Our Company

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Company

Overview

As a specialty therapeutics, clinical-stage biotech company, Inversago Pharma develops new generations of peripherally-acting cannabinoid-1 receptor (CB1) inverse agonists for the treatment of Prader-Willi Syndrome, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), type 1 diabetes and other metabolic disorders such as diabetic nephropathy. The mechanism of action of Inversago’s molecules addresses the safety limits associated to first generation, centrally-acting CB1 blockers, allowing the company to exploit their full medical potential.

Leadership Team

François Ravenelle

François Ravenelle brings to Inversago a comprehensive set of skills in pharmaceutical and business development, and a proven ability to move the company’s vision forward. As CEO and Founder, François played an integral part in Inversago’s recent US$40 million raise in less than 24 months. These funds are allowing Inversago to actively pursue the development of the company’s programs, while assembling a team of senior professionals led by François to ensure a constant pace towards important clinical validations.

His experience spans over nearly two decades in the pharmaceutical industry and his expertise covers the entire pharmaceutical development landscape, from early-stage development programs to clinical trials, with key contribution to one approved NDA. He also participated in the successful filing and execution of clinical trials, while operating in efficient virtual pharma company environments. François holds a PhD in Physical Chemistry from McGill University.

Glenn D. Crater

Glenn D. Crater brings to his position at Inversago more than 20 years of experience in clinical development and medical affairs covering multiple aspects of drug development, including rare diseases, as well as a strong ability to rapidly and successfully adapt to new therapeutic fields. Prior to joining Inversago, Glenn held many executive positions at Theravance Biopharma, including Vice President, Clinical Development and Medical Affairs, where he led the Respiratory, GI, Neurology, and Orphan Disease Therapeutic Areas, as well as the recent launch of YUPELRI.

Glenn is experienced in developing and executing US and Global medical strategy for large global brands as well as designing and executing large global development programs. He has also occupied many senior roles at GlaxoSmithKline, including Country Medical Director for GSK Canada, being responsible for all therapeutic areas in a top 10 market. Prior to joining Theravance, he led the development of the NIOX VERO medical device at Aerocrine including a new indication (Six Second Pediatric Mode) and a new disease area (Nasal Nitrite Oxide for Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia). He was also responsible for leading global medical affairs, with responsibilities in China, Japan, US and Europe.

Glenn obtained his MD degree from the University of Tennessee and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine as well as in Pulmonary Diseases.

Michael D. Harvey

Michael D. Harvey is a senior executive with 20 years of experience in drug development, bringing to Inversago his expertise in various therapeutic areas, including musculoskeletal rare diseases, oncology, as well as infectious diseases. As an experienced leader in the biotech start-up space, he successfully advanced programs throughout nonclinical and clinical development and led high performing cross-functional teams to deliver innovative therapies to patients. Over his career, Michael demonstrated strong abilities in strategic planning, execution in a fast-paced environment and alliance management, including pharma partner collaborations.

Prior to joining Inversago, he was Vice President, Drug Development and Montreal Site Head at Ipsen (formerly Clementia Pharmaceuticals Inc.). He previously assumed increasing managing roles at Thallion Pharmaceuticals and several other biotech companies. Michael holds a BSc in Biology and a PhD in Bioanalytical Chemistry, both from Concordia University (Montreal, Canada).

Jeremy Green

Jeremy Green is an accomplished scientific and organizational leader, with a track record of building and delivering on drug R&D programs. Prior to working for Inversago, he was head of chemistry at Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Boston) and responsible for medicinal chemistry, lead generation, scale up and analytical functions.

Jeremy cumulates over 20 years pharmaceutical industry experience in a variety of roles, including department, functional and project leadership. He has extensive experience in early-stage discovery, lead generation and optimization, medicinal chemistry, intellectual property realization, scale-up, analytical chemistry, and outsourcing.

He is also highly experienced in initiating, progressing and delivering development candidates in infectious disease, oncology, immunology and neurological disease therapeutic areas. Jeremy is a team leader with strong verbal, interpersonal, presentation and written communication skills, focused on, and motivated by, continuous improvement, quality and delivery.

