top of page

Response Pharmaceuticals

Board of Directors

Management

Eric Keller

Founder/CEO/Chairman

Eric Keller is a proven business and legal executive with nearly 30 years of experience in life sciences-based companies. In addition to his role as Founder and CEO of Response Pharmaceutical, he is the Founder and CEO of Redux Therapeutics, a therapeutic asset acquisition and development company. Eric is also the Co-Founder and Head of Strategy at C2Sense, an MIT-based medical diagnostic company, and is the Executive Vice President of SGH2 Energy Global, a developer and operator of biogenic waste-to-green hydrogen projects. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Noveome Biotherapeutics, a pioneering secretome therapeutic development company, and serves as Strategic Advisor and Chief Business Office of SipNose, an Israeli company focused on delivering drugs direct nose-to-brain for a variety of CNS disorders.

As CEO of Nano Terra, a Boston-based nanotechnology company, Eric led the acquisition of Surface Logix and the subsequent out-license of three Phase 2 small molecule drugs, including RezuRock, now owned and marketed by Sanofi, and RDX-002. Eric is a graduate of Harvard College and Boston College Law School.

  • LinkedIn
Paul Sweetnam, Ph.D.

Co-Founder/Chief Scientific Officer

Paul brings over 25 years of senior scientific and management experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. His positions have included Vice President of Research Technologies at Bayer Healthcare and Chief Scientific Officer at Surface Logix, Inc. where RDX-002 was discovered  Paul is widely recognized for demonstrating the utility of receptor binding and enzyme assays to accelerate drug discovery. His work culminated in building the initial Drug Pfinder program at Pfizer, a key to finding new drug targets. At Bayer, Paul was a member of senior management that transitioned eight candidate molecules into clinical development, including sorafenib, now the blockbuster drug Nexavar. While at Surface Logix, Paul directed the discovery and early development of RDX-002. He also led the discovery of two additional clinical candidates, including a first-in-class ROCK 2 kinase inhibitor now marketed by Sanofi as Rezurock. Paul is a classically trained neurobiologist and is a co-founder of Response Pharmaceuticals.

  • LinkedIn
William Sasiela, Ph.D. 

Chief Medical Officer

After conducting doctoral research on the cellular mechanisms of the role of lipid accumulation in the progression of atherosclerosis, Bill entered the pharmaceutical/biotech industry over 25 years ago with an emphasis on developing cardiovascular and metabolic drugs. At Parke-Davis (later Pfizer), he focused on diabetes- and lipid-modulating drugs, including heading the Lipitor (atorvastatin) medical team. From there, Bill was the CMO at Aegerion, where he directed the clinical development and approval process for the only MTP inhibitor on the market, Juxtapid (lomitapide), indicated for patients with severe genetic hypercholesterolemia (homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia). Subsequently, Bill joined Regeneron, where he led the development of CV/metabolic programs, including the PCSK9 antibody Praluent (alirocumab) and the ANGPTL3 antibody Evkeeza (evinacumab). Before joining Response and while at Espirion, Bill led the late-stage clinical development and approval of Nexletol for hyperlipidemia. His background and experience in the clinical development of metabolic and cardiovascular disease-modifying agents are unchallenged.

  • LinkedIn

Craig M. Audet, Ph.D.

Chief Regulatory Officer

Dr. Craig Audet is a seasoned regulatory expert with over 36 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry. He is the founder and principal of WRS Regulatory Consultants, a privately held consulting firm specializing in pharmaceutical regulatory strategy and submission development. Dr. Audet's expertise covers the regulatory aspects of discovery research, clinical R&D, health authority submissions and approvals, commercialization, and marketing. He has been involved in developing and commercializing numerous drugs, biologics, gene therapies, and medical products. He has held strategic leadership positions at Pfizer, Sanofi, Arena Pharmaceuticals, and Evofem Biosciences and was an adjunct Associate Professor at Temple University's School of Pharmacy. He began his regulatory career working with drug/device combination products. Craig holds a B.S. in biology/pre-medicine from Boston College and a Ph.D. in public health specializing in community health from Walden University. 

  • LinkedIn

John W. Ferkany, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President

John has been a Response team member since the company's inception. He is an entrepreneurial leader with over 35 years of experience in the non-profit and for-profit biopharmaceutical sector, managing R&D teams. His background includes seven years at Surface Logix, Inc as Vice President for Development. He was directly responsible for moving RDX-002 through preclinical regulatory studies and positioning it for clinical trials. John also participated in multiple clinical trials exploring the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of RDX-002. His depth of preclinical and clinical knowledge regarding the compound is indispensable for Response. John holds a B.S. from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in neuropharmacology from Houston's University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Science. His postdoctoral training was within the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He also holds a degree in business administration from Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business.

