Advancing New Therapies for Neurological Conditions Through Enhanced Brain Targeting
Advancing New Therapies for Neurological Conditions Through Enhanced Brain Targeting

We are a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing novel therapeutics that are engineered to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) harnessing the discovery of molecular properties of the MFSD2A transporter. Our proprietary platform, which we refer to as mVECTATM, is built upon a deep understanding of the MFSD2A transporter protein and its function at the blood-brain barrier as well as in other key physio-pathological conditions discovered by Dr. David Silver, Professor at Duke-NUS Medical School and Scientific Founder of Travecta. We believe that our small molecule new chemical entities discovered through mVECTATM have significant advantages over existing therapies and allow us to address large patient populations with conditions that were previously hard to treat using existing modalities. We focus on biological pathways that have been clinically validated but where key biological targets have not been drugged or have been inadequately drugged due to the BBB challenge. To date, we have leveraged our mVECTATM platform to design and test novel molecules with high brain penetration focused in the areas of neuropathic pain, neuro-inflammation and neuro-oncology, and continue to apply our platform’s capabilities to additional therapeutic areas.

Management Team
Management Team
Management Team

Michael Shleifer, Ph.D.

Chief Executive Officer and Founder

  • Founder and Managing Partner of SPRIM with 20 year experience in the healthcare sector
  • Co-founder of SPRIM Ventures, which formed TKS1 in partnership with Tikehau Capital, a healthcare and life science focused venture fund
  • Board member in multiple startups
  • Long experience in Pharmaceuticals and Medtech
  • Doctorate from Université Rene Descartes Paris V and a Master Political Science from Sciences Po Paris

Mahmood Ahmed, Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer & Founder

  • Drug Discovery and Development expert, with 14 years of Pharma experience, the majority of which has been spent in the CNS field.
  • Established Drug Discovery capability, lead multiple drug discovery projects, developed projects to key milestones, achieving desired outcomes and delivering multiple assets for clinical development.
  • Doctorate in Synthetic Chemistry from Imperial College, joined GSK as a Medicinal Chemist, building in depth knowledge of DMPK, disease biology, and pharmacology. Member of R&D site leadership team.

Thomas Fratacci

Chief Financial Officer

  • Thomas started his career as a financial auditor in Paris and he managed the southeast Asian activities, focusing on large-scale consulting assignments for FMCG industries and retailers.
  • In 2018, he became global CFO for SPRIM and its ventures; and managed or participated in several start-up projects in France & Asia, developing strong experience in business planning and modeling.
  • He holds an MBA from EDHEC Business School in France.

Frankie Mak, Ph.D.

Head of Medicinal Chemistry

  • Over 10 years of Big Pharma (GSK/Novartis) drug discovery and development experience in CNS and oncology
  • Leader on multiple drug discovery projects, with expertise and record of contributions across synthetic organic chemistry, hit/head generation and optimization, preclinical candidate nomination and progression
  • Doctorate in Synthetic Organic Chemistry from University of Cambridge, with significant exposure to life sciences in Asia

Prof David L. Silver

Scientific Founder and Advisor

  • Professor and Deputy Director of the Signature Research Program in Cardiovascular & Metabolic Disorders at Duke-NUS Medical School, SG.
  • Research focus on molecular nutrition and role of lipids in brain and eye function and health. Discoverer of the MFSD2A-LPC pathway.
  • Doctorate in Genetics from Michigan State University and held faculty positions at Columbia University and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Albert F Hummel

Partner – SPRIM

  • Al Hummel is currently Partner at SPRIM. He is also a Director at Travecta Therapeutics. Formerly CEO of Obagi Medical Products , Inc.
  • He has over 40 years experience in pharmaceutical sector.