Cross-functional Management Team
The current management and advisory group are composed of top leaders from the original inhaled insulin programs with deep experience in diabetes and drug development.
John S. Patton, Ph.D., Founder and CEO, Dance Pharmaceuticals
John is a biotechnologist and entrepreneur. Prior to founding Dance and co-founding Pleiades CardioTherapeutics last year, he was co-founder of Inhale Therapeutics (now Nektar), where he served as a Director, Head of Research and Chief Scientific Officer from 1990-2008. Before that he led the drug delivery group at Genentech (l985-1990). At Inhale/Nektar he helped lead the development and FDA approval of the first inhaled insulin product and is considered to be the "father of inhaled insulin". At Inhale/Nektar, John participated in multiple financings totaling >$700M over 15 years and was a key driver for all most all of the important business development deals done by the company.
Prior to joining Genentech, Dr. Patton was a tenured professor at the University of Georgia. Dr. Patton received his Ph.D. in biology from the University of California, San Diego, and held post-doctoral positions in biomedicine at Harvard Medical School and the University of Lund, Sweden. He serves on scientific advisory boards for Penn State University, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Next Safety and Aridis Pharmaceuticals as well as the executive boards of Halozyme, Activaero, and Pleiades Cardiotherapeutics. He is author or coauthor of >100 publications and inventor or coinventor of >37 patents.
Samantha Miller, Chief Business Officer, SVP Corporate Development
Samantha has over 15 years of biotechnology and pharmaceutical business development experience, negotiating, executing and managing numerous global partnerships, as well as regional partnerships in the US, EU, Japan, China and elsewhere. She has been involved in executing over 30 partnerships and licenses, with companies such as GSK, Lilly, J&J, AZ, Astellas, Asahi Kasei, Transgene, Lee's, and others. Ms. Miller has held senior positions in business development, in various companies including Jennerex, Theravance, Inhale/Nektar, Scios, Onyx, and Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals. Ms. Miller holds a BS in Biochemistry from UCSD, and she holds Masters degrees in both Immunology and in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Rochester.
Mei-Chang Kuo, Ph.D., VP of Pharmaceutics
With over 25 years experience in pharmaceutical R&D start-up and mid-size life science companies, Mei-Chang has an excellent track record of bringing new and life-cycle-management products through different phases of research and development. While at Immulogic Corp., Mei-chang developed two AllerVax products for cat and ragweed allergies to phase 3. In the last 15 years, at Inhale/Nektar, Mei-change formulated dry powder insulin for Exubra® and was responsible for the 2nd and 3rd generation of insulin forumulation development. Mei-Chang holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison. He also completed an Arthritic Postdoctoral Fellow at NIH in Immunogenetics. Since then, Mei-chang has been a Sr. R&D Biotechnologist, Senior Fellow, Scientific Director and Vice President of Technology.
Truc Le, EVP Operations and Quality Control
Truc Le is COO for Avid Bioservices, a leading CMO that specialize in all phases of clinical trials and for commercial distribution of monoclonal antibodies and recombinant proteins for diagnostic and parenteral applications to diagnose and treat human deseases. Prior to join Avid Bioservices Truc was a Senior VP of Operations and Corporate Quality for Nektar Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company; his responsibility included all manufacturing, supply chain, material, purchasing, facility, ERP implementation, quality management, and compliance. Prior to join Nektar Truc Le is the co-founder of a consulting firm, MLH Group, specializing in Global Operations, Regulatory Affairs, Quality Management, and Business Excellence for Pharmaceutical, Biotech, Medical Device, In Vitro Diagnostics (IVD) industry as well as drug/device combination products. Truc has over 30 years of extensive experience in the field of Worldwide Operations, Quality Systems Management, and Business Effectiveness; Mr. Le has been assisting numerous companies ranging from start-up to Fortune 100 corporations in developing their Operations and Regulatory Affairs that meet USFDA and International Standards, including achievements of ISO registration and CE mark approval for European Union. Mr. Le has also assisted multiple companies in Business Excellence, utilizing 6-Sigma program to help companies improve their Efficiency and Effectiveness. As a due diligence assessor, he is actively involved in International Supplier/OEM compliance program. Prior to finding the consulting firm, Mr. Le employed for a division of Johnson & Johnson Company as the Worldwide Vice-President of Regulatory Compliance and Quality Systems and a member of Executive Management of this company. Mr. Le has BS in mechanical engineering, MBA in Management, and completed numerous executive leadership training programs, including World Class Manufacturing at Duke University, Executive Management at Harvard University, and a QSR trainer at AAMI/FDA.
