With an intense, singular focus, Aminex has advanced AMXT 1501+ DFMO through target discovery, patenting, pre-clinical research and now into clinical development for the potential benefit of cancer patients.
Aminex Therapeutics is led by an experienced management team, board of directors and scientific advisory board. The company has received backing of approximately $19 million since inception from a passionate, committed group of private investors.
Jim SkaggsChairman of the Board & CEO
Jim has been with Aminex since 2012. He was one of six top executives with NASA’s Apollo lunar landing program management, and he has spent almost 40 years in several corporate leadership positions in high-tech electronics systems, heavy infrastructure maintenance equipment manufacturing, and biotech drug development. Jim is retired chairman of Alamo Group, Inc. (NYSE) Prior to that, as chairman, CEO, and president of Tracor Inc., he led the turnaround and six times growth of Tracor in the defense electronics industry with 10,000 employees. Tracor was a Fortune 100 Fastest Growing Company. Jim graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Washington and has received numerous honorary awards.
Mark Burns, PhDPresident & Chief Scientific Officer, Director
Dr. Burns is the scientific founder of Aminex. Mark earned a PhD at the University of Michigan and post-doctoral training in bio-organic chemistry at Rice University. During his over 20 years of experience in biotechnology Mark led the discovery efforts resulting in Aminex’s AMXT 1501/DFMO assets. Mark has obtained 15 U.S. Patents and published 21 scientific papers. He has extensive experience in the fields of medicinal, combinatorial, enzyme inhibitor design, analytical and process chemistry.
Tom GrahamChief Operating Officer, Director
Tom Graham has served as a director or CEO of several companies, including three in the life sciences and drug discovery fields. In executive roles at Oridigm and MediQuest Therapeutics he authorized the early AMXT 1501/DFMO research program and worked directly on it with Dr. Mark Burns. He rejoined Mark at Aminex in 2011 and led its early funding and restructuring, including combining with his long time friend and business associate Jim Skaggs. Tom’s extensive business, entrepreneurial, and consulting experience spans multiple industries with both large and small companies. He received both his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and MBA from the University of Washington.
Michael G. Palfreyman, PhD, DSc, MRPharmSSenior Vice President of Drug Development & Chairman Scientific Advisory Board
Dr. Michael Palfreyman has more than four decades of successful drug discovery and development experience with two major pharmaceutical companies and several biotechnology companies. He is currently chief scientific officer at Amorsa Therapeutics, a director of Oculogics, and scientific advisor to Jasco Pharmaceuticals, and he is responsible for research and development diligence at Torrey Pines Investment Ventures. Previously he was chairman of Amakem Therapeutics and Opthakem, vice president of drug development and program management at EnVivo (now Forum) Pharmaceuticals, and senior vice president of research and development at Scriptgen (now Anadys) Pharmaceuticals. Michael also held executive positions at Marion Merrell Dow (MMD) Research Institute (now Sanofi), including vice president of research (North America), and was a key member of the team that developed DFMO (eflornithine). Prior to MMD, Michael was the head of biochemical pharmacology at Beecham Pharmaceuticals (now GlaxoSmithKline). He received his BPharm, MRPharmS, PhD, and DSc from the University of Nottingham. He is co-inventor on 45 US and European patents and three pending patents, and has coauthored over 150 scientific articles and book chapters.
Roger Ulrich, PhDDirector
Dr. Roger Ulrich is an entrepreneur and biotech executive with more than 30 years of operational and administrative experience in the pharmaceutical industry. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors for Aminex, he is a member of the Board for Acerta Pharma BV, and served as the company’s Chief Scientific Officer until the majority acquisition by AstraZeneca in 2016. He is also on the Board for Remedy Pharmaceuticals, is a Senior Advisor to Frazier Healthcare Partners, and serves as a scientific advisor to several start-up companies. Prior to Acerta, he was Founder and Chief Development Officer at Calistoga Pharmaceuticals Inc., acquired by Gilead in 2011, where he led the development of CAL-101 (GS-1101, idelalisib) now approved as Zydelig® for the treatment of patients with hematologic malignancies. Prior to Calistoga, Dr. Ulrich was Senior Scientific Director with Merck Research Laboratories/Rosetta Inpharmatics, Director of Regulatory Toxicology, Safety Pharmacology, Genetic Toxicology, Cellular and Molecular Toxicology, Microscopy and Microanalysis at Abbott Laboratories, and a Senior Scientist with The Upjohn Company and Pharmacia & Upjohn Inc. Prior to his pharmaceutical industry career he held positions at Michigan State and West Virginia Universities, and at Argonne National Laboratories. Dr. Ulrich holds several patents and has authored more than 120 publications. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology/Chemistry and his Masters of Arts in Biomedical Sciences from Western Michigan University. He received his doctorate in Cellular and Molecular Biology from West Virginia University, and is a Fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences.
