Jim completed studies at Berkeley and started his career at Pfizer in Groton, Connecticut where he remained for 15 years and had responsibilities related to every component of discovery in a variety of disease states including infectious disease, inflammatory disease, behavioral disease and metabolic disease. One highlight of this portion of Jim’s career was the contributions he made to the project team which discovered the antibacterial Zithromax. He designed and synthesized the first member of the azamacrolide structure class, which provides the core of the marketed drug.
Jim spent 8.5 years at Sepracor, Inc., in Marlboro Massachusetts, as Senior Vice-President of Discovery reporting directly to the CEO. He was a member of the executive management team and also had Board of Director responsibilities. Jim installed all discovery programs and recruited all discovery personnel. This included both biology and chemistry laboratories, scientists and all support staff. He selected all molecular targets, approaches, therapeutic areas and designed all molecules. He also selected all CRO collaborators, providing a cost effective means to explore a wide range of molecules applied to a variety of disease states, initiating IND?s on a few of the molecules.
After Jim’s Sepracor experience, he started his first company, PsyCheNomicS, Inc. a company directed toward the discovery of molecules suitable for the treatment of neuropsychological disorders. PsyCheNomicS utilized a combination of chemical genetics in conjunction with an RNAi ?scored? network biology approach, trademarked as Psychomics™, to define the optimum combination of receptor subtypes. The resulting sets of disease relevant targets, trademarked as TargNet™, and the corresponding drug-like small molecules which regulate them, have provided a number of pre-clinical candidates with remarkable in vivo activity lacking any obvious serious toxicological effects. By executing this approach, a broad portfolio of single, drug-like small molecules regulating a number of molecular targets demonstrating in vivo activity in disease relevant animal models has been discovered.
This company was sold for cash and stock to Novasite, Inc., a company utilizing screening technology applicable to the discovery of allosteric modulators of GPCRs. A portion of the technology of this company was combined with a series of lead structures to form Ampla Pharmaceuticals, Inc. a company focused on metabolic disease. Jim was President and Co-Founder of Ampla. Ampla has patent applications on a number of compounds demonstrating activity versus a range of peptide GPCRs including an orally bioavailable, new molecular entity agonist exhibiting moderate activity versus GLP-1. Jim still holds Ampla equity.
Certain IP from PsyCheNomics was used as the basis for the formation of another company, Prexa Pharmaceuticals, which is focused on neuropsychological diseases. Presently, Prexa has a clinical candidate and a portfolio of pre-clinical compounds useful for a number of neuropsychological disorders. Prexa has completed a deal with Shire for the clinical candidate asset and two of the additional pre-clinical assets. Jim was President and Co-founder of Prexa and still holds Prexa equity.
Presently, Jim is President and founder of Sensor Pharmaceuticals, a company focused on the nexus of inflammation and metabolic disease. Sensor is a virtual company with established business relationships with AMRI, Absorption Systems, MPI, RenaSci, Ricerca and SciLucent. These relationships provide the means to synthesize, screen and assess, in disease models, new chemical entities (NCE?s) designed by Sensor. The company has pre-clinical compounds representing several chemotypes versus GPR119, GPR120 and TLR-4. All these molecules have demonstrated in vivo activity in relevant animal disease models.
Jim’s LinkedIn Profile


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