01 Pacylex: Team

Pacylex Team & Advisory

Explore the Pacylex Team & Advisory Board, the driving force behind our clinical-stage company. Our team and advisors are instrumental in our mission to transform cancer treatment for refractory cases.

02 Our Members

The Pacylex Team

Michael J. Weickert, PhD - CEO

Dr. Weickert has been developing drugs at public and private companies for over 30 years. He has been CEO of Fe Pharmaceuticals, illumiSonics, Sonescence, and SEA Medical Systems, CBO of Strategent Life Sciences, Corium, and Therashock, COO of Greenfire Bio and Ohm Oncology, VP of development at SciDose and Auspex, and Senior Program Executive or Manager at Nektar and Ligand. Michael has driven oncology product development including Phase III/NDA for Targretin for Cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma, and business planning for drug delivery versions of the cancer drugs Leuprolide, Paclitaxel and Irinotecan. He obtained Orphan Drug and Fast Track designations for oncology-related products in the US and EU. Prior to joining the pharmaceutical industry, he was at the National Cancer Institute at NIH. He has a PhD in Genetics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Luc G. Berthiaume, PhD - CSO

Luc is a professor of cell biology at University of Alberta with 29 years of experience studying protein fatty acylation. He received his PhD from the Université de Sherbrooke and completed his Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre. He has more than 50 publications and 4 patent families published or pending. Luc is also the founder and president of Eusera, an antibody manufacturing company in Edmonton, AB, which produces and markets many commercially successful antibodies.

John Mackey, MD - CMO

Dr. Mackey is a medical oncologist at the Sindi Ahluwalia Hawkins Centre, Professor Emeritus of Oncology, University of Alberta, and Chair of the Alberta Pre-Phase I Cancer Program. As the former Director of Clinical Trials at the Cross Cancer Institute, and the former Executive Director of the global clinical trial organization Translational Research In Oncology (TRIO), he brings nearly 30 years of experience with clinical trial operations to expedite the clinical evaluation of Zelenirstat and other Pacylex therapeutics.

Ryan Heit. MSc, MBA - VP Operations

Ryan has a background in research, technology commercialization, business development, and financing early stage companies. Ryan has provided business planning and company development for many early-stage, technology-based ventures in health-related fields in his previous positions as the Director of the Merck Invention Accelerator, with the University of Alberta, TEC Edmonton, and as an independent consultant. He also has nearly a decade of experience in the angel investing space as a Co-Founder and investor in Valhalla Private Capital. He holds a Masters in Experimental Oncology and an MBA from the University of Alberta.

Erwan Beauchamp, PhD - Director of Discovery Biology

Erwan Beauchamp is the Director of Discovery Biology. He is an accomplished protein fatty acylation expert with 18 years of study and experience in the field. Erwan made the seminal discovery of the sensitivity of hematologic cancers towards zelenirstat and is an inventor on 2 Pacylex Pharmaceuticals patents.

Mark Huson, PhD - Director

Mark R. Huson is a Professor of Finance and the Dianne and Irving Kipnes Chair in Finance and Development University of Alberta. He is also an adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Haskayne School of Business (University of Calgary) and the Academic Director at Creative Destruction Labs – Rockies. Although he has been at the University of Alberta since 1993, Mark has also taught at the McCombs School of Business (UT Austin), and at the Richard Ivey School of Business (Western University) He has experience in Angel investing through his previous membership in the Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN) in Austin.

Cindy Jacobs, PhD, MD - Board Chair

Dr. Jacobs is currently the President and Chief Medical Officer at Achieve Life Sciences, Inc, a public company focused on smoking cessation and public health. Dr. Jacobs is also the CEO/Founder of Eagles Ridge Executive Consulting L.L.C. which advises on C-suite leadership and corporate strategic product development for early stage companies. She is currently also on the Board of Directors for Achieve Life Sciences Inc and HiberCell Inc, and was formerly on the board of Renown Pharma Inc, a private UK company focused on Parkinson’s Disease. Previously, Dr. Jacobs was the Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Prior to Oncogenex, she was the Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Corixa Corporation until acquired by GlaxoSmithKline. She has also held vice president positions and been a member of executive management teams for two other Seattle-based biotechnology companies. She has extensive product development expertise in preclinical development, clinical operations, biostatistics, regulatory and product approval strategies, and has achieved several FDA and EU market approvals. Based on her preclinical work at Immunex, she was one of two inventors on the initial patent for Enbrel, as a rheumatoid arthritis treatment.