Jianmin Duan

Jianmin Duan worked for 21 years in drug discovery and development at Boehringer Ingelheim, overseeing all preclinical drug development programs of the company. As an experienced team leader with more than 20 years of track records in drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, pharmacokinetics and pharmacology, his skills are an important asset for Inversago and cover three main areas of expertise:

-General and project-specific strategy planning and prioritization: identifying the critical PK/PD parameters for effective optimizations;

-Experimental design, data analysis, and interpretations on ADME/PK and pharmacology studies: ensuring the most efficient use of resources to achieve the highest quality data within the best timeline, such as best dosage selections, sample time, and statistical power.

– Identification of key issues and providing solutions on how to improve oral bioavailability, half-life, IVIVC and human PK/PD/Tox predictions, efficient selection and implementation of PK and PK/PD models, and the application of software to guide drug evolution, candidate selection, toxicology evaluations and clinical trials, as well as staff training.

Micheline Beauvais

Micheline Beauvais brings key financial expertise to Inversago, acquired all along her career in the banking industry, as well as during her tenure as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Locus Dialogue Inc.

Since 2002, Micheline has been working as part time CFO for small venture-backed technology startup companies. Her expertise is well-recognized throughout the biotech industry (20+ biopharmaceutical companies in her professional portfolio).

Well-versed in all aspects of financial management, she brings extensive experience in accounting, auditing, control and taxation, as well as expertise in the set-up and management of financial and IT systems, establishment of corporate policies and processes, ensuring the respect of financial laws and guidelines.

A certified general accountant, Micheline successfully completed an executive MBA at Concordia University in Montreal.

Board of Directors

Carlo Incerti

A medical doctor by training, Carlo Incerti brings to Inversago over three decades of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. He most recently held the position of Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer and Head of Global Medical Affairs at Sanofi Genzyme.

Prior to its acquisition by Sanofi in 2011, Carlo held a number of positions of increasing scope and responsibility at Genzyme Corporation, the company who pioneered the development of therapeutics for rare diseases.

Prior to joining the industry, Carlo was an Associate Professor of Endocrinology at the University of Modena, with a main research focus on thyroid diseases and sex hormones.

In January 2019 he joined Forbion, Naarden, The Netherlands as an Operating Partner. Carlo is also Chairman of the Board of Azafaros B.V., a Dutch company developing innovative therapeutics for lysosomal storage diseases.

Patricia Allen

Patricia Allen chairs the Audit Committee of Inversago’s board and served as chief financial officer of Zafgen, Inc., now Larimar Therapeutics, from January 2013 until May 2020 where she led all aspects of finance, investor relations, communications, human resources, information technology, as well as facilities management and operations. She has helped raise capital and led or actively participated in successful initial public offerings at Alkermes, Alnylam, Zafgen and most recently Deciphera Pharmaceuticals.

Prior to Zafgen, Patricia worked with biotechnology companies to provide consulting services for fund raising, strategic long-range planning, organizational structure, and business development. Previously, she held positions of increasing responsibility at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ALNY), most recently serving as vice president of finance, treasurer, and principal financial officer.

Patricia began working in the biotechnology industry at Alkermes, where she spent 12 years as director of finance, assistant secretary, and corporate controller. She was an audit manager at Deloitte & Touche where she began her career. She serves on the board of directors at Deciphera Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: DCPH), where she also is the chairperson of the Audit Committee. Patricia graduated summa cum laude from Bryant College with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

Marco Boorsma

Marco Boorsma is General Partner at Forbion and joined the team in 2007.

Marco has a key role in the investment team with focus on biopharma and a special interest to bring his background in molecular biology, operational and business development experience from both small and large businesses to the portfolio. Inversago’s board benefit from his wide expertise and he also currently serves on the boards of Inflazome, Escalier Biosciences and EnGene.

Marco was instrumental in the start-up of Dezima and served on its Board until Dezima was acquired by Amgen for up to USD1.5Bn in 2015. Marco also served on the Board of Akarna, which was sold to Allergan for up to USD 1Bn in 2016, and on the board of Prexton Therapeutics that was sold to Lundbeck in 2018 for up to USD 1.1Bn. Marco was observer to the Board of Exosome Diagnostics that was sold to Bio-Techne for up to USD 575M. He previously served on the board of Replimune (NASDAQ: REPL), RSPR Pharma, NorthSea Therapeutics, Milestone Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ: MIST), and was observer at Oxyrane.