Jeffery J. Miller PhD JDDirector
Jeff Miller retired as senior counsel of Perkins Coie’s licensing and technology group in 2014. He has since joined the Janicki family of companies in Skagit County, Washington as its Business Manager and General Counsel to two of them. His prior career included two successful IPOs, numerous private financings, many significant technology licensing transactions, and management of the FDA approval for an antibody-based cancer-imaging product. Jeff was also a partner in a Seattle patent law firm. Before joining Perkins Coie as senior counsel in 2008, Jeff served as CEO of NeuroTherapeutics, an early-stage company developing novel drugs to treat neurological diseases. Prior to that assignment, he was senior vice president of aQuantive, an Internet advertising company acquired by Microsoft. He earned a doctorate in biophysics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a JD from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.
Rhonda has more than 25 years of experience in life sciences with both public and private industry companies, as well as experience as a clinical pharmacist. She is presently director, president, and CEO of Prevencio, Inc., a leading pioneer in the development of a multiplex cardiac proteomics blood biomarker test that assists ER physicians and cardiologists in assessing obstructive heart disease. Rhonda also serves as a board director for OtoNexus Medical Technologies, La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology, and previously Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association (WBBA). She earned an MBA from UCLA and a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from Washington State University.
Stacy Hock is a philanthropist and business owner. She serves on the boards of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a leading state-based policy think tank, and the African Dream Initiative, educating tomorrow’s African leaders. Stacy recently transitioned off the boards of City Harvest, the largest food rescue organization in the country with over $100 million in revenue, and the Bowery Mission, serving the poor in New York City for nearly 150 years. Previously, Stacy held senior management positions in the software industry, including IBM’s WebSphere Software Services business for the Wall Street territory. She received her bachelor’s degree in computer science and electrical engineering from MIT and her MBA from the University of Texas.
Jack RoslingBoard Observer
Jack Rosling’s entrepreneurial history includes ownership and executive positions in the international steel trade, industrial raw materials, refrigerated warehousing, and drug development/diagnostics. With Tom Graham and Don Mowat, Jack was an active director of Bainbridge Sciences, Oridigm Corporation, MediQuest Therapeutics, and (until recently) Aminex Therapeutics. He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration and economics from Whitman College.
Kathy Fosnaugh, PhDProject Manager, Preclinical Science
Dr. Kathy Fosnaugh has 25 years of experience in biotech research and development. Most recently she was Director of Research at Youtell Biochemical. Prior to this, as Associate Director of Discovery Research and Pharmaceutical Development at Marina Therapeutics (formerly Nastech Pharmaceuticals), Dr. Fosnaugh was instrumental in nucleic acid therapeutics and delivery programs in cancer, autoimmune, and metabolic disease areas. Previously she held scientist positions at Sirna Therapeutics and Ligand Pharmaceuticals. She has published 13 scientific articles and co-authored 17 patents. Kathy received her BS and PhD degrees in microbiology from the University of Illinois and Cornell University, respectively, followed by postdoctoral research in developmental biology at the University of California, San Diego.
Nicole GallegosConsultant, Director of Clinical Operations
Nicole Gallegos, is responsible for directing Clinical Trial operations for Aminex. She has over 17 years of industry experience in both Clinical Operations and Clinical Data Management working for multiple pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, and contract research organizations, including management and leadership of global teams. Nicole is an experienced program manager with strong knowledge of clinical operations, data management, regulatory data requirements, clinical trial process, biostatistics, quality management, and systems applications. She graduated from Belmont University in Nashville, TN with an MBA and concentration in Health Care Management. Prior to graduate work she received a Bachelors of Science in Biology with a pre-medicine focus from the University of Texas San Antonio.