Lisa Molloy, Sr. Director Device Development
With more than 20 years product development experience, Ms. Molloy has focused on drug delivery products for the past 15 years. She has played an intricate role in the development of drug delivery products including Nektar's inhalable insulin, Anesiva's transdermal device, and MAP's inhalable migraine medication. Molloy is intimately familiar with the nuances of combining drug delivery devices with specific formulations and all the distinct challenges that go with these types of products. Prior to entering the biotech industry, she worked in the electronics field designing automated handling and test systems for high frequency devices. Ms. Molloy holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from San Jose State University.
James B Fink, Ph.D., RRT, FAARC, FCCP: Senior Fellow, Aerosol Science
In addition to his Dance work, Jim currently serves as Chief Clinical Officer Aerogen Ireland and Adjunct Professor of Respiratory Therapy at Georgia State University, Atlanta GA. A clinician and researcher for 35+ years with the past 25 years dedicated to understanding aerosol device/patient interface and design. As Fellow of Aerosol Science with Aerogen (and later Nektar) developed high efficiency liquid aerosol delivery systems for use with adults, children and infants in both critical care and ambulatory settings, with multiple US and international patents. Dr. Fink is a Registered Respiratory Therapist with a PhD in Pharmaceutical Innovation from Bradford University, UK and a Fellow of both the American Association of Respiratory Care (FAARC) and the College of Chest Physicians (FCCP). An internationally recognized researcher and lecturer, Dr. Fink has authored 3 textbooks and >120 chapters and peer reviewed papers. Jim serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Aerosol Medicine and Pulmonary Drug Delivery and the Board of Directors for the International Society of Aerosol Medicine.
John Howard, P.E., Senior Advisor - Device Development
John Howard has over twenty years of progressive design and leadership experience in product development and industrialization spanning the medical and consumer industries. At Intuity Medical, John is leading the late stage development of a novel glucometer for the monitoring of diabetes. At Nektar John held roles as Vice President Device Manufacturing and Principal Fellow (VP Level), Delivery Systems. He led the development and packaging organization responsible for all of Nektar's proprietary drug delivery systems including the commercial development and industrialization for inhaled insulin and the pulmonary combination product devices used in the treatment of COPD, Cystic Fibrosis, Glaucoma, Ventilator induced Aspergillus-induced VAP. Prior to Nektar, John worked at Apple Computer leading multiple Product Design teams in the development of desktop and notebook computers. John received his Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering and Master's in Manufacturing Systems Engineering from Stanford University, where he is an Associate Professor-Consulting in the Mechanical Engineering Design Group. In addition to advising companies on product development, John sits on San Francisco State University's Engineering Advisory Board.
|Lex Adjei||Father of the KOS insulin inhaler|
|Joe Brain (Harvard)||20 yrs inhaled insulin safety expert|
|Peter Byron (VCU)||Leading academic inhalation expert|
|Robert Gerety||MD Former FDA, regulatory|
|Carl Grunfeld||(Dean UCSF VA) - endo|
|Ehud Ivri||Aerogen Founder – Father of liquid insulin inhaler|
|Lisa Molloy||15 years Inhalation device development|
|Ralph Niven (APT Bio)||25 years inhalation molecule development|
|Paul Norwood||Endo, >100 patients on Exubera|
|Andreas Pfutzner||Endo, top diabetes opinion leader in Europe|
|Marsha Testa (Harvard)||top inhaled insulin patient preference expert|