  • LinkedIn

Scientific and Regulatory Advisors

Eric Keller

Member of the Board

Eric Keller is a proven business and legal executive with nearly 30 years of experience in life sciences-based companies. In addition to his role as Founder and CEO of Response Pharmaceutical, he is the Founder and CEO of Redux Therapeutics, a therapeutic asset acquisition and development company. Eric is also the Co-Founder and Head of Strategy at C2Sense, an MIT-based medical diagnostic company, and is the Executive Vice President of SGH2 Energy Global, a developer and operator of biogenic waste-to-green hydrogen projects. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Noveome Biotherapeutics, a pioneering secretome therapeutic development company, and serves as Strategic Advisor and Chief Business Office of SipNose, an Israeli company focused on delivering drugs direct nose-to-brain for a variety of CNS disorders.

As CEO of Nano Terra, a Boston-based nanotechnology company, Eric led the acquisition of Surface Logix and the subsequent out-license of three Phase 2 small molecule drugs, including RezuRock, now owned and marketed by Sanofi, and RDX-002. Eric is a graduate of Harvard College and Boston College Law School.

  • LinkedIn

Donald Olds

Member of the Board

Donald Olds is a seasoned executive, entrepreneur, and director with vast operational experience in research and clinical development. He excels in raising public and private capital for diverse companies, focusing on technology and life sciences. Formerly the President and CEO of NEOMED Institute, he led the successful merger with CDRD. Donald held multiple executive positions in private and public life sciences firms. With extensive corporate governance expertise, he currently serves as the lead director and audit committee chair at Goodfood Markets (TSX: FOOD), director and HR/Governance committee chair at Acasti Pharma (NASDAQ: ACST), lead director and audit committee chair at Cannara Biotech (TSXV: LOVE), chair of Aifred Health (private), and director and audit committee chair at Agrinam Acquisition Corp (TSX: AGRI.V). MBA and M.Sc. graduate from McGill University.

  • LinkedIn

Michael Berendt, Ph.D.  

Board Chair

Dr. Berendt is a seasoned executive with extensive experience in the life sciences industry. Mike has served on multiple private and public company boards, including the Waters Corporation (1998-2001). He has worked as a life sciences consultant and investor and in various executive management positions. As a venture capitalist, he was a Managing Director with Research Corporation Technologies and AEA Investors. Dr. Berendt also worked in the Pharmaceutical Industry, holding several senior management positions, including Senior Vice President for the Pharmaceutical Division of Bayer Corporation and Group Director of Drug Discovery at Pfizer. His experience is well established from a management, scientific, business development, and financial perspective.

  • LinkedIn

Scientific Advisor/Chemistry

Enoch Kim Ph.D.

Enoch is an accomplished interdisciplinary scientist with a proven history of innovation. He holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from Harvard University, where his research focused on the fabrication and functionalization of biological interfaces. This led to the development of soft lithography, a technique now widely used in biology and chemistry. Enoch co-founded Surface Logix, serving in multiple roles, including chemistry, drug discovery, and preclinical development. He was a core team member that discovered and developed three novel chemical entities in metabolic, cardiovascular, and immunological indications. One of these, Rezurock, is now approved for treating graft versus host disease. Enoch has demonstrated success in translational research, from animal models for establishing mechanisms of action to participating in first-in-man trials. His research experience includes medicinal chemistry, assay development, preclinical pharmacology, ADME, and drug formulation and manufacturing. Enoch conceptualized and invented RDX-002, making his understanding of the molecule unparalleled. 

  • LinkedIn

Scientific Advisor/CMC

Dhanapalan Nagarathnam, Ph.D.

Dr. Dhanapalan Nagarathnam is a highly accomplished medicinal chemist and drug discovery expert with over 35 years of experience. He has held senior functional and management positions at leading pharmaceutical companies, including Pharmasset (acquired by Gilead), Bayer HealthCare, and Synaptic Pharmaceutical Corporation (currently Lundbeck). In these roles, he has led and managed drug discovery programs in various therapeutic areas, including cancer, virology, diabetes, obesity, pain, and benign prostatic hyperplasia. Dr. Nagarathnam directed the Medicinal Chemistry of several HCV drug discovery projects and recommended three clinical candidates for development, including sofosbuvir/Sovaldi. He has also developed commercial-scale processes for many active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). Dr. Nagarathnam founded DNSK International, LLC, and Medivedan Therapeutics, LLC. Dr. Nagarathnam graduated from the University of Madras, India, with Ph.D. in Organic/Medicinal Chemistry and conducted postdoctoral research at the University of California, Purdue University Cancer Center, and the University of Illinois.

  • LinkedIn

Regulatory Advisor/FDA

Susan Alpert, M.D., Ph.D.

