As a public benefit corporation, TREKtx will be profitable and develop novel medicines for communicable diseases at affordable and accessible prices.
More than 3% of the world’s population is infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV.) The consequences of this tidal wave of illness are potentially as severe as cancer and death. HCV is a blood-borne disease that can be transmitted sexually and perinatally as well as through needle sharing, unsterilized medical equipment, and contaminated blood products. Chronic HCV infection can lead to serious liver problems, including cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) or liver cancer. It is estimated that up to 350,000 people die every year due to HCV-related liver disease. Through remarkable advances, streamlined treatments are possible with minimal side effects. However, the high prices of the new generation of highly effective medicines to treat and cure hepatitis C, are causing accessibility problems even in fully developed countries.
While the treatment landscape for chronic HCV is experiencing a revolution since the emergence of the new direct antiviral agents with cure rates exceeding 90%, these new drugs are priced out of reach in low and middle income countries where most affected people live. The current standard treatment in most of these countries is the combination of pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin that depending on the genotype, cures less than half of treated patients with important side effects. Moreover, PEG-INF still remains inaccessible to most patients and their countries’ health systems.
Notwithstanding price concessions for these HCV breakthrough treatments in low- and middle-income countries, deep discounting from the initial high price point still presents an unsustainable burden on health systems around the world.
How to meaningfully break down barriers to access and reach all patients, including those at the margins of society and avoid the devastating consequences of the infection?
TrekTx is a new model in the pharmaceutical industry. Trek will disrupt the market by offering highly effective HCV treatments at below market prices. Its founders are highly experienced leaders in the biopharmaceutical industry with successful track records in the laboratory, the clinic and the marketplace. Additionally, Trek is partnering with Diagnostics for All to develop an assay that inexpensively and rapidly detects the virus and differentiates genotype so a patient can be ushered to appropriate treatment. A rapid and inexpensive diagnostic test to detect HCV itself will be a breakthrough for the 100-200 million people infected around the world.
Our goal is to eradicate HCV and save lives. Infection with HCV is a serious disease that often progresses to advanced liver disease, liver cancer, and death. In the US, more patients receive a liver transplant for advanced liver disease resulting from chronic HCV infection than any other disease. HCV infection affects individuals across the entire economic spectrum around the world. Although a cure to eliminate the hepatitis C virus is available, the expense of this treatment makes it inaccessible to most patients in both the developed and developing worlds. TREK Therapeutics will create a new HCV combination regimen, manufacture it, and market it in high-income settings at levels similar to generic pricing. In other economic settings, Trek Therapeutics will market the drug via a tiered pricing structure that will make it accessible to patient populations throughout the world.
An industry leader with more than 20 years’ experience in developing successful drug candidates, Ann played a leading role in the development of telaprevir (Inciviek), a HCV protease inhibitor with >$2B in sales, and VX-787, a flu inhibitor currently in Ph2. She is a founder of HCV DRAG (HCV Drug Development Advisory Group), a consortium of industry, clinical trial, community, and regulatory leaders working to optimize HCV drug development. With a PhD in virology from the University of Chicago, she has more than 20 years experience at Schering Plough and Vertex in every aspect of the drug creation value chain.
Jerry is CEO of Celgene Global Health and Chief Medical Officer of Celgene Corporation. Prior to that he was Celgene’s Senior Vice President of Clinical Research and Medical Affairs and has been at Celgene since February 1997. He attended Brown University for an AB, MS, followed by Yale University for a MPhil, MD, PhD in molecular biophysics and biochemistry (immunochemistry). Dr. Zeldis trained in Internal Medicine at the UCLA Center for the Health Sciences and Gastroenterology at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He was Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School, Associate Professor of Medicine at University of California, Davis, Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Cornell Medical School, and Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Prior to working at Celgene, Dr. Zeldis worked at Sandoz Research Institute and Janssen Research Institute in both clinical research and medical development. He currently on the board of the Alliqua, Semorex Corporation, PTC Corporation, Soligenix, and BionorPharma. Of the 122 peer reviewed articles he has published, 35 are related to viral hepatitis. Dr. Zeldis is named an inventor on over 30 US patents.
An expert in pharmaceutical development and innovative manufacturing from feasibility through commercialization, Kevin also has ten years of experience in managing partnerships throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. He is skilled at engaging senior management for attaining buy in and funding for ground breaking initiatives.
A highly effective presenter and communicator, he has a proven track record on evaluating, attaining, and developing new technologies and a broad range of experience in commercial manufacturing and development of solid dosage forms. The lead formulator for Incivek (telaprevir) and the CMC lead for other specifically targeted HCV treatments, Kevin implemented continuous manufacturing capabilities for the pharmaceutical industry. He has mixing, reactor design and scale-up expertise and is skilled in the implementation and regulatory submissions of Quality by Design (QbD) initiatives. He has completed scale-up and process validation over 30 products for both innovator and generic companies. He earned his doctorate and undergraduate degrees in chemical engineering and MBA at the University of Alberta.
Michael is a seasoned consultant and investor with 28 years of experience primarily focused on the life sciences and healthcare industries, including medical technology, pharmaceuticals, HCIT and services. He has been a Managing Director at Jennison Associates for 14 years where he was a successful Equity Research Analyst and investor in all areas of healthcare both long and short. Prior to joining Jennison, Michael was a consultant for 14 years to senior managements primarily in the healthcare field focusing on pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. A graduate of Princeton, he earned an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Bob did his Infectious Disease Fellowship at Harvard Medical School and New England Deaconess Hospital, after which he spent 12 years as a clinical and research infectious disease physician at Danbury Hospital and New York Medical College. After joining Bristol Myers Squibb, Bob played a major role in the clinical development and successful NDA for entecavir (Baraclude), a HBV polymerase inhibitor with sales in excess of $1billion. He was Medical Lead for the anti-HCV development team for all HCV antiviral drugs. As Vice President Clinical Development at Pharmasset/Gilead, Bob was responsible for the Phase 2 and Phase 3 programs for sofosbuvir (Sovaldi), a HCV polymerase inhibitor with >$2B sales in the first 3 months. Bob co-founded Beyond West Pharmaceuticals to bring affordable drugs to developing countries, and has served as a consultant to several companies developing antiviral drugs. He is a graduate of Rutgers Medical School.
Xiao Tong, PhD, is a founder of InnovaTID Pharmaceuticals, Inc. She has had extensive antiviral research and development experience at Pfizer, Schering Plough/ Merck, and Hoffmann-La Roche. Xiao was a lead biologist on the development and clinical team that discovered the first generation HCV protease inhibitor boceprevir (Victrelis). She has also provided virology support to several HCV inhibitors in clinical development as well as the influenza virus inhibitor Tamiflu. Xiao has over 40 publications in the field of virology and drug discovery. Xiao earned her PhD at Harvard University.
Trek Therapeutics is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any classification protected by federal, state, or local law.
TREKtx is building a collaborative team of talented professionals who are excited and motivated to develop novel and affordable therapeutic regimens for patients throughout the world.
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