Shampa Das is a Senior Lecturer in the antimicrobial pharmacodynamics and therapeutics group. She is an experienced Clinical Pharmacology Scientist with 17 years' experience in the pharmaceutical industry and has extensive expertise in using PK/PD for developing clinical pharmacology and dose strategies. Shampa Das graduated with a BSc in Biochemistry and Physiology at the University of Sheffield in 1995 and then a PhD at the University of Sheffield in 1999. Following a 1 year post-doc at St Mary's Hospital, University of Manchester, Shampa Das joined AstraZeneca where she worked in various roles in biopharmaceutics, DMPK, clinical pharmacokinetics and clinical pharmacology science. During her time as Clinical Pharmacology Leader and then as Director of Clinical Pharmacology at AstraZeneca's Antibiotic Business Unit she designed and lead the clinical pharmacology strategy for several early and late stage antibiotics. She has authored numerous regulatory submission documents and played a pivotal role in successfully defending new drug applications which have resulted in regulatory approval in Europe and the US. Amongst the key achievements are the successful marketing authorization approval of Zavicefta (a lactamase-lactamase inhibitor combination) where she used PK/PD to set the dose and breakpoint, and in Europe to bridge data from clinical trials in certain complicated infection indications to achieve approval in other infectious indications in the absence of clinical data. For Zinforo, a recently approved cephalosporin for the treatment of ABSSI and CAP, she achieved European and US approval for paediatric dosage labelling by the use PK/PD modelling to bridge data from both adults and clinical trials in children.
Chief Executive Officer
"Semiconductor engineering, Biotechnology, Startup ecosystem development, senior management roles in USA/Japan/China/ and India"
Anand was previously Chairman and Managing Director at Cellworks Research India Pvt. Ltd, a company that pioneered the use of Systems biology and semiconductor technologies in creating Directed therapies in Cancer-care. Prior to Cellworks, Anand was the co-founding Managing Director of the India operation of SpinCircuit (acquired by Cadence, 2003) and Magma Design Automation (acquired by Synopsys, 2011). He has management, operations, and business development experience in the US, Europe, China and India regions. Anand received his MS and Ph.D. in Electrical & Biomedical Engineering from George Washington University, Washington DC, and BE (Hons) in ECE from Anna University. He is a member of Eta-Kappa-Nu and Tau-Beta-Pi International Engineering honors societies and is the co-inventor on patents ranging from Satellite communication, Pharmaceuticals to Clean Energy. He is co-founder of India Semiconductor Association (IESA), co-founder of EVA, a healthcare Accelerator, ex-General secretary of ABLE, member of Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, and a Charter member of TiE Bangalore.
Chief Scientific Officer
“Biochemistry, Molecular Biophysics, Systems Biology & Drug Discovery”
Santanu was previously Vice President, Drug Discovery and Industrial Biotechnology at Cellworks Research India Pvt. Ltd where he led the building of the in-silico platform for E.coli and M. tuberculosis and its experimental validation. Prior to this, he was the Principal Research Scientist in AstraZeneca India, where he spent more than 2 decades working in Infectious diseases, with a focus on Malaria and MTB. At AstraZeneca, Santanu scientifically mentored programs across the discovery pipeline and pioneered many ground-breaking concepts such as those of gene and chemical vulnerability. He has served as Principal Investigator in several prestigious research grants from Wellcome Trust, European Union Framework programs and the Department of Biotechnology, India. His current interest is in systems biology and its application in anti-infective drug discovery and in Industrial Biotechnology specifically the interface between insilico and experimental biology. He has published widely and has thirteen international patents. Santanu, received his Ph.D. from Calcutta University in Biophysics in 1981 and was trained as a molecular biologist during his post-doctoral stint in Indian Institute of Science, Baylor College of Medicine USA and Karolinska Institute Sweden.
President – R & D
"Microbiology, Anti-infective Pharmacology, Project Management, Drug Discovery & Development"
Bala was previously Director, Infection Business Unit at Cellworks Research India Pvt. Ltd, where he led the discovery of new combinations for the treatment of tuberculosis. Prior to this, he spent two decades in infection research and anti-bacterial drug discovery at AstraZeneca India Pvt. Ltd, where he established the in vitro and in vivo research for infectious diseases, pioneered the PK/PD science for anti-TB drugs, and led the discovery of a clinical drug candidate for the treatment of tuberculosis. Bala served on the Board of AstraZeneca India Pvt. Ltd as Executive Director. He has served as Principal Investigator in several prestigious research grants from the Wellcome Trust, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, European Union Framework program and DBT, Govt. on India. Bala received his Ph.D. as a Marie Christie Kohler fellow from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA in Medical Microbiology & Immunology and trained as a Howard Hughes Post-doctoral fellow at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, NY, USA and has nearly 40 peer-reviewed publications.