Greg Coulter, PhDConsultant, CMC/Product Development
Greg is currently President of CTM Solutions, LLC, a CMC and clinical trial materials consultancy. He has over 20 years’ experience in GLP, GMP and GCP regulated drug product development, and is a subject matter expert in drug substance synthesis, scale up, process development, and analytical characterization. He also provides regulatory CMC guidance. Greg completed his PhD in Biological Chemistry, at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada and postdoctoral training at University of Denver. He has held positions of increasing responsibility at Synthetech, Cell Therapeutics, and SNBL USA. Most recently Dr. Coulter has worked on development teams leading to the FDA approval of the weight loss drug Contrave and the PI3K delta inhibitor Zydelig.
Paul Schechter, MD PhDSAB Member, Clinical Advisor
Dr. Schechter brings four decades of experience in translational medicine and drug development with proven success in advancing numerous drug candidates through development, clinical trials and regulatory processes. His expertise extends from pharmaceutical development to clinical pharmacology and internal medicine. Following degrees from Columbia University and University of Chicago, he trained in Internal Medicine at Rush Medical School and Georgetown University hospitals and in Clinical Pharmacology at the National Institutes of Health. Subsequently he held major R&D executive positions at Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Fujisawa, Hybridon, MacroChem and Nucryst Pharmaceuticals. At Merrell Dow he was responsible for the development and all clinical testing of DFMO, a component of Aminex’s AMXT 1501/DFMO therapy.
Philippe Bey, PhDSAB Member, Science Advisor
Philippe Bey, PhD, is currently senior VP of R&D at Thrasos Therapeutics, a private Canadian, clinical-stage biotechnology company. Prior to joining Thrasos Therapeutics, from July 1999 to January 2003, he was CSO and senior VP of R&D of ArQule, a combinatorial chemistry biotechnology company. Previously Dr. Bey was at Hoechst Marion Roussel (HMR), now Sanofi, and its parent companies, from 1971 to 1999. He served in numerous science and management leadership positions both in Europe and the United States. His last position was U.S. senior VP of R&D and member of the HMR management team.
During his career, Dr. Bey has participated in and led teams responsible for more than 30 INDs in several therapeutic areas, including oncology. He also was responsible for bulk drug supply for preclinical and clinical studies. Philippe received his BS and PhD in chemistry from the University Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg, France. He was a post-doctoral trainee at the California Institute of Technology for two years and an adjunct professor of medicinal chemistry at the University Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg for twelve years. He has authored nearly 100 publications, 21 book chapters, and holds 63 issued patents. Dr. Bey is the inventor of difluoromethylornithine, (DFMO), the standard of care for African sleeping sickness.
Robert Lewis, MDSAB Member, Science Advisor
Dr. Lewis is a physician-scientist, who was formerly a faculty member of the Harvard Medical School and Stanford Medical School, President of Discovery Research at Syntex Corp, Head of US R&D at Aventis Pharmaceuticals, and presently a consulting professor at Stanford. He is an independent consultant and a member of several other scientific advisory boards. His principal expertise is in immunology and cell biology. Dr. Lewis received his doctor of medicine degree from the University of Rochester in 1971.
Stephen B. Baylin, M.D.SAB Member, Clinical Advisor
Stephen Baylin, M.D., is Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor of Oncology and Medicine, Co-Director of the Cancer Biology Division and Associate Director for Research Programs of The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins. Steve attended Duke University, where he earned his medical degree in 1968 and completed his internship and first year residency in internal medicine. He then worked for two years at the National Heart and Lung Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In 1971, Baylin joined the departments of oncology and medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
His research interests include cellular biology and genetics of cancer, specifically epigenetics or genetic modifications other than those in DNA that can affect cell behavior, and silencing of tumor suppressor genes and tumor progression. His research has looked at the mechanisms through which variations in tumor cells derive, and cell differentiation in cancers such as medullary thyroid carcinoma and small cell lung carcinoma. Dr. Baylin has served on the American Association for Cancer Research Board of Directors from 2004 through 2007, and is an associate editor of Cancer Research. He has also presented frequently at AACR conferences and chaired the special conference on “DNA Methylation, Imprinting and the Epigenetics of Cancer.” Baylin has authored or co-authored more than 425 publications.