Susan Alpert, Ph.D., M.D., is the principal of SFADC LLC (SFA Regulatory, LLC), a one-person firm focused on strategies to place medical devices and other medical products into the global market. She was a Corporate Senior Vice President for Global Regulatory at Medtronic, Inc. and VP of Regulatory Science at C.R. Bard, Inc. She previously worked at the US FDA and held various management positions in the Centers dealing with drugs, devices and radiological health, and foods. She was Director of the Office of Device Evaluation from 1993-1999. Susan is a microbiologist and pediatrician with a specialty in infectious diseases. She completed her undergraduate degree at Barnard College, Columbia University in New York City, holds a master's degree and Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from New York University, and a medical degree from the University of Miami (Florida). She is a member of several non-profit and for-profit boards. 

  • LinkedIn

Scientific Advisory Board

Scientific Advisory Board

John Krystal, M.D.

Robert L. McNeil, Jr. Professor of Translational Research and Professor of Psychiatry, Neuroscience, and of Psychology; Co-Director, Yale Center for Clinical Investigation; Chair, Psychiatry; Chief of Psychiatry, Yale-New Haven Hospital; Director, NIAAA Center for the Translational Neuroscience of Alcoholism; Director, Clinical Neuroscience Division, VA National Center for PTSD.

 

Dr. Krystal is a leading expert in the areas of alcoholism, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, and depression. His work links psychopharmacology, neuroimaging, molecular genetics, and computational neuroscience to study the neurobiology and treatment of these disorders. He is best known for leading the discovery of the rapid antidepressant effects of ketamine in depressed patients. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine. He also serves in a variety of advisory and review capacities for NIAAA, NIMH, Wellcome Trust, Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, the Broad Institute, the Karolinska Institutet, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Scientific Advisory Board

Eric Nestler, M.D., Ph.D.

Nash Family Professor of Neuroscience, Director of the Friedman Brain Institute, and Dean for Academic Affairs at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Chief Scientific Officer of the Mount Sinai Health System. 

 

Dr. Nestler studies the molecular basis of addiction and depression in animal models, focusing on the brain pathways that regulate responses to natural rewards such as food, sex, and social interaction. His research has established that drug- and stress-induced changes in genetic transcription factors and chromatin remodeling mechanisms in reward pathways mediate long-lived behavioral changes relevant to addiction and depression.

 

Dr. Nestler was previously Chair of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and the Director of the Abraham Ribicoff Research Facilities and the Division of Molecular Psychiatry at Yale.

Scientific Advisory Board

Joseph Coyle, M.D.

Eben S. Draper Professor of Psychiatry, Emeritus, McLean Hospital, Harvard University

 

Dr. Coyle's research interests include developmental neurobiology, mechanisms of neuronal vulnerability, and psychopharmacology. He has conducted research on the role of glutamatergic neurons in the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders for 30 years. He has a long commitment to training. In the mid-1980s, he was the PI of a NIMH Training Grant that had a core curriculum, which introduced Ph.D. fellows to psychiatric illnesses with patient demonstrations. While President of the Society of Neuroscience, he worked with NIMH to develop a minority Training Grant. For the last 10 years, he has served as co-PI on this grant, which was the foundation for minority mentoring and networking for the Society. He has published over 500 scientific articles and has edited seven books. His research has been cited over 35,000 times, and his H-factor is 93. He has received continuous NIH funding for his research for 30 years and is the Director of the NIMH Conte Center on the Neurobiology of Schizophrenia (2001-11). 

Scientific Advisory Board

Professor Chris J Packard

CBE PhD DSc FRCPath FRCP(Gla) FRSE

Professor of Vascular Biochemistry,  School of Cardiovascular & Metabolic Health,  University of Glasgow

Professor Packard focuses on two main aspects of atherosclerosis research - lipoprotein metabolism and it’s interaction with diets and drugs and clinical trials of lipid-lowering agents. His interests include investigations of emerging risk factors, the role of genetics in coronary heart disease, and the impact of social deprivation on health. Key contributions to the field include studying the kinetics of apolipoprotein B and evaluating the in vivo role of the LDL receptor and the interaction of the receptor with lipid-lowering drugs. As one of the principal investigators of the West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study (WOSCOPS and the Prospective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk (PROSPER), Prof Packard helped establish evidence for statin use in CHD prevention. His laboratory has helped elucidate the role of biomarkers such as CRP, high-sensitivity troponin, and lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A 2 in predicting the risk of CHD and type 2 diabetes. Prof. Packard contributed to European expert consensus Panels and major publications on the causal role of LDL in atherosclerosis and the role of triglycerides and remnant lipoproteins in CVD.

Scientific Advisory Board

 Mahmood Hussain, Ph.D.

Endowed Chair, Department of Foundations of Medicine, NYU Long Island School of Medicine; Director, Diabetes and Obesity Research Center, NYU Winthrop Hospital

 

Dr. Hussain's laboratory focuses on lipid transport and lipoprotein assembly to find new ways of treating hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis.  They have described two pathways (chylomicron (CM) and HDL) of lipid absorption and are evaluating the role of different proteins in these two pathways. The major emphasis is on the role of microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP) in lipid absorption and lipoprotein assembly.

Photomicrograph of RDX-002

Leadership Team

bottom of page