Principal, UTEC – The University of Tokyo Edge Capital
Dr. Atsushi Usami joined UTEC in October 2013. He focuses on seed/early stage life science investments: biotech, regenerative medicine and medical devices. He worked as a strategy consultant at Mitsubishi Research Institute (MRI), serving pharmaceutical, medical device and other manufacturing companies across a range of areas including mid- to long-term management planning and new business development. He also engaged in providing consulting services to government agencies in the fields of international standardization strategy and industry-academia collaboration. Prior to joining MRI, he studied pharmacology and neuroscience and received a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Tokyo. He won several awards for his research: the 21st High Technology Award by FujiSankei Business i (2007), the Young Investigator Award at the Drug Discovery and Medical Pharmacology Symposium (2010) and the best presentation award at the University of Tokyo Life Science Symposium (2011).
Venture Partner, UTEC
Kiran Mysore was the head of India Operations at Deloitte Tohmatsu Venture Support (DTVS) Japan. He supported over 50 deep-tech Asian startups by connecting them with Japanese corporations and also worked closely with METI Japan, to lead a project called CEATEC IoT Acceleration for Asian startups. Prior to that, he co-founded a student-led social enterprise named 'Kriya'. Kiran has been selected as on of the Young Global Leaders by Stanford ASES (USA), St. Gallen Symposium (Switzerland) and Yenching Academy (China). Kiran graduated with a Master's in Technology Management from The University of Tokyo in 2016. At UTokyo, his specialization was Deep Learning and his research paper was published in PICMET 2017.
Founding Partner at 3one4 Capital
Founding Partner at 3one4 Capital - an early-stage venture capital fund that is based in Bangalore, India. As part of the 3one4 team, Pranav is involved with the startup ecosystem in India and leads the partnerships and co-investments in the San Francisco Bay-Area as well. Pranav focuses on the integration of technology and design to build products that consistently deliver important value propositions at scale. His diverse experience influences the context that is applied to decision-making, enabling him to solve problems strategically and efficiently, and to identify and work with the best people. Previously, Pranav was the Sr. Product Manager at EdCast, an ed-tech startup in the Bay Area. He graduated with a Master's in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. Pranav is a volunteer on the advisory boards and steering committees of non-profits such Code For India and The Archive of Indian Music.
Abraham Van Wyk
General Partner Acquipharma
Abraham currently manages the TCD Group of companies which includes a Contract Research Organization, Health Economics and Outcomes Research business and a Software Development business. He is also a General Partner in a boutique investment firm, focussing in Biotechnology, Medical Device and Technology. Abraham holds a Bachelors of Science In Medical Sciences and a Bachelors of Science in Cellular Biology from the University of Pretoria and a MBA from the University of South Africa. Abraham is passionate about learning & innovation and excited about entrepreneurs brave enough to venture. His experience in life sciences has caused him to gravitate towards opportunities and individuals with exciting visions and clear strategies. He has had the privilege of being involved in R&D in search of solutions for the most daunting challenges, with the aim to maximize learning.
VP – Discovery
Shahul is an expert in chemistry and pharmaceutical sciences with nearly 15 years of medicinal chemistry experience in anti-bacterial, anti-malarial and anti-inflammatory drug discovery programs. Shahul was previously Team Leader at AstraZeneca India Pvt. Ltd., where he gained international exposure to drug design, diversity-oriented synthesis, parallel synthesis and new synthetic routes for compounds. Shahul has led several lead generation and lead optimization projects. He has progressed many scaffolds from early hit identification stages to pre-clinical development candidates, combating several challenges such as potency, bacterial cell entry and target engagement, safety and DMPK in parallel, while simultaneously securing intellectual property. Shahul has five patents and has over 20 peer-reviewed publications. Shahul received his doctoral degree in Medicinal Chemistry from BITS Pilani, India.
