Reglagene’s management blends pharmaceutical industry professionals with track records of delivering on drug development programs and operations management with scientist–managers possessing a full command of the technology and its applications.
Meet the Board
David Bearss, PhD
David J. Bearss, PhD, has a consistent and successful track record of drug discovery and development that spans the last 20 years in both academic and industrial settings. Dr. Bearss is an expert in small-molecule drug development and in the use of genetic model systems in drug discovery. He has deep experience in translational research focused on drug development and the use of genetic markers to predict drug sensitivity. Dr. Bearss has discovered 15 compounds that have filed INDs and moved forward in clinical development and has been a founder of 5 biotech companies. Dr. Bearss served as Chief Scientific Officer at Montigen Pharmaceuticals and in the same role at SuperGen Inc., overseeing early drug discovery and development. He was the founding Co-Director of the Center for Investigational Therapeutics at the Huntsman Cancer Institute as well as an Associate Professor in the Department of Oncological Sciences at the University of Utah and Associate Professor of Physiology & Developmental Biology at Brigham Young University. Dr. Bearss was the founder and CEO of Tolero Pharmaceuticals, which he led through its acquisition by Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma in 2017. He stayed on after the acquisition as CEO of Tolero and as Global Head of Research and CSO of Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Oncology. Dr. Bearss has published more than 80 manuscripts and book chapters, has over 50 patents issued or pending, and has won several awards for his scientific achievements.
Lawrence Kinet, MBA
Mr. Lawrence Henry Neil Kinet, BSc, MBA, is a veteran of the medical devices industry and has a successful track record and solid business experience. He has over 40 years of international experience in the field of healthcare services and technology, with a track record of building businesses through profitable sales growth and raising venture and public equity capital, including an IPO. Mr. Kinet served as Group Chief Executive Officer of LMA International NV from October 2008 to June 2010 (later acquired by Teleflex). He served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of CellCoTec Ltd. He served as President and Group Managing Director of Smiths Medical, a $1.3 billion company, and was an Executive Director of Smiths Group plc from February 2000 to July 2005. Mr. Kinet served as the Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Aksys Ltd. from 1994 to 1999, during which time he took Aksys through an IPO on to NASDAQ. From 1991 to 1994 he also served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Oculon Corp. He served as Non-Executive Chairman of Endosense SA (later acquired by St. Jude). He served as Chairman of Oxford Immunotec Ltd. until October 2008 (currently on NASDAQ). He served as Healthcare Consultant of The Kensington Group, where he served as Managing Partner from 1989 to 1991. In the early part of his career he served in a number of senior posts at Baxter International Inc., including General Manager of a Travenol division in the Middle East; President of Baxter’s Americas and Pacific division; and Corporate Vice President and President, World Trade Group, with operating and strategic responsibility for $1.5 billion in sales and 12,000 employees. He currently serves as Non-Executive Director of Kromek Group plc (listed on AIM) and also currently serves as Chairman of Metrasens Ltd. Mr. Kinet obtained his Bachelor of Science at the University of Birmingham in the UK in 1968 and his MBA at the University of Chicago in 1970. He resides in Tucson, Arizona.
Sharon Ayd, PhD, MBA
Dr. Sharon Ayd is a biopharmaceutical industry veteran with greater than 30 years of experience in commercializing Branded/Novel, Specialty, Rare/Orphan, and Complex Generic drugs. Drug product types include small molecules as well as biologics. She has a record of value creation for companies, as demonstrated by having led numerous international drug development programs from translation/discovery through clinical evaluation, the regulatory review and approval process, product launch, and lifecycle management. During her career Dr. Ayd has worked in several multinational companies, including Baxter International, Apotex Inc., Hospira (now Pfizer), and Fresenius-Kabi. She has also been a founding/C-level executive in start-ups, e.g., Transcend Therapeutics, Advanced Life Sciences, and Pinnacle Biologics. Under her leadership ~100 drug application approvals (NDA, 505(b)(2), ANDA, and biosimilar and supplements) have been obtained. She has also been a key player in many M&A transactions, ranging from $200M to ~$1B. In 2014 Dr. Ayd formed her own consultancy, Ayd BioPharma Consulting Group. The Ayd Group serves clients in Life Sciences, Pharmaceuticals, Biologics, and Combination Products. She is Adjunct Professor at the University of Illinois College of Pharmacy and the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. Dr. Ayd earned an MBA from Lewis University and a PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago in Biopharmaceutical Sciences.
Richard Austin, PhD, MBA
Dr. Richard Austin is a Pharmaceutical R&D veteran with 25 years of experience ranging from the laboratory bench to management. His professional career began as a medicinal chemist with Burroughs Wellcome (eventually Glaxo SmithKline) in 1993 at its site in Research Triangle Park, NC. He took a similar role with Selectide (eventually Sanofi) in 1997. Richard moved into a research operations role in 2011, responsible for managing the operational aspects of Sanofi’s science at its Tucson Research Center. As a member of the site leadership team, he managed R&D operational and capital spending, laboratory equipment maintenance and repair, R&D contract creation, and budget creation. He holds an Organic Chemistry PhD (University of Texas) and an MBA in Pharmaceutical Management (Drexel University). Richard completed postdoctoral training in Bioorganic Chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley. He is an angel investor with Tucson’s Desert Angels and a commercialization partner with the University of Arizona’s technology transfer office.
Laurence Hurley, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Laurence Hurley is leading Reglagene’s application of quadruplex gene expression control to the discovery and development of medicines that combat serious diseases. He has built a distinguished academic career in the study of DNA structure and function leading to the creation and development of therapeutic agents that interact with DNA as anticancer agents and one kinase inhibitor. He is the leading authority on drugging quadruplex systems, has published more than 270 peer-reviewed papers, and filed 25 patents. Three products have been discovered in his first company Cylene or in his academic lab that went into human clinical trials (Quarfloxin, CX-5461, Amuvatinib). In addition, sponsored research programs with pharmaceutical companies resulted in three more clinical-stage products reaching the market (Vadastuximab talirine, Bizelesin, Yondelis [marketed]). Laurence was the first to report that DNA quadruplex structures serve as control elements for gene expression. He believes his latest quadruplex discoveries are the highlight of his career, are ripe for translation, and will result in viable medicines that provide patient benefit. After obtaining his PhD at Purdue University, he completed postdoctoral studies in the Chemistry Department at the University of British Columbia. He has held appointments at the Universities of Maryland, Kentucky, and Texas (Austin), and since 2000 has been at the University of Arizona, where he has served as Associate Director of the BIO5 Collaborative Research Institute and Co-Director of the Molecular Therapeutics Program at the Arizona Cancer Center.