We are an experienced team of scientists and drug developers who are motivated to improve the lives of patients through our expertise and scientific understanding of next generation, peripherally-acting CB1 receptor (CB1r) blockers.
As CEO and Founder of Inversago, François played an integral part in the company’s recent acquisition by Novo Nordisk, totaling up to US$1.075 billion, following an aggregated capital raising of US$110M in three financing rounds over only four years.
François has contributed to the biotech and pharmaceutical industry for more than 20 years, a period during which he built a comprehensive set of skills in pharmaceutical and business development, as well as a proven ability to identify strategic assets, assemble and lead teams of experienced drug developers to move products forward and address unmet medical needs.
Prior to Inversago, François focused on drug development in increasing leadership roles, from early-stage development programs to clinical trials, with key contribution to one approved NDA. François holds a PhD in physical chemistry from McGill University.
Glenn brings more than 20 years of experience in clinical development and medical affairs covering multiple aspects of drug development, including rare diseases. Prior to joining Inversago, Glenn has held executive positions at Theravance Biopharma, Aerocrine and GSK. He has led multiple programs leading to NDA, MAA, and 510K approvals, including products such as ADVAIR, ANORO, NIOX VERO and YUPELRI. Glenn obtained his MD degree from the University of Tennessee and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine as well as in pulmonary diseases.
Michael is a senior executive with more than 20 years of experience in drug development. His expertise in various therapeutic areas includes musculoskeletal rare diseases, oncology, and infectious diseases. Michael has strong abilities in strategic planning, execution, and alliance management, including pharma partner collaborations. Prior to joining Inversago, Michael was Vice President, Drug Development at Ipsen, after the acquisition of Clementia Pharmaceuticals Inc. where he shepherded palovarotene to an NDA. Michael holds a PhD in bioanalytical chemistry from Concordia University.
Glenn’s career spans more than 20 years of financial and commercial experience in the life sciences industry. Before joining Inversago, he served as Chief Financial Officer of Evaxion Biotech A/S, an AI enabled immuno-oncology company and led the company through a successful IPO on Nasdaq in February 2021, and successfully raised follow-on capital later that year. Previously, he served as the Chief Financial Officer of electroCore, Inc. and was a key member of the management team that led the company through a successful IPO on Nasdaq in June 2018. Glenn further served as an executive in various healthcare and technology companies including GE Capital as an Executive Vice President. Glenn received an Electronic Engineering Technology degree and an MBA in finance from Rutgers University Center for Management Development.
Micheline brings key financial expertise to Inversago acquired throughout her career in the banking industry, and during her tenure as Chief Financial Officer of Locus Dialogue Inc. Since 2002, Micheline has been working as Acting-CFO for small venture-backed biotech startups. Her expertise is well-recognized throughout the biotech industry. Well-versed in all aspects of financial management, she brings extensive experience in accounting, auditing, control, taxation and corporate policies. A certified general accountant, Micheline earned her MBA from Concordia University.
Jean-Daniel has more than 15 years as senior legal counsel with leading-edge experience in cross-border securities matters involving TSX, TSXV, and NASDAQ-listed issuers. Before joining Inversago in August 2022, Jean-Daniel started his career in private practice with a focus in business and securities law matters before joining Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc., and subsidiary Acasti Pharma Inc., where he served as Vice President, Legal Affairs and Secretary. Jean-Daniel is also a member of Anges Québec, Canada’s largest angel investor network, and a leader in the Quebec early-stage investment ecosystem. Jean-Daniel holds a law degree from the Université de Montréal and has been a member of the Quebec Bar since 2006.
Jianmin has more than 30 years of drug development experience, including 21 years in drug discovery and development at Boehringer Ingelheim, overseeing all preclinical drug development programs of the company. Jianmin is an expert in preclinical and clinical features of drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion. His in-depth understanding of pharmacology provides important guidance on development programs, including regulatory aspects related to toxicology. Jianmin holds a PhD in pharmacology from Dalhousie University.
Jeremy is an accomplished scientific and organizational leader, with a track record of building and delivering on drug R&D programs. Cumulatively he has over 20 years pharmaceutical industry experience in a variety of roles, including department, functional and project leadership. He was previously Head of Chemistry at Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Boston) responsible for medicinal chemistry, lead generation, scale-up and analytical functions. He has extensive experience in early-stage discovery, lead generation and optimization, medicinal chemistry, intellectual property realization, scale-up, analytical chemistry, and outsourcing. He holds a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Manchester and completed his PhD in Organic Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh.
Karine has 20 years of experience in clinical research operations, in roles with increasing responsibilities. Prior to joining the leadership team, Karine Lalonde was most recently Senior Director, Clinical Operations at Inversago. Previously at Ipsen, following the acquisition of Clementia Pharmaceuticals Inc., she contributed substantially to the NDA of palovarotene. Along her career, Karine acquired extensive experience in broad therapeutic areas ranging from diabetes to oncology and musculoskeletal rare diseases, including pediatric trials. Karine holds a MSc in clinical pharmacology from Université de Montréal.
Scientific Advisory Board
David Cherney CM, PhD, MD, FRCPC
Dr. Cherney is currently Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and a Clinician Scientist at the University Health Network and Mount Sinai Hospitals, where he works as Senior Scientist and director of the Renal Physiology Laboratory. He is currently supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the JDRF, the Heart and Stroke Richard Lewar Centre of Excellence, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the Banting and Best Diabetes Centre. Dr. Cherney is also supported by a Department of Medicine, University of Toronto Merit Award. Dr. Cherney’s research program focuses on physiological factors that initiate renal disease in patients with diabetes, such as renal hyperfiltration and inflammation, and the role of the cardiorenal axis in diabetes. His research group is also involved in early and late phase clinical trials in the cardiorenal-metabolic field, including several primary renal outcome trials in patients with and without diabetes. Dr. Cherney’s research program is closely aligned with his integrated and multidisciplinary cardiac-renal-endocrine clinic at the University Health Network, which maintains a strong emphasis on the prevention of diabetic nephropathy and cardiovascular disease.