Dennis Kim

Dennis Kim is a physician executive and currently the Chief Medical Officer at Emerald, an investment company focused on advancing and leveraging the science of cannabis for medicinal purposes. Previously, he served in a variety of senior executive positions in the biopharmaceutical industry, most recently as Chief Medical Officer at Zafgen, Inc. for 7.5 years, where he brought beloranib up to pivotal Phase 3 trial for the treatment of Prader-Willi Syndrome, and Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs at Orexigen Therapeutics (public biotech company focused on obesity pharmacotherapy). His experience and areas of expertise are of great value to Inversago’s board.

Prior to joining Orexigen in September of 2008, Dennis was Vice President, Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer of EnteroMedics, Inc., a public medtech company developing implanted electrical weight-loss devices. He also held various senior management positions at Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. over 7 years, including Executive Director of Corporate Strategy and the program medical lead for development and commercialization of Byetta® (exenatide) for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Dennis completed his fellowship in Endocrinology/Metabolism at University of California, San Diego (UCSD) during which time he investigated the pathophysiology of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. He is extensively published in top peer-reviewed medical and scientific journals with over 50 publications to his name. Dennis also received an MBA degree with honors from UCSD Rady School of Management with emphasis on biotech structure and strategy.

Tara Nickerson

Tara Nickerson brings to Inversago her experience as chief business officer and corporate board secretary at Maze Therapeutics, as well as more than 20 years of experience building biotechnology businesses from startup to commercialization. Known for leading company-building efforts, strategic partnering, corporate transactions and board of directors’ governance for life sciences companies, Tara has guided strategic development, partnering and corporate spinoff transactions.

Before joining Maze, Tara worked for Prothena Corporation, where she served as chief business officer and was on the core team that formed Prothena as a public company via a spin-off from Elan Pharmaceuticals. There, she led early market development for new products business development, manufacturing and global facilities & IT and executed the company’s collaboration agreements with Celgene and Roche.

Prior to Prothena, she held concurrent roles as vice president and head of business development at Elan Pharmaceuticals, and vice president and head of corporate development at Neotope Biosciences, a wholly-owned Elan subsidiary. Tara is currently an active member of Women in Bio and Canadian Entrepreneurs in Life Science.

She holds a Ph.D. in experimental medicine and a B.Sc. in biology from McGill University. She also holds an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley, Walter A. Haas School of Business.

François Ravenelle

François Ravenelle brings to Inversago a comprehensive set of skills in pharmaceutical and business development, and a proven ability to move the company’s vision forward. As CEO and Founder, François played an integral part in Inversago’s recent US$40 million raise in less than 24 months. These funds are allowing Inversago to actively pursue the development of the company’s programs, while assembling a team of senior professionals led by François to ensure a constant pace towards important clinical validations.

His experience spans over nearly two decades in the pharmaceutical industry and his expertise covers the entire pharmaceutical development landscape, from early-stage development programs to clinical trials, with key contribution to one approved NDA. He also participated in the successful filing and execution of clinical trials, while operating in efficient virtual pharma company environments. François holds a PhD in Physical Chemistry from McGill University.

Jamie Stiff

Jamie Stiff joined Genesys Capital in 2002 and became partner at the firm in 2007 and Managing Director in 2016, where he is responsible for investments in many early-stage portfolio companies that cross a multitude of clinical disciplines and technology areas. Jamie’s experience is a great addition to Inversago’s board of directors.

Prior to joining Genesys, Jamie worked at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital in the genetic diagnostics area.

This experience, combined with an academic background in biology, has provided significant technical knowledge of many areas of life sciences. Jamie completed a Bachelor of Science (Honours) from Queen’s University and an MBA from the Rotman School of Management.

Scientific Advisory Board

Rohit N. Kulkarni

Dr. Rohit N. Kulkarni has been on the Faculty of the Joslin Diabetes Center since 1999 and is currently a Senior Investigator and Co-Head of the Section on Islet Cell and Regenerative Biology at the Joslin Diabetes Center, Professor of Medicine and Faculty Member of the Biology and Biomedical Sciences (BBS) Graduate Program at Harvard Medical School and Associate Director of the Diabetes Research Center (DRC).