Vasanthi was previously head of Microbiology at AstraZeneca India, where she led early discovery projects in the search of novel anti-mycobacterial drugs. She jointly led the successful discovery of novel combinations for MDR-TB using an integrated in silico-in vitro- in vivo approach. Vasanthi served as Co-PI on research grants from the Wellcome Trust. She has experience in high through-put cell based screens, assessing vulnerability of drug targets, deciphering mechanisms of action of novel anti-bacterial agents, and setting up in vitro disease models for studying infection. Vasanthi established clinical microbiology based collaborative programs with key reputed hospitals across India. Vasanthi earned her Ph.D. in Microbiology from the Indian Institute of Science.
Nainesh previously led the laboratory research at the Infection Business Unit of Cellworks Research India Pvt. Ltd., located at C-CAMP, National Centre for Biological Sciences, India. He is an experienced Biochemist, Molecular Biologist and a Microbiologist and has worked in the areas of infectious diseases, neurobiology, green-chemistry and biofuels. Nainesh received his Ph.D. at the University of Hamburg, Germany and post-doctoral training at the University of Konstanz, Germany in the area of neuronal development and regeneration. He has a patent and multiple publications in international journals to his credit.
Principal Scientist, Computational Chemistry
Nagakumar previously was with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Nanyang Technological University, and GVK Biosciences. Kumar is a Computational Medicinal Chemist with expertise in Structure-/Ligand-based drug discovery and Drug repurposing by applying a variety of methods based on available data such as Consensus Pharmacophore based models, Protein-ligand interaction fingerprints, Molecular docking and clustering of poses, High throughput Short MD simulations for filtering false positives, Virtual screening for scaffold hopping and Evaluation of known Off-targets, Binding free energy calculations for Protein-ligand complexes and Quantitative structure activity relationships (QSAR). Nagakumar received his Ph.D. degree from Gyeongsang National University, Korea in Computer aided drug design.
Computational Biology & Intellectual Property
Ram is the pioneering architect of Cellworks’ Systems Biology computational platform. This platform powers Cellworks' predictive models of human bio-molecular interactions, and is used to design drugs for Cancer, Inflammation, and Infection. He is currently leading the Architecting and implementation of the Bugworks Microbial Platform technology. Ram has been working with cutting edge technologies for over 30 years, and consults in the fields of VLSI, embedded systems and systems biology mathematical modeling. He has also been the Honorary Professor, BITS Pilani, handling IC fabrication technology, VLSI synthesis, DFT and VLSI testing and Analog IC. Ram has mentored over 25 university students through their graduate engineering projects in electrical and electronic systems over the last 10 years. Ram has specialized in Intellectual Property and currently serves as Director, IP at Lakshmikumaran Shridaran Associates law firm. Ram graduated with a Siemens Gold medal as an electrical engineer from IIT, Madras.
Rupanagudi. S. Rao
Preclinical Safety Assessment Drug Discovery & Development
R. S. Rao has over 33 years of experience in safety evaluation, Toxicology & Pathology, Regulatory affairs, drug discovery & development research, having worked in Switzerland, UK, Sweden and India. Rao started his career in 1980, at CIBA-GEIGY/ Novartis, in Switzerland, in the Drug Safety Evaluation and subsequently joined Research Centre (UK.RC), England, U.K, in 1983. As a senior toxicological pathologist at Huntingdon Life Sciences, UK (1983-95) he was successful in designing, conducting (including histopathology slides examination) and evaluating, the preclinical safety of hundreds of candidate drug substances. As chief toxicologist & pathologist at Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd (1998 – 2003) Rao designed, conducted, evaluated and reported several toxicity studies. He was successful in establishing, designing (layout sketches)/ constructing, maintaining, managing of preclinical research – toxicology, pharmacology & animal breeding/stock facilities to international guidelines, fulfilling Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) and AAALAC requirements). From 2003 to 2008, Rao worked at AstraZeneca R&D, Sweden, Global Head Safety assessment as a Principal toxicologist/ pathologist. From 2008 to 2013, Rao served as Vice- President and Head of Safety Assessment at Advinus Therapeutics, India. He contributions to the development include drugs such as Voltaren (CIBA-GEIGY,Novartis), AZT- Zidovudine (Welcome), Zantac-Ranitidine Hcl (SKF-GSK), Symbicort, Crestor, Iressa, Losec/Nexium, Pulmocort, Seroquel (AstraZeneca).
Twenty years of experience in Drug Discovery and Development in preclinical ADME,PK, PK/PD, Modelling and Simulation, Preclinical Development (IND enabling), and clinical PK. A year's experience in Discovery and Development of molecular imaging agents for PET/SPECT imaging. Skilled in using modeling and simulation tools like WinNonLin, Simcyp, and Stardrop. Experienced in Managing Outsourced Projects with Contract Research Organizations.
