Our Company

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Company
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Company

Overview

A specialized, preclinical-stage biotech company, Inversago Pharma develops new generations of peripherally-restricted cannabinoid-1 receptor (CB1) inverse agonists/ antagonists for the treatment of Prader-Willi Syndrome, diabetes, obesity and other metabolic disorders such as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Inversago’s technology addresses limits associated to first generation CB1 blockers, allowing the company to exploit their full medical potential.

Leadership Team

François Ravenelle

François is steering the comeback of cannabinoid-1 receptor (CB1) blockers at Inversago Pharma.

He’s a pharmaceutical development professional and entrepreneur with more than seventeen years of industrial R&D experience, encompassing drug discovery, formulation and process development, as well as business development.

François has expertise in early-stage development programs, from discovery to phase II, but also contributed significantly to one approved NDA. He has developed several products, and participated in the successful filing and execution of clinical trials while operating in virtual pharma company environments.

With an extensive network of experts, Inversago has the ability to rapidly bring products into the clinic, establish clinical proof of concept and exploit their full medical potential.

Caroline Fradette

Caroline brings more than 17 years of clinical research experience gained in several pharmaceutical organizations, with a rapid growth of responsibilities. In her most recent position as Director, Clinical Research at ApoPharma, she entirely built the clinical operation department, leading a team of 25 individuals, successfully handling seven concurrent clinical trials from Phase 1 to Phase 4.

Prior to this, Caroline obtained her PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Montreal in 2003 and then joined the pharmaceutical industry for post-doctoral fellows at MDS Pharma (acquired by Celerion) and Neurochem (now Bellus health).  Caroline then held several senior level positions at Labopharm (acquired by Paladin Labs, then acquired by Endo Health) and ApoPharma.

Caroline has also been involved in the filing of several regulatory submissions and orphan drug designation in several countries (e.g. Canada, USA, Europe). Her previous experiences enable her to be a key person in the development of new investigational products.

Jeremy Green

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

He 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.

Jeremy is also highly experienced in initiating, progressing and delivering development candidates in infectious disease, oncology, immunology and neurological disease therapeutic areas. He’s 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 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 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.

Christine McCarthy

Christine 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.

Christine 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.

Jean-Marie Vallet

Jean-Marie has over 30 years of international experience (US, Germany, Switzerland, France) in large and small companies of the pharma/biotech industry, acquired across several functional areas, including Research, Business Development/Licensing, Strategic Planning, Corporate M&A, Finance & Administration and International Sales.

Jean-Marie is a transaction-oriented professional, fueled by high interest in science and people.

He holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Geneva, as well as an MBA from IMD Business School.

Micheline Beauvais

Micheline 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

François Ravenelle

François is steering the comeback of cannabinoid-1 receptor (CB1) blockers at Inversago Pharma.

He’s a pharmaceutical development professional and entrepreneur with more than seventeen years of industrial R&D experience, encompassing drug discovery, formulation and process development, as well as business development.

François has expertise in early-stage development programs, from discovery to phase II, but also contributed significantly to one approved NDA. He has developed several products, and participated in the successful filing and execution of clinical trials while operating in virtual pharma company environments.

With an extensive network of experts, Inversago has the ability to rapidly bring products into the clinic, establish clinical proof of concept and exploit their full medical potential.

Jamie Stiff

Jamie joined Genesys Capital in 2002 and became partner at the firm in 2007 and Managing Director in 2016. During his tenure with Genesys, he has been responsible for investments in many early stage portfolio companies that cross a multitude of clinical disciplines and technology areas.

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.

Maxime Ranger

Maxime is General Partner in the fund. He brings his vast expertise as a serial entrepreneur to the AmorChem team. He initially became part of the AmorChem family in 2016 when he was brought on as the founding CEO of Mperia Therapeutics, AmorChem’s first spin-out. Subsequently, he played a leading role in the creation and management of Corbin Therapeutics, SemaThera, Inversago Pharma and MyX Therapeutics.

Maxime is also an active contributor to the Quebec biotech ecosystem through his participation and leadership in Montreal InVivo committees, in addition to being adjunct professor of the Pharmacy School at the University of Montreal.

Before joining AmorChem, Maxime played different drug development roles in local biotech companies, namely Ecopia Biosciences (became Thallion Pharma, acquired by Bellus Health), Bioxalis Medica (acquired by Procyon) and Labopharm (acquired by Paladin Labs/Endo). In 2008, he launched his first start-up, Nuvector, where its key asset reached Phase 2 trial with BiolineRx. He followed this in 2011 with the starting-up of gIcare pharma, for which he raised overall $10M from local and European investors.

In addition, Maxime spent some time as entrepreneur-in-residence at Univalor, expanding his expertise in technology transfer and licensing. He holds a PhD in chemistry from Laval University and performed a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University. In addition, he completed a joint Executive MBA at UQÀM and Université Paris-Dauphine.

Tara Nickerson

Serving in chief business officer and corporate board secretary roles at Maze Therapeutics, Tara brings 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.

Tara joins Maze from 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.

Tara 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.

Dennis Kim

Dennis 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, Dennis 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).

Prior to joining Orexigen in September of 2008, he 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.

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 is a privately-owned company. In 2018, Inversago has secured a $7 million series A financing to pursue its development plan and advance its CB1 platform as a potent treatment for targeted diseases.

The company’s first financing round was co-led by Genesys Capital and Amorchem, with participation from the JDRF T1D Fund, Accel-Rx, Anges Québec Capital, Anges Québec, Tarnagulla Ventures and angel investors.

        

                         

 

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

FPWR-Logo

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

 

 

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