NEW YORK, July 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Lodo Therapeutics Corp., today announced the promotions of two Lodo R&D executives and the formation of a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB).

Steve Colletti, PhD, has been promoted to Chief Scientific Officer and Brad Hover, PhD, has been promoted to Vice President, Discovery Research and Platform Technology. Both researchers have been major contributors to the development of Lodo's breakthrough P4 PlatformTM that is reinventing natural product drug discovery. They will play key roles in the ongoing evolution of the platform and in advancing the company's pipeline of innovative potential drugs.

The inaugural SAB includes a diverse group of scientists whose expertise will help guide the expansion and refinement of Lodo's DNA-first approach to drug discovery, which mines biosynthetic gene clusters to tap into the vast collections of undiscovered drug-like molecules encoded in microbial DNA. Lodo applies advanced in silico technologies including genomics, informatics and machine learning, along with synthetic biology, to identify, enrich and prioritize these structurally diverse molecules with biological relevance honed by billions of years of evolution. The P4 Platform aims to discover novel drugs addressing undruggable disease targets with unprecedented efficiency. Lodo has validated the utility of the platform in collaborations with two major global partners, and the company is now building an internal pipeline of potential drug candidates and expanding its partnering activities.

The SAB is chaired by Lodo scientific founder Sean Brady, PhD, Evnin and Tri-Institutional Professor and head of the Laboratory of Genetically Encoded Small Molecules at The Rockefeller University.                
Members include:

  • Jon Clardy, PhD,  Hsien Wu & Daisy Yen Wu Professor at Harvard Medical School and Senior Associate Member at the Broad Institute        
  • Benjamin Cravatt, PhD, Professor at the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology and the Gilula Chair of Chemical Biology in the Department of Chemistry, The Scripps Research Institute
  • Peter Karp, PhD, Technical Director, Bioinformatics Research Group, SRI International
  • Michael Pirrung, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, University of California, Riverside, and Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California, Irvine
  • Christine Schuberth-Wagner, PhD, Executive Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer, CatalYm, GmbH

"By design, our SAB includes a mix of distinguished academic scientists and industry practitioners whose insights and expertise will help inform our ambitious R&D agenda," noted Dr. Colletti. "We are fortunate to have assembled a diverse group of first-rate researchers with experience directly relevant to our reinvention of natural product drug discovery, which integrates multiple disciplines including genomics, informatics, chemistry, synthetic biology and pharmacology. We welcome our new advisers to Lodo and look forward to a productive and mutually stimulating dialogue."

Dale Pfost, PhD, Chairman and CEO of Lodo, commented, "The past six months have been an exciting time at Lodo, as our additions to management and our existing scientific talent have coalesced into a highly effective, talented and unified team. Adding a world-class SAB to help guide our efforts is another sign of the maturation of our R&D enterprise. The contributions of these individuals will be invaluable as we continue to take our platform technology and programs to the next level, and we are delighted to have them on-board."

Dr. Pfost continued, "I also am pleased to announce the expanded roles of two key Lodo R&D executives. Steve Colletti has had a major impact at Lodo leading and building our R&D organization and laying the groundwork for advancing our novel compounds towards the clinic. Brad Hover's deep knowledge of biosynthetic gene clusters and natural product drug molecules in tandem with his scientific insights and ability to take on multiple challenges will be a tremendous asset in his new position. We look forward to their continuing leadership in evolving our technology platform and advancing our new drug discovery and development programs."

Dr. Colletti will continue to serve as Senior Vice President of Research and Development at Lodo, where he has played an instrumental role in directing and expanding the company's research efforts. Dr. Colletti's 24 years of drug R&D experience at Merck Research Laboratories span small molecule, natural product, RNA therapeutic and fusion protein drugs. Most recently, he was Executive Director and Head of Therapeutic Modalities, responsible for overseeing the work of 200 scientists and advancing more than a dozen preclinical candidates across multiple therapeutic areas. He is an inventor, author and co-author of over 125 publications and patents. Dr. Colletti holds a BS degree from Loyola University Chicago, a PhD from Boston University and was an NIH Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Scripps Research.

Dr. Hover is a scientific co-founder of Lodo Therapeutics and brings 20 years of research experience to his role as technical lead on Lodo's discovery programs. He is also responsible for the scientific development of the company's platform technology. Previously, Dr. Hover was an NIH Kirschstein National Research Service Award Fellow at The Rockefeller University, working with Lodo's co-founder, Dr. Sean Brady. He began his career as a researcher at IBM and at Agave BioSystems. Dr. Hover received a BA degree from Elmira College, where he was Phi Beta Kappa, and completed his doctoral training in natural product biosynthesis at Duke University. Dr. Hover was also a clinical scholar in infectious disease at the Duke University School of Medicine.

A link to an audio webcast of the company's recent presentation at the Jefferies Virtual Healthcare Conference is available at http://wsw.com/webcast/jeff126/lodo/

About Lodo Therapeutics
Lodo's technology enabled P4 PlatformTM with ClusterTechTM is reinventing natural product drug discovery. Our DNA-first approach taps the structurally diverse, biologically relevant drug-like molecules encoded in microbial DNA. Lodo integrates breakthroughs in next-generation sequencing, artificial intelligence/machine learning and synthetic biology to identify, characterize and prioritize lead candidates in silico. Our informatics database and predictive models become more informative with each cycle of the platform. Lodo uses synthetic biology to boost production and enhance candidate molecules' pharmacologic properties, including their ability to engage challenging targets. Together, these integrated technologies increase the speed, scalability, efficiency and productivity of the discovery process by orders of magnitude. We view our ability to efficiently access, annotate and prioritize large numbers of natural product drug-like molecules in silico as a historic breakthrough. Following successful initial collaborations with two leading global partners, Lodo is developing a pipeline of oncology drugs and seeking additional partners in a range of indications. Lodo is headquartered in New York City and is supported by top tier investors, including Arch Venture Partners, Alexandria Venture Investments, Pfizer, AbbVie and Lilly. For more information, visit lodotherapeutics.com.                  

Contact:
Lodo Therapeutics                                                       
Barbara Lindheim
Strategic Communications & Investor Relations              
blindheim@lodotherapeutics.com                          
(917) 355-9234

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