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 Chief Executive Officer
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.
Chief Financial and Business Officer
Sumit Aggarwal is a proven business leader with over 20 years of business building, investment management, and top-tier management consulting experience. Before joining Macrolide, Sumit was the acting President and CFO of Progenity, where he helped raise $125million in capital, prepared the company for an IPO and transformed it into a highly profitable lab while substantially increasing R&D investments. Prior roles included Healthcare Analyst and Portfolio Manager at Millennium Partners, Hartford and Adage Capital. Prior to his operating and investing roles, Sumit was an Associate Principal at McKinsey & Company where he advised healthcare companies on corporate strategies, product launches, sales and marketing effectiveness, new business ventures, post-merger management in the US and Internationally. Sumit has an MBA with distinction from the Johnson School, Cornell University and a Bachelor of Technology with Honors in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.
Chief Scientific Officer
Tom has over 18 years of experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries in preclinical and clinical discovery and development of biologic and small molecule drugs for indications in respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, hematology, oncology, inflammation and ophthalmology. Before joining Macrolide, he served as the Chief Scientific Officer at Translate Bio (formerly RaNA Therapeutics) where he was responsible for overall scientific vision, strategic direction, and leadership of Research and Development. Prior roles included Vice President and Head of Global Nonclinical Development at Shire Pharmaceuticals, Head of Nonclinical Development and Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacokinetics at Inotek Pharmaceuticals Corp. and as a founding scientist and group leader for Nonclinical and Clinical Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics at Archemix Corp. Tom has made significant contributions to the development and global approvals of a number of marketed products, including Replagal®, Vpriv®, Elaprase®, Firazyr® and Xiidra®. Tom has authored more than 40 scientific publications, book chapters, and patents. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Cornell University and received his Ph.D. from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Vice President, Technology Development and Partnering
Yoshi Ichikawa, Ph.D., is the VP, of Technology Development and Partnering at Macrolide Pharmaceuticals. Prior to joining Macrolide, he held multiple roles a.t 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.
Vice President, Chemistry
Roger Clark, Ph.D., is the VP of Chemistry at Macrolide Pharmaceuticals. 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.
Vice President, Early Development
Joe Newman, Ph.D., is the VP, of Early Development at Macrolide Pharmaceuticals. Joe has over 17 years of experience, supporting all stages of drug discovery and development from lead optimization through preclinical and clinical development. Before joining Macrolide, Joe was Head of Biology and lead for all nonclinical functions at Tetraphase Therapeutics, where he was instrumental in supporting the NDA and MAA submissions and approval of Xerava® in both the USA and the EU; while also serving as Tetraphase’s Principal Investigator for their $4 million TP-6076 grant from CARB-X. Prior to Tetraphase, Joe spent 10 years at AstraZeneca, where he was responsible for the preclinical pharmacology, PK and PK/PD, and nonclinical IND support of numerous programs and products, including the Zoliflodacin® (ETX0914; Entasis) Phase 1 and Phase 2b programs in uncomplicated gonorrhoea, and the Phase 2 Gram-negative ETX2514 (ETX0914; Entasis) β-lactam/β-lactamase combination program in multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter infection. Joe received his undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Delaware, his Ph.D. in Molecular Microbiology from the University of Rhode Island, and completed post-doctoral fellowships at Tufts Medical School and MIT.
Executive Director of CMC
Dr. Jianmin Mao joined Macrolide in 2018, overseeing all aspects of CMC. Jianmin brings 19 years of industrial experience in small molecule drug discovery and development, having held positions at a variety of biotech/pharmaceutical companies across a broad range of therapeutic areas. Most recently, as Senior Director of CMC at Flatley Discovery Lab (FDL), he was instrumental in advancing the company’s two lead programs from preclinical stage into the clinic. Before joining FDL, he was a principal scientist at Melinta Therapeutics, where he made significant contributions to the development of the ESKAPE pathogen program and the successful approval of Baxdela (Delafloxacin). Prior to Melinta, Jianmin was focused on oncology drug development with ArQule Inc., where he contributed to multiple preclinical and clinical programs, most notably Derazantinib, Miransertib, and Tivantinib. Jianmin received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China. He is an author of more than 30 peer-reviewed publications and is an inventor on 12 issued patents.
Executive Director, Biology
Sushmita Lahiri Ph.D., 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 Ph.D. 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.
Board of Directors
President and CEO
Chairman of the Board
Gurnet Point Capital
Advent Life Sciences
Surefire Medical, Inc.
Roche Venture Fund
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