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Management


Oren Gilad, Ph.D. Co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer

Oren Gilad photo for webDr. Gilad received his B.A. in animal science from the Hebrew University in Israel and his Ph.D. in Pathology from the University of California at Davis. Dr. Gilad is a dynamic scientific entrepreneur and business leader who has built and profitably sold two small businesses. He is an innovator, strategic thinker, planner, and problem solver.  He has leadership skills, proven execution skills, and extensive hands-on experience across the different phases of drug research and development and leadership.  Dr. Gilad has authored several high-impact scientific articles, with the most recent one demonstrating the importance of the ATR pathway in cancer development and prevention. Dr. Gilad’s extensive cancer research over the last several years has furthered his desire to develop a company that will be able to take these new concepts and bring new successful therapies to help cancer patients of the world. Dr. Gilad is a Member of the Biotechnology Advisory Committee at Bucks County Community College and the Entrepreneur Council Executive Committee of the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center. He was recently named 2015 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Greater Philadelphia Finalist in the Life Science Category.

Bernard C. Rudnick, CFO and Board Member

Bernie Resnick photo for webBernard C. Rudnick is the founder and managing partner of CapGenic Advisors, LLC, and a member/founder of several investment groups. His last posting was Immunomic Therapeutics, another FiReStarter company where he served as director and CFO.  Immunomic Therapeutics completed a license with Astellas which resulted in the largest ($300 million) upfront payment in its class of drugs and a $90 million distribution to investors. Mr. Rudnick’s entrepreneurial career spans a number of startups, three of which grew to over $50 million in revenue before liquidity events. He is a founder of one of the nation’s leading entrepreneurial programs (MADV) at the Fox School of Business, Director of Operative Experience, Director of Axxia Pharmaceuticals, Director of RSportz, and has held a number of other board positions – both commercial and not-for-profit – throughout his career. With 38 years of experience in executive-level strategy, finance, and management, Mr. Rudnick has senior merger, acquisition, capital formation, and licensing leadership experience with companies ranging from start-up to Fortune 50. He has substantial experience investing and guiding investments in entrepreneurial companies, he has led capital formation totaling more than $538 million and strategic and licensing transactions of over $7 billion in the past twenty-two years. Mr. Rudnick currently advises companies in therapeutic, medical device, and enterprise software areas. His advisory clients have included Mitsui (Mitrix), DuPont (Agri-chemical), McKesson Bioservices (now TMO), Kika Clinical Solutions (now IBM), as well as a number of early-stage life sciences companies.

Dr. Rifat Pamukcu, Chief Medical Advisor and Board Member

Rifat PamukcuDr. Pamukcu was a Founder, Director and CSO of Cell Pathways, Inc. (CPI), an emerging pharmaceutical company acquired by OSI Pharmaceuticals. He directed the basic science, preclinical drug development, clinical research, regulatory programs, and various aspects of chemical scale-up and manufacturing over the course of decade. He was also instrumental in obtaining over $140 million of capital and in the transformation of CPI to a public company. He received his B.A. in Biology from The Johns Hopkins University and his M.D. degree from the University Of Wisconsin School Of Medicine. Dr. Pamukcu has authored over 110 journal articles, book chapters, and abstracts and is an inventor on over 280 issued or pending patents in the areas of drug discovery and development for cancer prevention, cancer treatment, and inflammatory bowel disease. Dr. Pamukcu’s extensive experience and success in bringing a biotech startup company to acquisition will help us not only in solving the unknown obstacles as they come but also in preventing problems before they rise.

Hank Breslin, Head of Medicinal Chemistry

Hank Breslin photo for webFor twenty-five years Hank Breslin, our head of medicinal chemistry, worked within Johnson & Johnson, doing discovery research with McNeil, Janssen, and the J&J Pharmaceutical Research Institute (PRI). During that time he co-invented TIBO (from which the company Tibotec’s name was rooted), the first non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor ever reported and clinically validated in the battle against HIV and AIDS, and eluxadoline, which was approved by the FDA for treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D). After J&J, Hank worked at Cephalon for 6 years, within their oncology chemistry team, where their efforts were focused in the kinase field and where he designed and prepared one of the most potent Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK) inhibitors reported to date. Now at Atrin Pharmaceuticals, he is again focused on cancer therapeutics, with major emphasis in the kinase arena.

