Scientific Advisory Board

Karen Bush

Following postdoctoral work, I joined the Squibb Institute for Medical Research in New Jersey and began studying beta-lactamases, the enzymes in pathogenic bacteria that are the major cause for resistance to penicillins and other beta-lactam antibiotics. While in the pharmaceutical industry (Squibb; Lederle/Wyeth; Johnson & Johnson), my scientific teams identified and/or developed the antibiotics aztreonam (Azactam®), piperacillin-tazobactam (Zosyn®), levofloxacin (Levaquin®), doripenem (Doribax®), and the anti-MRSA cephalosporin ceftobiprole (Zeftera®). My laboratory published studies examining the mechanism of action of penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs), the role of mutant PBPs in antibiotic resistance, and the interactions of various beta-lactamases with the beta-lactam antibiotics. I have authored a number of review articles that have established one of the most commonly used beta-lactamase nomenclature schemes. At Lederle and as the head of the Antimicrobial Drug Discovery Research team at J&J, I led the development of a number of high-throughput screening assays that identified novel inhibitors of bacterial enzymes. My teams also worked closely with medicinal chemists to discover novel monobactams, carbapenems, oxazolidinones, and topoisomerase inhibitors, resulting in six drugs that entered human clinical trials.

My current laboratory has focused on characterizing resistance mechanisms to beta-lactam antibiotics in enteric bacteria. Studies from my lab have alerted health care facilities in the greater Indianapolis area to the need for increased infection control to minimize the risk from carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae ("CRE"); these pathogens have been deemed by the CDC to pose an Urgent Threat to the health care community. My lab is also collaborating with several pharmaceutical companies to characterize the antibacterial activity of new investigational drugs against these resistant bacteria, providing information that is shared with the FDA in the drug approval process. Two of the agents tested, Zerbaxa® and Avycaz® have recently gained FDA approval. During these studies, we have identified unusual resistance characteristics to some of these new agents.

Richard Bax, MBBS

Richard is a key TranScrip expert in Infectious Diseases and has been involved in many clinical development programmes and regulatory submissions. He has over 38 years of industry experience, including working for Glaxo, Lilly and Astra Zeneca and has developed many antibiotics and antivirals.

Richard was VP at SmithKline Beecham from 1991-1999, working in London and Philadelphia, in charge of Global Anti-infective Clinical Development, resulting in over 15 successful NDAs/MAAs and launches including Famvir/penciclovir, Bactroban and Augmentin BD. Between 2000 and 2003, Richard was Chief Scientist to Biosyn, a microbicide company based in Philadelphia. He subsequently joined Chiron as VP and Clinical Director Europe. He was involved in the set-up of the EU part of the company and the successful MAA of Cubicin. He left over two years later when Novartis absorbed Chiron. In May 2007 he joined Viropharma as VP Clinical Director Europe and was involved in the setup of the EU company and the EU transplant maribivir phase 3 studies.

Richard has been a member of various working parties of the BSAC, ESCMID, European Union Grant Committee, EFPIA, IFPMA, EMA guidelines, Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council, Surgical Infection Society (US) and the working party of the WHO on Bacterial Resistance as well as a consultant to the office of AIDS Research NIH US.

Richard has been a non-executive director of three start-up pharma companies.

Richard Bax is involved in guiding companies through early development, Phase I, II and III including Proof of Concept, to successful registration and to manage difficult strategic and scientific issues.

Richard Bax’s major activity is to bridge the gap between the company and the regulatory and reimbursement agencies.

Richard has over 100 publications, including nine book chapters and in peer reviewed journals including the BMJ, The Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, Nature Medicine and Nature New Drugs on clinical trials, antibiotic resistance and prescribing, PK/PD predictors of outcome and the Pharmaceutical Industry.

Dinesh Srinivasan

Dr. Srinivasan has over 15 years of leadership experience in drug discovery and development in the pharmaceutical industry. He previously was Director, Scientific BD at Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc., where he wore multiple hats including program management and translational sciences to support the ongoing clinical development programs. He began his career in industry as a post-doctoral fellow at Roche Palo Alto and worked in drug discovery as Scientist/Senior Scientist/Group Leader at Roche in Palo Alto and Nutley, NJ. Dr. Srinivasan received his MSc in Biotechnology from The University of Mumbai, India and PhD In Pharmacology & Toxicology from the University of Arizona, Tucson.

Steven Gilman, PhD

Steven C. Gilman, Ph.D., is a pharmaceutical executive with over 35 years’ experience in research, development and business leadership in the biopharmaceutical industry. He was most recently the Chairman of the board of directors and CEO of ContraFect Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for the treatment of infections caused by multi-drug resistant bacteria. Prior to ContraFect, he was the Executive Vice President of Research & Development and Chief Scientific Officer at Cubist Pharmaceuticals, where he led the successful development and approval of Sivextro and Zerbaxa, until the acquisition of Cubist by Merck & Co in January 2015. Prior to joining Cubist, Dr. Gilman served as chairman of the board of directors and CEO of ActivBiotics from March 2004 to October 2007. Prior to ActivBiotics, Dr. Gilman worked at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where he held a number of senior leadership roles including Vice President and General Manager, Inflammation. Prior to Millennium, he was Group Director at Pfizer Global Research and Development and has also held scientific, business and academic appointments at Wyeth, CYTOGEN Corporation, Temple Medical School and Connecticut College. Dr. Gilman currently serves on the boards of directors of Akebia Therapeutics (Nasdaq: AKBA), serving as Chairman of the research and development committee; ContraFect Corporation (Nasdaq: CFRX), serving as Vice Chairman of the board and Chairman of the science and technology committee; Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc (Nasdaq MNTA), serving on the compensation committee and Science Committee; SCYNEXIS Inc. (Nasdaq SCYX), serving on the nominating and corporate governance and audit committees; and Vericel Corporation (Nasdaq VCEL), serving on the compensation committee. Previously, Dr. Gilman is a prior member of the board of directors of Inhibikase, Inc, the Massachusetts biotechnology organization (MassBio), the Penn State University biotechnology board and the Northeastern University drug discovery advisory board. Dr. Gilman received his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in microbiology from Pennsylvania State University, his post doctoral training in immunology at Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, and a B.A. in microbiology from Miami University of Ohio.

George Jacoby, MD

George Jacoby trained in medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), in biochemistry at the National Institutes of Health, in bacterial physiology at the National Institute for Medical Research outside of London, and in bacterial genetics at HMS. He was an Infectious Disease consultant at the MGH for 25 years and then headed that department at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, MA. He is a member of the American Society of Microbiology, and a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, and the Infectious Disease Society of America, and has served on editorial boards for various journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, and has been Editor in Chief of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. He is an Associate Professor of Medicine, now part time, at HMS. His research has focused on mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance to antibiotics, especially plasmid-mediated resistance to beta-lactams and fluoroquinolones.