About Macrolide Pharma
Macrolide Pharmaceuticals is a preclinical-stage company developing and commercializing novel antibiotic compounds that are effective against some of today’s most dangerous bacterial threats. Our mission is to improve the lives of patients suffering from serious infections, and our novel antibiotics are first-in-class to have the ability to overcome resistance and treat those infections. To achieve our objectives, the Macrolide Pharmaceuticals team of drug development experts utilizes groundbreaking synthetic chemistry initially developed by Professor Andrew Myers at Harvard University. The company was founded in 2015.
What are macrolides?
Macrolides are a class of antibiotic compounds that are among the most widely used, most effective and safest antibiotics to reach clinical practice. The first macrolide discovered was in 1952 – a naturally-occurring molecule called erythromycin. All macrolides developed since that time are semi-synthetic derivatives of erythromycin. The most well-known macrolide is azithromycin (originally sold as Zithromax in the US) which has been among the world’s most prescribed antibiotics over the past two decades. While current macrolides are highly effective against a group of bacteria known as “Gram-positives”, they are mostly ineffective against “Gram-negatives,” which are the cause of most serious, drug-resistant infections in the US today. Our synthetic chemistry platform allows us to explore and modify the macrolide chemical structure in ways that were never possible with the older, semi-synthetic methods. We use basic chemical building blocks to construct macrolides from the ground up, and rationally design our chosen chemical attributes into our drug development candidates.
Leveraging the rich biotech ecosystem in Massachusetts
Building on pioneering research performed at the Myers chemistry lab at Harvard University, we are now advancing several lead candidates into preclinical development programs at our laboratories in Watertown, Massachusetts, USA.
What makes us different?
We use chemistry to create antibiotics that have never been seen before.
Join the Macrolide team
Make a difference, and make it soon. Our groundbreaking technology provides the opportunity for rapid development of important new drugs. Come join a highly motivated and focused team and help us move forward: Every minute counts.
President and CEO
Mahesh Karande is an experienced, patient-centric pharma and biotech executive. He has over 17 years of experience in large-scale, global, mature corporations; nimble, high-growth entrepreneurial ventures and top-tier strategy consulting. Before joining us, Mahesh served as Vice President and General Manager at Intarcia Therapeutics. Prior roles included Vice President and Oncology Head for Breast and Renal cancers at Novartis, President of Novartis for Africa and Egypt, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. Prior to Novartis, Mahesh spent time at Ikaria and Pfizer in various roles. He started his career working at the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company. Mahesh has an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He is also a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology where he completed his Masters of Science in Engineering and the University of Bombay where he completed undergraduate studies in Engineering.
Andrew Littlehale joined Macrolide Pharmaceuticals in 2016 and brings more than 15 years of financial and operations experience in emerging life science companies. Prior to joining Macrolide, Andrew led the finance, strategic planning, and corporate structuring functions at Synlogic, FORMA Therapeutics, and Aeris Therapeutics. He began his career at Genomics Collaborative (Acquired by SeraCare Life Sciences). He holds a BA in Chemistry from Wheaton College and an MBA from Suffolk University.
Yoshi Ichikawa, PhD, is the VP, Chemistry at Macrolide Pharmaceuticals. Prior to joining Macrolide, he held multiple roles at Cubist Business Development, Legal, Discovery, and Technical Operation for out-licensing and in-licensing, IP management, alliance management. Before Cubist, he was Executive Director at Optimer, leading discovery and development of two macrolide-class antibiotics, and was also an Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences at Johns Hopkins. He is an author of 100 peer-reviewed publications/book chapters and an inventor of more than 10 issued patents. He has extensive experience in macrolide chemistry, and biology/synthetic chemistry of carbohydrate/glycoproteins.
Richard Alm is the VP of Biology at Macrolide Pharmaceuticals. Before joining Macrolide, Richard spent over 19 years in the antibacterial R&D unit of AstraZeneca (formerly Astra) where he was involved in a wide variety of research projects that spanned the development pipeline from target identification and validation and translational science through to multiple submissions of IND regulatory documents on several distinct topoisomerase inhibitor scaffolds as well as support of clinical development programs (ETX-0914 and aztreonam-avibactam) and launched antibacterial medicines (ceftazidime-avibactam and ceftaroline fosamil). He also supported BD evaluation including NXL-104 (avibactam) from Novexel. Richard was trained in molecular microbiology at the University of Adelaide and completed postdoctoral fellowships at both the University of Victoria and the University of Queensland. He has co-authored over 75 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Executive Director, Biology
Sushmita Lahiri joined Macrolide Pharmaceuticals in May 2015 after 12 years at AstraZeneca R&D Boston where she worked on a broad range of antibacterial compounds including diazabicyclooctane β-lactamase inhibitors, cephalosporin and monobactam classes of PBP inhibitors and various topoisomerase inhibitor scaffolds such as NBTI and ETX-0914. During her tenure at AstraZeneca, she led several teams of multidisciplinary scientists involved in novel antibacterial target identification, hit-to-lead optimization as well as a project team responsible for nominating a novel oral β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitor combination against serious Gram-negative pathogens. In addition to her work on pre-IND projects, she also supported the clinical development of ceftazidime-avibactam (Zavicefta/AvyCaz) and ceftaroline fosamil (Zinforo/Tefloro). Prior to joining AstraZeneca, she completed her PhD at Boston University School of Medicine and her MS at the University of Nebraska. She is a co-author of more than 40 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Associate Head of Chemistry
Roger Clark has served as Associate Head of Chemistry since September 2015. Dr. Clark has over 17 years of R&D experience spanning all phases of the discovery process, including combinatorial chemistry for hit generation, hit-to-lead, and lead optimization programs. From 2007 to 2015, Dr. Clark worked for Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals, most recently as Senior Director of Medicinal Chemistry. In this role, he contributed to the discovery and development of four clinical compounds, including the company’s lead compound, Eravacycline, for the treatment of complicated antibacterial infections. Prior to Tetraphase, Roger worked as a medicinal chemist at Critical Therapeutics in the area of inflammation and for 5 years at Bayer Healthcare in oncology and metabolic disorders therapeutic areas. Dr. Clark received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Michigan.
Board of Directors
President and CEO
Chairman of the Board
Advent Life Sciences
Roche Venture Fund
Gurnet Point Capital
Surefire Medical, Inc.
Novartis Venture Fund
Board of Scientific Advisors — Discovery
Andrew Myers, Ph.D.
Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University
Don Anderson, M.D.
Michigan State University
Formerly: Baylor College of Medicine, Upjohn, Pharmacia, Aventis, Advancis, ProNAi
Thomas Dougherty, Ph.D.
Harvard Medical School
Formerly: BMS, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, The Rockefeller University
David Nicolau, Pharm.D., FCCP, FIDSA
Hartford Hospital, UConn School of Medicine
Mark Noe, Ph.D.
Gary Tarpley, Ph.D.
Formerly: Upjohn, Pharmacia
Board of Scientific Advisors — Development
Don Anderson, M.D.
Formerly: Upjohn, Pharmacia, Aventis, Cempra
David Hooper, M.D.
Harvard Medical School, MGH
Louis Rice, M.D.
Alpert School of Medicine, Brown University
John Rex, M.D.
F2G, Advent Life Sciences