Ajit Gill - Director

Ajit Gill is the founder and CEO of Greenfire Bio, LLC a drug development company, and also the founder and CEO of MGFB, LLC. Previously he was CEO and President of Nektar Therapeutics, when the company grew from a private startup to a public company with 800 employees and a market cap of over $2 billion USD. Earlier, Mr. Gill was VP and General Manager of Kodak’s Interactive Systems, VP of Finance at TRW-Fujitsu and Director of Business Development at VisiCorp. He graduated from IIT Kanpur with a B. Tech degree in Electrical Engineering and earned an M.S from University of Nebraska and an MBA from University of Western Ontario, Canada.

Nola Masterson - Director

Nola Masterson, MSc. has more than 45 years of business experience in the life sciences industry and in venture capital investment. Masterson was the first biotech Analyst on Wall Street working for Drexel Burnham Lambert and Merrill Lynch. She has served as a Consultant at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Oak Investments and IVP to create companies such as IDEC, Resound, and InSite Vision. She served as Venture Partner at TVM Capital GmbH and opened its San Francisco office. Ms. Masterson serves as Managing Director of Science Futures Management Company, LLC and was co-founder and first CEO of Sequenom, Inc. (SQNM). She is Chair Emeritus of California Life Science Institute and served as founder and General Partner of Science Futures LLC I and Science Futures LLC II. She served on the Board of EpiCept Corporation, Nanostream, Inc., Omicia, Inc. (now called Fabric Genomics), Repros Therapeutics Inc. (RPRX, Chairman) until its sale to Allergan, EmbraceHer Innovations, Inc., Resonance-Med, and Lynx Bio. She is an Adjunct Professor at University of California in the School of Management, and co-chair of the Northern California chapter of the Women Corporate Directors. Her work with Boardwise includes coaching and consulting with boards and individual board members. She has been honored as a pioneer by Fordham University. She is a published author and dynamic public speaker.

Annette Marcantonio - VP Clinical Operations

Annette joined Pacylex as Vice President, Clinical Operations after more than 30 years in senior clinical operations and development roles, leading large-scale clinical programs in complicated and novel therapeutic areas. Prior to Pacylex, she served as Vice-President of Clinical Affairs at Neurogastrx, where she successfully progressed the NG101 program in Gastroparesis. Prior to Neurogastrx, she served as Vice-President of Clinical Operations at Aimmune, where she was a key figure in designing the clinical development program and implemented and managed the studies leading to the approval of the first-in-class peanut allergy treatment Palforzia™. At prior companies, she has been a key participant in the filings of several US and EU marketing applications and has held key leadership positions in programs that have directly contributed to successful product approvals and label expansions for multiple drugs and biologics. Over the past two decades, Annette has also provided consulting support to numerous bio-pharmaceutical companies to support their development programs, and in one case served as a client's regulatory representative to the FDA. Annette received her Bachelor's degree from Loyola-Marymount University.

03 Our Board

Scientific Advisory Board

Naveen Pemmaraju, MD

Associate Professor, Department of Leukemia, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX Dr. Pemmaraju completed his Internal Medicine training at Johns Hopkins in the Osler Medical Program and subsequently completed both hematology and oncology training at MD Anderson. He obtained ABIM board certification in Internal Medicine, Hematology, and Oncology. His clinical/translational research work has been focused on improving outcomes and developing novel therapies for adolescents, young adults, and older adult patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN), and myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN). He has authored/co-authored 129 publications in the medical literature; 4 book chapters; and has presented at many national/international meetings (ASCO, ASH, EHA, AACR).

Charles Craddock, CBE, FRCP (UK), FRCPath, DPhil

Professor Charles Craddock is Professor of Haemato-oncology, University of Birmingham. Professor Craddock is Chair of the UK Stem Cell Strategic Oversight Committee and was Medical Director of Anthony Nolan from 2010–2014. He is a past President of the British Society of Haematology. Professor Craddock’s main research interests include the development of novel drug and transplant therapies in acute myeloid leukemia. He pioneered the development of the UK Haemato-oncology Trials Acceleration Programme and the UK stem cell transplant trials network, IMPACT. He has published more than 250 papers in peer reviewed journals. Professor Craddock was awarded the CBE for services to medicine and medical research in the 2016 New Year’s Honours list and elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2020.

Gautam Borthakur, M.D.

Professor, Department of Leukemia, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX Dr. Borthakur’s clinical and research work is focused on improving therapies for acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). His primary commitment is to bring new agents/combinations to the clinic for improving outcome in patients with these diseases. While doing this, he has taken to the clinic ideas that have emerged out of the works of translational science leaders in the department of Leukemia. He has opened more than thirty investigator-initiated or industry-sponsored clinical trials in his area of interest and has an active translational research program on autophagy and epigenetic targets, for example BRD4.