President & CEO, Board Member
and Investor at ProNAi.
Mina Sooch brings with her over twenty years of pharmaceutical and healthcare experiences as an entrepreneur and operator, strategy & finance advisor, and venture capitalist. She has helped co-found and lead Apjohn Ventures, Apjohn Group, several local biotech start-ups including Afmedica, and served as entrepreneur in residence at Northcoast VC in Michigan. With ten portfolio companies at Apjohn, Mina's board roles now and in the past include ProNAi, ZyStor, Nephrion, and Asterand with board observer roles at Kereos, Svelte, Afmedica, and Ikano. She continues to serve on the boards of the Midwest Healthcare Investment Network and Michigan Venture Capital Association. Prior to venture capital, Mina spent eight years as a global account manager at Monitor Group, a top tier global strategy consulting firm based in Boston, with her client base consisting of mid-cap and large-cap healthcare companies and multi-billion dollar private equity companies. With a focus on M&A, she has worked on over 30 deals including $7B Pharmacia & Upjohn merger in 1995 and $1B merger of PharMerica in 1997. Mina was a co-founder of Monitor's Corporate Finance practice in 1998. Mina began her career spending several years in research and product development at Ford Motor Company, Dow Chemical Company, and Proctor and Gamble. Mina received a MBA from Harvard Business School in 1993. She graduated summa cum laude and commencement speaker from Wayne State University in 1989 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering.
Dr. Richard Messmann, MD
Chief Medical Officer at ProNAi.
Dr. Messmann has extensive clinical and commercial experience as a medical oncologist and drug-development physician having completed fellowship training at the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute (NCI) prior to becoming deputy associate director of the NCI Developmental Therapeutics Program. He has also served as Vice President of Medical Affairs for Endocyte, (IPO in Feb 2011) where he helped lead the development of folate receptor targeted therapeutics including vintafolide a late stage clinical anti-tumor agent. He also served as Director of Cancer Research for the Great Lakes Cancer Institute at Michigan State University, and as clinical research physician at Eli Lilly & Co. Dr. Messmann holds a degree in electrical and computer engineering and graduate degrees is clinical research (MS from Duke University), biochemistry (MSc from Wayne State University). He received his MD from Wayne State University in 1991.
Dr. Wendi V. Rodrigueza
VP of Product Development at ProNAi.
Dr. Rodrigueza received her BSc and PhD degrees in Biochemistry from the University of British Columbia. She earned her PhD under the direction of Pieter Cullis and Michael Hope, established leaders in the liposome field who helped developed liposomal doxorubicin (Doxil) and other liposomal anticancer agents in clinical development. Dr. Rodrigueza has almost 20 years of experience in product development and leading clinical programs at Esperion, Curagen, Novartis and at her current position at ProNAi. Dr. Rodrigueza was a senior member of the Esperion team with the key responsibility for the development of lipid delivery technology applied to the pipeline of HDL-mimetic drugs that were sold to Pfizer for >$1B. Dr. Rodrigueza is co-inventor of several drug candidates in clinical development. Her expertise lies in directing candidate selection, formulation and product development of promising biopharmaceuticals from preclinical to early clinical development in the cardiovascular and oncology therapeutic areas. At ProNAi, she is responsible for evaluating delivery systems useful for DNAi oligonucleotides, overseeing the manufacture and analysis of oligonucleotides and drug product candidates from bench-scale to cGMP manufacture. She has also led the PNT2258 program through past regulatory submissions and conduct of the Phase I clinical trials working closely with contract research organizations, bioanalytical laboratories, and medical advisors. She received her BS in 1988 and PhD in 1994 in Biochemistry from the University of British Columbia.
Shari Gaylor, RN, CCRA, CCRC
Clinical Director at ProNAi.
Shari Gaylor, whose background is in nursing, has 27 years of oncology clinical research experience. She began her research career as a study coordinator in a Phase I clinical unit working on infectious disease, analgesic and cardiovascular projects with a focus in oncology trials. Subsequently, she worked in oncology as a project manager for a large pharmaceutical company in 1) clinical research and development where she managed Phase II and III domestic and international studies with two of the compounds resulting in New Drug Application (NDA) approvals, 2) post-marketing where she was responsible for more than 160 sponsor-supported investigator-initiated clinical trials submitted by cooperative groups, academic institutions and local practice physicians, and 3) clinical pharmacology where she managed Phase I and II studies. While working in clinical pharmacology, she also managed the pharmacologic components of Phase II and III studies and performed pharmacokinetic analyses. Prior to coming to ProNAi Therapeutics, Ms. Gaylor worked as a project manager for two CROs specializing in the support of domestic and international oncology trials. Ms. Gaylor is certified by the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) as a CCRA and CCRC. She has a diverse background and experience in conducting Phase I – IV global trials in North and South America, Eastern and Western Europe, China, Japan, Korea and South Africa.
Manager of Business Development and Technology at ProNAi.
Michael Woolliscroft began his career at the University of Michigan’s Center for Molecular Imaging using diffusion MRI to analyze the effect of targeted nanoparticles on gliomas. After completing his undergraduate degree, Michael was a study lead at a contract research organization specializing in preclinical imaging. As a study lead, he tested numerous compounds in various oncology and inflammation models and used imaging modalities to evaluate outcomes such as efficacy, biodistribution, and target modulation. Michael interned with ProNAi during his MBA program. He received his BA in 2006 and MBA in 2012 from the University of Michigan.