AliquantumRx Inc. (AQR) is a start-up company, registered in Maryland, developing the macrolide antibiotic Cethromycin for new use as a therapeutic for several diseases where it has significant potential to provide valuable new treatments. Initially focusing on liver-stage (dormant) malaria, we will subsequently develop the compound to treat the tick-borne disease Babesiosis, as well as bacterial infections where current antibiotics are failing due to drug resistance. The project is a result of a long-term collaboration between the founders of the company and was initially funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, TEDCO’s Maryland Innovative Initiative and supported by the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute, NIH and The Bloomberg Family Foundation. The research showed cethromycin cured liver-stage malaria in mice following an oral single low dose.
The core competencies of AliquantumRx include a deep understanding of Plasmodium biology, pathology, clinical presentations and diagnosis of malaria as well as available prophylactic and therapeutic measures. The team assembled for AliquantumRx provides solid experience in pre-clinical and clinical drug development and the skills and experience necessary to accomplish our commercialization goals. Individual capabilities and expertise are as follows:
Nik Kaludov, PhD is an accomplished biotechnology scientist and entrepreneur with proven molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics expertise. Dr. Kaludov works at the intersection of biology, physics and chemistry. He has extensive experience in the use of big data for drug discovery and development, the use and development of chromatography methods for protein and virus purification, the development of cell based and molecular/biochemical assays as biotechnology products and services, the use of proteomics as part of the drug development process, as well as pre-clinical drug and medical devices development and project management expertise. As an industry executive, Nik has transformed two biotechnology research platforms into product pipelines, taken a product through pre-clinical development and IND submission and co-founded a therapeutics and diagnostics biotechnology companies. Nik’s patented chromatography purification method for adeno-associated viruses has been licensed to Spark Therapeutics and used to produce LuxturnaTM - the first approved gene therapy in the US that cured inherited blindness. Nik received his PhD from Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida in 1996 and competed his post-doctoral studies at the National Institutes of Health in 2001.
Dr. Sullivan has 23 years of research experience on malaria and the erythrocyte. His particular area of expertise focuses on heme, hemozoin and metal metabolism in the malaria infected erythrocyte revolving around diagnosis and drugs. His research work has also involved malaria clinical field studies in Bangladesh and Africa. He has been a NIH funded principal investigator since 1999 with four successive RO1s on malaria research. Current principal investigator funded projects include an RO1, R21 and three private foundation projects. Most recently, Dr. Sullivan was the principal investigator for the Johns Hopkins Convalescent Plasma Trials - a nationwide, multicenter clinical trial led by Johns Hopkins Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health that provided solid evidence for the use of plasma from convalescent patients — those who have recovered from the disease and whose blood contains antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 — as an early treatment.
Fredric Abramson is an experienced attorney with 5 decades experience in computer software and systems, health and wellness, and IP protection through trademarks, copyrights and patents.
Steen Nissen is a global business executive and entrepreneur with expertise in water, renewable energy, food, and bio-tech/life science. Mr. Nissen thrives in fast moving organizations and is a result orientated leader in both start-up environments and global organizations with a proven track record of creating and managing strong and motivated teams and building company culture. He has in-depth understanding building start-up companies, of technology development, and not least technology commercialization and business development. This is combined with solid hands-on experience in both strategic and operational execution including effective P&L management while focusing on the long-term goals. Steen has a truly global background with experience in North & South America, Europe, and Asia/China and has worked extensively with business development in emerging markets as well launching new products in various industrial segments. He has raised +40 m$ for start-up operations and has managed P&L’s for multi-million dollar and multi-product line businesses and lead organizations of +50 people.
Shayne has more than 37 years of broad-based experience in toxicology, drug and device development, statistics, and risk assessment. He has specific expertise in neurotoxicology, in vitro methods, inhalation toxicology, immunotoxicology, and genotoxicology. A past president of the American College of Toxicology and the Roundtable of Toxicology Consultants and the recipient of the 2008 ACT Lifetime Achievement Award, Dr. Gad has authored or edited 46 books, 58 independent chapters and more than 300 papers and abstracts in the above fields. He has contributed to and has meaningful personal experience with IND (101 successfully filed to date), NDA, BLA, ANDA, 510(k), IDE, CTD, dietary supplement and PMA preparation. Dr. Gad is fully experienced with the design, conduct, analysis, and reporting of preclinical and clinical safety and pharmacokinetic studies for drugs, devices combination products and dietary supplements, and with regulatory submissions associated with them.
Dr. Tapper is a medicinal and process chemist with drug development and formulation experience at 5 biotechnology companies for >20 years. Dr. Tapper will manage all aspects of Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls (CMC) and Non-Clinical Development for Cethromycin, as well as support all non-clinical development activities Dr. Tapper began her career at Genzyme Drug Discovery and Development as a Staff Scientist in chemical process development. At Genzyme, she worked on several polymer and small molecule candidates. In 2004 she moved to Peptimmune as an Associate Director of CMC and technical program management. While at Peptimmune, she led the chemistry and development program for a Phase 1 anti-obesity candidate, and also managed the chemistry and manufacturing for several of their peptide therapies. In 2007, she moved to Momenta Pharmaceuticals as a Principal Scientist working on a novel anticoagulant compound for acute coronary syndrome in Phase 2 clinical trials. Dr. Tapper joined Ferrokin BioSciences in 2007 as a founding employee and was Vice President of CMC and Non-Clinical until its acquisition by Shire Pharmaceuticals in April 2012. Dr. Tapper received a Ph.D. in chemistry from Boston University and B.S. in chemistry from Boston College. She has been very active in the National American Chemical Society and also in the Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society (NESACS). She was the chair of the NESACS in 2005.
The company has enlisted Dr. Hugh Rienhoff as a consultant. Dr. Rienhoff is a former MD from Johns Hopkins who has brought several drugs to market. He is currently the CEO of Imago BioSciences which is a venture-backed, clinical-stage research and development company focused on therapeutics for the treatment of hematologic, immunologic and genetic diseases. Imago Biosciences is based in San Francisco with offices in Boston and the UK. He sold an iron chelator company Ferrokin to Shire.