The major focus of the Kulkarni laboratory is to generate functional islet cells for replacing dysfunctional and/or absent hormone producing cells in type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Rohit Kulkarni obtained his MD and PHD degrees from St. John’s Medical College and the Royal Postgraduate Medical School in London where he trained in the lab of Steve Bloom. Subsequently, he obtained the NIH NRSA Award and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the lab of Ron Kahn at the Joslin Diabetes Center.

He is the recipient of the Endocrine Society’s Ernst Oppenheimer Award, the Merck Frosst Distinguished Lectureship and James H. Horner Distinguished Visiting Professorship and is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and Association of American Physicians.

Christine McCarthy

Dr. McCarthy is a world expert in clinical development for metabolic disease. Over her career in large pharma, she has been responsible for several late stage clinical development programs including having worldwide responsibility for Sanofi’s Phase III program for Rimonabant, the only approved CB1 obesity / diabetes / dyslipidemia drug.

Dr. McCarthy has also been part of the strategy and innovation team of Sanofi R&D. In this role, she conducted in-depth reviews of numerous projects at different stages of development.

She received her medical degree and her specialty in rheumatology at hospital Saint Antoine Paris, France.

Arun J. Sanyal

Arun J. Sanyal, M.D., is the education core director at VCU’s C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research and a professor in the gastroenterology division of the Department of Internal Medicine at the VCU School of Medicine.

Dr. Sanyal has published more than 300 scholarly papers, has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health for more than 17 years and has won numerous awards for his research and leadership. Earlier this year, he was selected for the Virginia Outstanding Scientist award for his deep commitment to the betterment of human health globally via science, education and public policy.

Dr. Sanyal is a leader in training future medical researchers and in identifying the mechanisms and clinical outcomes and developing effective management for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and metabolic syndrome. He has developed training programs to address these major public health challenges.

Through his service on several committees, editorial boards and in leadership positions such as president of the American Society for the Study of Liver Disease, as well as chair of the NASH Research Network and the Liver Study Section at the NIH, Dr. Sanyal has had a significant impact on VCU and the professional community. His work led to the development of a curriculum for hepatologists that has established national training standards.

Investors

Inversago Pharma is a privately-owned company. In 2020, Inversago has secured a US$35 million series B financing to pursue its development plan and advance its peripheral CB1 platform as a potent treatment for targeted diseases.

The company’s second financing round in less than two years was led by Forbion from the Netherlands, with important participation by Fonds de solidarité FTQ and existing investors Genesys, JDRF T1D Fund, Amorchem, Anges Québec Capital, adMare BioInnovations, Anges Québec and other angels.

Inversago also acknowledges the financial support the company received from the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research (FPWR), with two annual grants supporting research and development activities of INV-101.

For more information on investment opportunities, please contact us: info@inversago.com.

PWS Sponsorship

As part of the company’s ongoing involvement to develop an innovative treatment for Prader-Willi Syndrome and support the PWS community, Inversago Pharma is proud to announce its sponsorship of two key initiatives to advance research in 2021.

Foundation for Prader-Willi Research

Inversago Pharma is proudly sponsoring the FPWR 2021 Research Symposium and Family Conference, to be held virtually on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, 2021.

Over the years, this annual conference has become a not-to-be-missed event for all stakeholders involved in PWS research and caregiving activities. It represents a unique opportunity for the PWS community to learn about the latest breakthroughs in all research areas focusing on PWS. Learn more about the conference at fpwr.org/fpwr-research-symposium

PWS Clinical Trial Consortium

The PWS clinical trial consortium aims to accelerate clinical trials for PWS through the establishment of a collaborative, pre-competitive and international environment.

Inversago’s support of the consortium helps leverage the expertise and perspective of stakeholders from industry, academia, governmental agencies and patient organizations to address unmet scientific, technical, clinical and regulatory needs for PWS clinical trials. For more information about the consortium, visit pwsctc.org

Inversago Pharma benefits from the financial support of the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation du Québec