About Travecta Therapeutics

About Us

Fundamental Discovery has resulted in Our Revolutionary Platform for Delivering Drugs more Effectively into the Brain.

Travecta Therapeutics develops novel pharmaceutical technologies for the delivery of therapeutic agents to the brain. Travecta has been built upon the research of Dr. David Silver and leverages a key discovery regarding how the brain regulates the transport of molecules to develop a platform to identify, simplify and categorize small molecules for enabling their transport across the blood-brain barrier. contact us

Management Team

Our Team

Michael Shleifer, Ph.D.
Interim 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 Universit√©¬†Rene¬†Descartes Paris V and a Master Political Science from Sciences Po Paris

Laurent Benissan
Chief Financial Officer and Founder

  • Founder of Silhouette Lift, an innovative medical device company in the aesthetic field. Started the company in 2007 and developed a cutting edge technology used for minimally invasive facial rejuvenation. In 2014, Silhouette Lift was sold to Sinclair IS Pharma, a public company in the UK
  • Spent the first 15 years of his career in investment banking, working for Merrill Lynch and other international firms
  • Master in management from HEC business school in France

Dr. Mahmood Ahmed
Scientific Founder and Advisor

  • 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.

Douglas C. Hicks
Chief Business Officer

  • 20+ years of operational, business development, and corporate strategy leadership in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry
  • Experience with start-up, midsize, and large companies – iBio, Inc. (NYSE MKT: IBIO); Clearview Projects, Inc; Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Led or advised on the execution of over 50 transactions with an overall deal value exceeding $700M
  • MBA with a focus on finance and strategy from Pennsylvania State University

Hong Yuan Zhu, M.D., Ph.D.
Scientific Project Manager

  • Extensive experience in translational and clinical research in the eye field
  • MD from Harbin Medical University, joined the Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University as an Ophthalmologist
  • Doctorate in Medicine from National University of Singapore, and postdoctoral training in Singapore Eye Research Institute and National Healthcare Group Eye Institute

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, Singapore.
  • 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 University of Michigan and postdoctoral training in cardiovascular and lipid research at Columbia University. Held tenure-track faculty appointments at Columbia University and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, USA.