What’s New

EY announces Atrin Pharmaceuticals Co-founder and CEO Oren Gilad is an EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2015 Award finalist in Greater Philadelphia

Award winners will be announced at a special gala event on June 11 at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel

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Ben Franklin approves funding for Atrin Pharmaceuticals

Ben Franklin approves $2M for 10 Early Stage Companies across South Eastern PA

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Poster Award Winner at Exploring DNA Repair Pathways as Targets for Cancer Therapy Conference

Atrin Pharmaceuticals receives winning poster award at “Exploring DNA Repair Pathways as Targets for Cancer Therapy” Fusion Conference in Cancun, Mexico 12-15 Feb 2015. Prize awarded by Professor Junjie Chen and Dr. Helen Piwnica-Worms

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Patent Filed

Atrin Pharmaceuticals files patent for lead cancer therapeutic serires

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Licensing Agreement

Atrin Pharmaceuticals executes a licensing agreement with the University of Pennsylvania

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Board of Directors


Oren Gilad, Ph.D. Co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Rifat Pamukcu, Chief Medical Advisor and Board Member

Dr. Jay Rosan, Board Member

Jay RosanDr. Rosan is a former Vice President of Health Innovation for Walgreens under which He was also a member of the Walgreens Corporate Innovation Team. Prior to this he was the Senior VP of Health Innovation at the Walgreens Health and Wellness Division, a division that provides medical care to many of the most recognizable Fortune 500 companies. Dr. Rosan was one of the first medical directors at HMO of Pennsylvania which grew to become US Healthcare, and while there he held many senior corporate leadership positions and developed one of the first and largest breast and colorectal cancer screening programs in the country. He is also a member of Robin Hood Ventures, an angel group that provides both financial and mentoring help to startup companies in the Delaware Valley. Dr. Rosan is a family physician and serial entrepreneur with over 30 years experience in extensive leadership experience in various industries, most prominently those related to medicine and health insurance. These qualities will be of tremendous value to the success of Atrin Pharmaceuticals.

Marc Duey, M.Sc, MBA. Board Member

Marc DueyMr. Duey is the Founder, President and CEO of ProMetrics Inc. He has over three decades of experience in the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology industries and brings a great deal of commercial business experience to Atrin. Mr. Duey founded ProMetrics to provide marketing and sales teams with strategic database and decision support services for dynamic healthcare manufacturers and innovative service firms. Under his direction, the firm has helped launch dozens of biopharma products, serviced over 130 clients, and managed over 6,200 projects. Prior to founding ProMetrics, Mr. Duey was founder and President of DuWest Research, an international management consulting firm, with offices on three continents, that specialized in serving the needs of diagnostic and biotechnology firms. Mr. Duey is a member of numerous trade and industry associations and sits on the Board of Directors of several technology companies. He is an adjunct professor at West Chester University in both the Graduate Business School (MBA) and the Pharmaceutical Product Development program (PPD). Mr. Duey’s extensive experience with oncology product launches will assist Atrin along its growth path to success.

Benjamin R. Cowen, PhD, MBA. Board Member

Banjamin CowenBen has 15 years of pharmaceutical experience with a broad background that spans Business Development, Portfolio Management, Marketing, Sales, and Financial Analysis. At Shire he led Portfolio Management and the annual Strategic Planning process. At Merck for 14 years, he worked in Business Development leading search & evaluation and transactions negotiations in support of the US commercial businesses. He was the R&D Portfolio Management Director for Oncology. In Marketing, he was a Product Manager for hospital antibacterials. In Sales, he was an HIV Sales Representative and Medical Science Liaison. He joined Merck as a Business Development Financial Analyst. Ben originally trained as research scientist and was an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. He holds a PhD in Biophysics and an MBA in Strategy and Finance.

Kevin D. Smith, Ph.D. Co-founder, Advisor

Kevin SmithDr. Smith received his B.A. in Cellular Biology and Neuroscience from Rutgers University. He graduated summa cum laude and completed dissertation research in liver function and regeneration. Dr. Smith spent several years in the Pharmaceutical Process Development Department at Centocor, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson before obtaining a Ph.D. at the University Of Pennsylvania Perelman School Of Medicine researching selected pathways and DNA checkpoints. Dr. Smith is an author of several high-impact peer reviewed scientific articles and abstracts pertaining to cancer development and he has become an internationally recognized investigator in the field of replication fork stability and the DNA damage response. His recent publication, describing how specific pathway activation preserves fork stability in instances of replisome dysfunction, has been downloaded and read more than 2000 times. Dr. Smith enthusiastically shares Dr. Gilad’s dream to develop cancer therapeutics that will successfully help patients with cancer that have not had much success in their treatment regimens.

