David P. Luci
President and Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Luci is our co-founder and President & CEO. Prior to our IPO, Mr. Luci served as Managing Partner and Director since February 2018. Previously, Mr. Luci was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Dipexium Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: DPRX), a pharmaceutical company focused on antibiotic drug development, from February 2010 until its sale to PLx Pharma Inc. (Nasdaq: PLXP) in a merger valued at $69 million in April 2017. From February 2009 to January 2010, Mr. Luci served as a member of the board of directors of Abeona Therapeutics, where he also served as Chairman of the Audit Committee and Chairman of the Compensation Committee as well as serving in a consulting capacity following the acquisition of MacroChem. From December 2007 through February 2009, Mr. Luci served as a member of the board of directors and President of MacroChem. Prior to that, Mr. Luci served as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Bioenvision, Inc. (or Bioenvision), an international biopharmaceutical company focused upon the development, marketing and commercialization of oncology products and product candidates.
Mr. Luci began his career with Ernst & Whinney LLP (now Ernst &Young LLP) in New York as a certified public accountant working in the Healthcare Practice Group. He later practiced corporate law at Paul Hastings LLP in New York, where his practice encompassed all aspects of public and private mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, restructurings and private equity transactions, with a core focus in the healthcare industry. Mr. Luci graduated from Bucknell University with a degree as a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting and graduated from Albany Law School of Union University where he served as Managing Editor of the Journal of Science & Technology. Mr. Luci became a certified public accountant in the State of Pennsylvania in 1990 (inactive) and is a member of the New York State Bar Association. Mr. Luci was selected to serve on our board of directors because of his extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry.
Robert J. DeLuccia
Mr. DeLuccia is our co-founder and Executive Chairman. Prior to our IPO, Mr. DeLuccia served as our Managing Partner and Director since February 2018. Previously, Mr. DeLuccia was the Executive Chairman of Dipexium Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: DPRX), a pharmaceutical company focused on antibiotic drug development, from February 2010 until its sale to PLx Pharma Inc. (Nasdaq: PLXP) in a merger valued at $69 million in April 2017. Previously, from 2004 to 2009, Mr. DeLuccia served in several capacities at MacroChem, a development-stage, publicly traded pharmaceutical company using topical drug delivery technology for products in dermatology, podiatry, urology and cancer, including as Chairman of the board of directors, President and Chief Executive Officer. Prior to joining MacroChem, Mr. DeLuccia served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Immunomedics, Inc., a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company focused on antibody-based therapeutic products and diagnostic imaging for cancer and infectious diseases. Mr. DeLuccia also served as President of Sterling Winthrop, Inc. (or Sterling Winthrop) (as an independent corporation and then as subsidiary of Eastman Kodak), and subsequently, upon acquisition, the U.S. subsidiary of Sanofi-Aventis (or Sanofi) and currently serves as a member of the board of directors of IBEX Technologies Inc., which manufactures and markets proprietary enzymes (heparinases and chondroitinases) for use in pharmaceutical research and Heparinase I, used in many leading hemostasis monitoring devices. Mr. DeLuccia began his career as a pharmaceutical sales representative for Pfizer, Inc. (or Pfizer) and progressed to Director of Marketing, Pfizer Laboratories Division, and to Vice President Marketing and Sales Operations for Pfizer’s Roerig Division. Mr. DeLuccia received a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Iona College. Mr. DeLuccia was selected to serve as Chairman of our board of directors because of his extensive executive leadership and experience in the pharmaceutical industry.
Robert G. Shawah, CPA
Co-Founder & Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Shawah is our co-founder and Chief Financial Officer. Prior to our IPO, Mr. Shawah served as Chief Accounting Officer and as Vice President of Finance from January 2018 to June 2021. Prior to that, Mr. Shawah served as Chief Accounting Officer of Dipexium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: DPRX) from 2014 until April 2017 when Dipexium Pharmaceuticals was sold to PLX Pharma (Nasdaq: PLXP).
Further, Mr. Shawah has served as Vice President of Baldwin Pearson & Co, a commercial real estate firm. From August 2018 to December 2018, Mr. Shawah served as a director for Ameri100, a software integration company. Mr. Shawah has over 30 years of experience in finance and accounting including positions at Arthur Andersen PC, WR Grace & Co., and other early stage to mid-sized companies. Mr. Shawah is a CPA in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (inactive). Mr. Shawah received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Accounting) from Bucknell University.
Management Team / Consultants
Michael Silverman, MD, FACP
Medical Director (Independent consultant; BioStrategics Consulting, Ltd)
- Over 30 years experience in biopharmaceutical industry clinical research and product development.
- Experience includes positions of increasing responsibility at both global and start-up companies, managing multiple pharmaceutical and biotechnology projects across a broad range of therapeutic areas including infectious disease.
- Prior to founding his consulting company, experience includes KPMG Health Care Consulting; Biopure Corp, Sandoz, Sterling-Winthrop (Kodak-Sanofi) and clinical practice of medicine.
Manufacturing Director (Independent consultant, Optimum Technologies, Inc.)
- Over 30 years experience in manufacture of products for advanced therapeutics (cell therapies), biologics, pharmaceuticals and devices.
- Designed, installed and managed modular and large-scale facilities for biologics and synthetic pharmaceuticals.
- Company experience includes: Clear Path Development, Salamandra, Celsis, Cambrex, Biosynexus, Baxter Bioscience, Protein Polymer Technologies, Bayer Biologics, Cetus/Codon/Berlex.
Xiang Yu, Ph.D.
Director of Pre-Clinical Development (Consultant)
- Over 20 years industry experience in advancing new compounds from discovery screening to preclinical and clinical development
- Extensive R&D experience in multiple therapeutic areas including infectious disease, neurodegenerative, inflammatory, metabolic, cancer and cardiopulmonary diseases
- Broad background in medicinal chemistry, biology, pharmacology, ADME/PK, preclinical development, CMC and IND regulatory filing
- Numerous scientific publications
- Prior company experience: Accellient Partners, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Epix Pharmaceuticals, Cubist Pharmaceuticals
Larry Mortin, Ph.D.
Principal Pharmacologist (Independent Consultant)
- Over 25 years’ experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, helping advance multiple products from early stage discovery to advancement into clinical testing
- Expertise in designing and optimizing efficacy screens and animal models, designing studies to discover key PK/PD drivers, mechanism of action, and dose optimization
- 13-years’ experience leading the In Vivo Pharmacology Group and numerous Project Teams at Cubist Pharmaceuticals