Joined Zeneca in 1994 after a PhD from Imperial College and post-doctoral research at the University of Waterloo-Kitchener, Canada.
His 20 years of experience in medicinal chemistry has been spread across CNS/pain (GPCRs), anti-infectives (enzyme inhibitors) and oncology (kinases, proteases, phenotypic screening, radiometal antibody conjugates).
A secondment into the computational chemistry group led to the development of globally used AZ internal data-mining and exploitation tools. His work at AZ has focused on early stage projects and method development. He is also the author of a medicinal chemistry primer, visiting lecturer at the University of Manchester, and AZ Bangalore.
Dr. Sadler has worked in industry for over 10 years and has been at the forefront of discovery toxicology in both the pharmaceutical and agrichemical industry. Using her broad technical background, scientific knowledge and experience she creates project-specific preclinical packages that address safety issues, with the aim to provide prospective understanding of the major safety risks, thereby influencing chemical design, creating mitigation strategies and expediting progression through GLP-safety studies and initiation of clinical trials. Her expertise includes design and implementation of bespoke preclinical safety packages to identify the safety hazards, assess the safety risks and develop risk mitigation strategies, incorporating in silico, in vitro and in vivo experiments, from target identification through to development.
Dr. Sadler has a proven track record of problem solving in investigative toxicology, elucidating mechanisms of toxicity thereby understanding relevance to humans. Through innovative preclinical experimental design, coupled with extensive understanding of the opportunities and limitations of preclinical models, she has influenced and refined the design of clinical trials to increase efficient execution of the clinical plan.
Suri Venkatachalam was the founder and CEO of Connexios Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd. Connexios a Bangalore based pharmaceutical company till his transition out of the company in 2016. Connexios built a unique a unique translational network biology approach and leveraged it to discover a portfolio novel therapeutics for unmet clinical needs in the area of diabetes and diseases of metabolism. Some of these candidates are in the initial stages of clinical development. At Connexios, Suri developed and drove the overall business, scientific and IP strategy converging in two partnerships with global pharmaceutical majors. He is also a co-founder and chairman of Achira Labs, a Bangalore based start-up developing a diagnostics technology platform based on a unique microfluidics based approach. He is an Adjunct Faculty at NCF (Nature Conservation Foundation), Mysore.
Before founding Connexios in 2003, Suri was part of the founding team of Metahelix Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd. an Agri-biotech company based in Bangalore. Before, his move to industry, Suri was a Research Associate in Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore; a visiting scientist at the computer science department of Linkoping University, Sweden, an adjunct associate fellow at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore and a LJIS Burroughs-Wellcome post doctoral fellow in computational neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego. Suri holds a Bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering and a PhD in condensed matter physics from the Indian Institute of Science.
Pradeep Fernandes is currently advising on Strategy and Business Development for Bugworks Research. Prior to this he was CEO and Co-Founder of Netto Logic, a company focused on customer engagement for Small business. Before starting Netto Logic, Pradeep was President and co-founder of Cellworks Group, Inc, a company focused on delivery novel, effective and de-risked therapies. He was responsible for raising more than $20M in financing, identifying the goto market strategy, partnering with US companies and architecting their virtual disease platform. Pradeep has spent most of his career in the semiconductor and software algorithms domain and is now applying those ideas and practices in the life sciences arena. Prior to joining Cellworks, Pradeep was Vice President and General Manager of Synthesis Solutions at Cadence Design Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CDNS) following its very successful acquisition of Get2Chip in 2003. Under Pradeep's leadership, Get2Chip's synthesis solution was one of the most externally recognized and the fastest growing product in Cadence's product line up. Before founding Get2Chip, Pradeep was part of the executive team of TriQuest Design Automation, which was acquired by Summit Designs (MENT). Before joining Triquest, Pradeep co-founded CyberX, a company focused on development of highly integrated smart ethernet switches. Earlier, Pradeep spent several years at Synopsys and LSI Logic, where he started his career. Pradeep has a MSEE and BSCS/EE. He has multiple patents in Cancer, Immunology, Systems Biology, EDA and many technical publications to his credit in the EDA, DSP, Communication and Parallel Processing areas. He received the Sigma Xi outstanding research award for his thesis. He is also an advisor and investor in several early stage companies.