About Us


Travecta is an emerging biotech company utilizing its novel Blood-Brain Barrier Transport Platform to develop a proprietary pipeline of molecules that treat disorders of the central nervous system. The Travecta Platform leverages our proprietary knowledge of the MFSD2a Transport for the targeted delivery of therapeutic agents to the brain. Our platform and know-how allow us to identify and categorize small molecules for enabling their transport across the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Additionally, Travecta partners with pharmaceutical companies to apply our platform and assist them in overcoming the challenges associated with delivering drugs across the BBB. Travecta’s process allows partners to rapidly confirm BBB transport through feasibility studies that generate in vitro and in vivo transport data of their molecule generated with Travecta’s proprietary models.

Travecta was founded by experienced scientific leaders from Duke-NUS and received its initial seed-funding from TKS1, a healthcare and life science focused VC fund formed by the partnership between SPRIM Ventures and Tikehau Capital. We have offices in New York , NY and Singapore.


Learn More About the Science Behind Our Platform




Management 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 Université 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

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.

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.

Albert F Hummel
M.B.A – Board Member and Advisor

  • He is President for Pentech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Mr. Hummel is also on the board of Anterios, Inc., vWise, Inc. and Gohopscotch, Inc. and Managing Partner at Albrekca LLC. He has 40+ years of experience in pharmaceutical sector.
  • He began his career at Merrill Lynch & Co in 1970 as a Member of the investment banking group.

Dr. Charles Woler
Ph.D., M.D. – Board Member and Advisor

  • He has over 35 years experience in the pharmaceutical, biotech and medtech industry in Europe and the United States.
  • He has spent the last 30 years in the healthcare industry. His experience encompasses prescription drugs, OTC, diagnostics and biotech.

Get in Touch


Our office Locations

New York

545 W 25th Street, 20th FL, New York, NY 10001



79 Science Park Drive, #06-01/08, Singapore 118264