Renold Capocasale, Board Member

Renold CapocasaleRenold is the Founder and CEO of FlowMetric Inc, a niche Contract Research Oganization (CRO) established in early 2010 and has over 20 years of experience in pharmaceutical research and development. He is an expert in polychromatic flow cytometry, cell sorting and immunology-based assay development. Prior to establishing FlowMetric, Renold worked for over 13 years at Centocor, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson. He established the polychromatic flow facility at Centocor to perform polychromatic flow cytometry and cell sorting. His work at Centocor earned him five prestigious Johnson & Johnson awards for scientific excellence and innovation. He has worked on marketed compounds, Remicade® and Stelara®. Ren has authored more than 30 peer reviewed scientific manuscripts and publications. He is co-author of one US Patent and has been invited to speak at International Conferences. He has also co-authored a chapter on the “Application of Flow Cytometry in Drug Development” for Immunotoxicology Strategies for Pharmaceutical Safety Assessment, published by John Wiley & Sons in August 2008. In 2013, Renold expanded FlowMetric into Lodi, Italy with the creation of FlowMetric Europe srl and is the Chairman of the Board for FlowMetric Diagnostics. Renold earned his undergraduate degree from Villanova University. Renold sits on the Board of Trustees of Neumann University and is also a board member of iPraxis, a not-for-profit educational institution focused on science and technology education. In addition Renold is an Adjunct Professor at Drexel University College of Medicine and is active in the Boy Scouts as an Assistant Scoutmaster.

Scientific Advisory Board


EricBrownEric J. Brown, Ph.D., Scientific Advisor

Dr. Brown is an Associate Professor of Cancer Biology at the University of Pennsylvania and his research laboratory focuses on the importance of replication stress responses in preserving genome integrity and preventing cancer and aging. Dr. Brown is also studying how the ATR pathway counters replicative stress, how replication stress relates to the process of aging, and whether suppression of the ATR pathway can serve as an effective cancer treatment. Dr. Brown is an internationally recognized investigator in the field of DNA damage and repair. He is an author of many high impact papers that have been published in top tier journals such as Nature, Genes and Development, Cell Stem Cell and Nature Genetics. His extensive knowledge in the field of the ATR mediated checkpoint response will contribute to Atrin’s future success.

IanBlairIan A. Blair, Ph.D., Scientific Advisor

Dr. Blair is A. N. Richards Professor of Pharmacology; Vice-Chair, Department of Pharmacology; Director, Center for Cancer Pharmacology; Director, Proteomics and Systems Biology Facility; Director, Molecular Profiling Core, Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Dr. Blair is also a Charter member of the Drug Discovery and Molecular Pharmacology Study Section at the NIH. His research focuses on oxidative stress in cancer and cardiovascular disease, including the investigation of the role of endogenous DNA- and glutathione-adducts and lipid metabolites as biomarkers of cancer and cardiovascular disease in vitro, in animal models and humans. He is an internationally recognized investigator in the field of pharmacology. Dr. Blair is an author of textbook chapters, abstracts and over 290 peer-reviewed scientific articles. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists. Dr. Blair has over 30 years experience in the fields of pharmacology and mass spectrometry. Most recently, he was selected for the 2011 Eastern Analytical Symposium Award for his Distinguished Contributions to Mass Spectrometry. Atrin Pharmaceutical is very excited to have Dr. Blair on our team.

JefferyWinklerJeffery Winkler, Ph.D., Scientific Advisor

Dr. Jeffery Winkler is an associate professor of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Winkler is also a founding member for center for cancer pharmacology of the University of Pennsylvania. He is also an Associate Editor for the journal Organic Letters. His research includes investigating new synthetic pathways, transformation using organic photochemistry and development of novel inhibitors including for hedgehog signaling. Dr. Winkler is internationally recognized and leading investigator in the field of Organic Chemistry. Dr. Winkler adds tremendous value to our drug development program by provides advice and support for all pre-clinical chemistry discovery chemistry, and scale-up chemistry.