In 2019, he received the American Society of Nephrology Distinguished Researcher Award for outstanding contributions to nephrology. The same year, he also received the Diabetes Canada/CIHR – Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes Young Scientist Award.
Following his clinical training in nephrology, Dr. Cherney completed his PhD in human renal physiology at the Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto in 2008.
Jean-Pierre Després CQ, PhD, FAHA, FIAS
Dr. Després is a professor in the Department of Kinesiology at the Faculty of Medicine of Laval University in Quebec City, Canada. In 2018, he was appointed Scientific Director of the Research Center of Primary Care and Services at Laval University (now VITAM – Research Center in Sustainable Health). In October 2014, Laval University appointed him Director of Science and Innovation for Alliance Santé Québec, whose goal is to unite the Quebec City region around all aspects relevant to health. Since 2005, he’s also Scientific Director of the International Chair on Cardiometabolic Risk at Laval University.
Dr. Després’ research interests focus on obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and their prevention through physical activity and healthy eating. More than 25 years ago, he was the first to report in medical publication that excess of abdominal fat was particularly unhealthy (a condition he named “visceral fat”).
Dr. Després is a recipient of numerous awards, including those from the American College of Sports Medicine, the Canadian Diabetes Association, the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, the Canadian Conference on Cardiovascular lipoproteins and the North American Association for the Study of Obesity. He is a Fellow of the American Heart Association and is President of the Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health of the American Heart Association (formerly NPAM). He gave the prestigious D. Bruce Dill Historical lecture of the American College of Sports Medicine in 2012.
Dr. Després obtained a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology at Laval University in 1984. From 1984 to 1986, he completed postdoctoral studies in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto.
John J.P. Kastelein MD, PhD, FESC
Dr. John Kastelein is founder and CSO of New Amsterdam Pharma and part of the Executive Board. He’s also Emeritus Professor of Medicine at the Department of Vascular Medicine at the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam, where he held the Strategic Chair of Genetics of Cardiovascular Disease.
He has published over 1,320 research papers in peer-reviewed journals, including Nature Genetics, The Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, and Circulation and had a Hirsch index of 122 in January 2020. His citations reached over 680 in 2020 and in total over 74,800. Dr. Kastelein is a member of steering committees of numerous lipid-lowering and cardiovascular intervention trials. His main interest is in the development of novel therapies for cardiovascular diseases and the genetic basis of dyslipidemia. He’s also CEO of the Vascular Research Network (VRN), a site maintenance organization comprised of 50 hospitals in the Netherlands, involved in clinical trials for cardiometabolic diseases.
Dr. Kastelein is president of the Dutch Atherosclerosis Society and the National Scientific Committee on Familial Hypercholesterolemia and a Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology (FESC). In 2010, he was awarded the prestigious Dutch Heart Association prize of EUR 1 million and, in 2011, the ZonMw Parel for his research in the field of gene therapy.
Dr. Kastelein was awarded a doctorate in medicine (with honors) from the University of Amsterdam and trained in internal medicine at the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam, as well as in lipidology and molecular biology at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver.
Rohit N. Kulkarni MD, PhD
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 Graduate Program at Harvard Medical School and Associate Director of the Diabetes Research Center. 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. Kulkarni 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.
Dr. Kulkarni obtained his MD and PhD from St. John’s Medical College and the Royal Postgraduate Medical School in London where he trained in the research laboratory of Steve Bloom. Subsequently, he obtained the NIH NRSA Award and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the research laboratory of Ron Kahn at the Joslin Diabetes Center.
Dr. George Kunos is currently Chief of the Laboratory of Physiologic Studies at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA, US National Institutes of Health). He was previously Scientific Director of NIAAA from 2000 to 2022, where he returned after working at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA as Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology. Prior to that role, Dr. Kunos worked for the NIAAA/NIH as Laboratory Chief after serving as faculty at McGill University. His research in the last 30 years focused on the biology of the endocannabinoid system and its role in metabolic, cardiovascular, and appetitive functions. He is listed as inventor on several US Government patents covering peripherally restricted cannabinoid-1 receptor antagonists, which have been licensed for development as treatment for obesity/metabolic syndrome, NASH, diabetic complications and fibrotic diseases. Dr. Kunos has published over 270 peer-reviewed papers in leading journals including Nature, Science, Cell, Nature Medicine, Cell Metabolism, and Journal Clinical Investigation, which have been cited more than 35,000 times in the scientific literature (Google Scholar, H-factor 92). He had trained 9 PhD students and 37 post-doctoral fellows, many of whom have since risen to prominence. He is recipient of the Mechoulam award (2005) and a Lifetime Achievement Award (2019) of the International Cannabinoid Research Society, an NIH Director’s award, and an honorary doctorate of Semmelweis University. Dr. Kunos is an elected fellow of the American Heart Association and a foreign member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Kunos graduated with an MD (Semmelweis University, Budapest, gold medalist), and a PhD in pharmacology from McGill University.
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 MD and her specialty in rheumatology at hospital Saint Antoine Paris, France.
Arun J. Sanyal, MD, is the education core director at the Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) 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 NIH for more than 17 years and has won numerous awards for his research and leadership. In 2018, 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.
Dr. Sanyal received his MBBS from Maulana Azad Medical College of Delhi University, India and MD from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi. He completed his internal medicine residency at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Amarillo, Texas, and a fellowship in gastroenterology and hepatology at the Virginia Commonwealth University.