technical and Executive Leadership positions in pharmaceutical companies (Pfizer, Pharmacia, Searle, Dr. Reddy’s Labs, Kareus Therapeutics). Dr. Khanna is experienced in building balanced discovery portfolio comprising of First in Class, Best in Class and Drug Repositioning. Dr. Khanna’s areas of expertise include medicinal chemistry, PK/PD correlations of drug molecules, IP strategies, lead optimization strategies and novel therapeutics for pain, inflammation, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. He is a co-inventor and co-author of over 100 patents and peer reviewed science publications. Dr. Khanna is co-inventor of celecoxib and multiple clinical agents across therapeutics.

Sivaram Pillarisetti, PhD - Co-founder

Dr. Pillarisetti has over 23 years of experience in research in Academia and Industry. Most recently he was head of research at Kareus Therapeutics and prior to that he was the Vice President of Research at Reddy US Therapeutics and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL). At DRL he headed the biology department and was managing activities from discovery to clinic. He has successfully brought several drug molecules from concept to clinic. Key accomplishments include three candidates in Phase 1/2 and several in preclinical development. He has been conducting research in the cardiovascular and metabolic diseases for over 18 years. Prior to Reddy US Therapeutics/Dr Reddy Laboratories, Dr. Pillarisetti had held faculty appointments at Columbia University and the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System in New York, where he established a peptide discovery program for Angion Biotech. His areas of expertise include Inflammation, Pain and Metabolic diseases. He is the author of over 50 research papers and review articles and inventor on several issued patents. Dr. Pillarisetti had been an investigator of the American Heart association (1996-99) and is a current member of the American Diabetes association and a fellow of the American Heart Association.

Marcus Malkmus, Head of Business Development

Marcus has over 20 years’ experience investing in biotech companies and helping them develop successful commercial and business development strategies. Marcus is also a Director at Hestia Investments focusing on early to mid-stage public and private companies in biotechnology and renewable energy. Marcus’ expertise includes help build platform opportunities and the strategic partnerships to accomplish corporate goals . Marcus is a neuroscientist with strong knowledge of unmet needs in neurodegenerative diseases.  Marcus holds a MS in neuroscience from University College London and was a visiting researcher in Physiology at the University of Oxford.

Scientific Advisors

Robert Sarisky, PhD, MBA

Dr. Sarisky is a Business Development expert. Robert has over 25-years’ experience working in the pharmaceutical companies (Janssen, GSK, and FORMA Therapeutics) with track record of developing successful corporate strategies and business outcomes. Robert’s expertise encompasses - building innovative partnerships structures, budgeting and fiscal management, and developinglicensing and strategic collaborations. Robert has also gained broad therapeutic knowledge in inflammation and neurodegenerative diseases.

Nanna Finnerup, MD, PhD

Dr. Finnerup is a Professor in pain research at Danish Pain Research Center, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University. Her areas of interest include studying the pathophysiology and therapies for diabetic polyneuropathy, chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain, and related neuropathic conditions. Prof Nanna has been involved in multiple clinical trials in neuropathic pain and have authored more than 150 publications in the field. Currently, Prof. Nanna is Chair of the Neuropathic Pain Special Interest Group (NeuPSIG) of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) and a steering group member of the International Diabetic Neuropathy Center (IDNC).

David Hill, PhD

Dr. Hill has over 30 years of experience working in the pharmaceutical industry as a pharmacologist and a senior leader, starting and finishing his career with Merck. David’s areas of expertise include: drug-discovery for neuroscience, pain, and anesthesia, including the use of large and small animal experimental models, and utilization of the translational in-vivo and in-vitro technologies for a successful path from early discovery to the clinic. During last several years David has been involved in novel drug discovery programs to build strategies and objective measures to mitigate risk of clinical failure.

Bob Ings, PhD

Dr. Ings is a DMPK expert with 40 years experience including senior leadership positions (Roche, Daiichi, Amgen, Pharmacia, Servier). Dr. Ings contributed to multiple US and European successful registrations of new medicines whilst working in the Pharma industry. He has co-authered over 80 publications including several book chapters.

Kelvin Chou, M.D.

Dr. Chou is a Clinical Professor in the Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery at Michigan Medicine and was the inaugural Thomas H. and Susan C. Brown Early Career Professor in Neurology. Dr. Chou serves as Co-Director of the STIM (Surgical Therapies Improving Movement) Program with research focus on improving movement disorders through deep brain stimulation. Dr. Chou is also an experienced clinical trialist, conducting numerous clinical trials on new therapies for Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor and Huntington disease. He directs the Neurology Clinical Trials Organization (NeCTO) and is Lead Medical Director of the Neuroscience and Sensory Clinical Trials Support Unit (CTSU) at Michigan Medicine. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, review articles or book chapters on PD and related movement disorders.

Solomon Tesfaye MB ChB, MD, FRCP

Dr. Tesfaye is a Consultant Physician/Endocrinologist, and Honorary Professor of Diabetic Medicine at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and the University of Sheffield. Dr. Tesfaye’s research projects include the epidemiology, risk factors, pathogenesis, central nervous system involvement and treatment of diabetic neuropathy and neuropathic pain. Dr. Tesfaye has published a book, over 200 original articles and reviews in diabetic neuropathy including a landmark study in the NEJM. Prof. Tesfaye was awarded the Prestigious Camillo Golgi Prize of the European Diabetes Association in 2014 for major scientific contributions in Diabetic Neuropathy. He also received the Arnold Bloom Award of Diabetes UK in 2017 for innovative and patient-centered diabetes care. Prof. Tesfaye served as Chair the International Expert Group on Diabetic Neuropathy 2010/11; and of NEURODIAB (2006-9), the largest diabetic neuropathy scientific group in the world.