Our Team

Sandeep Laumas, M.D. Executive Chairman

Dr. Laumas founded Bearing Circle Capital and has served as its Managing Director since August 2007. Dr. Laumas began his career at Goldman Sachs & Co. in 1996 as an equity analyst in the healthcare investment banking division working on mergers, acquisitions and corporate finance transactions before transitioning to the healthcare equity research division. After leaving Goldman Sachs in 2000, Dr. Laumas moved to the buyside as an analyst at Balyasny Asset Management from 2001 to 2003. Dr. Laumas was a Managing Director of North Sound Capital from 2003 to 2007, where he was responsible for the global healthcare investment portfolio. Dr. Laumas serves as an independent director on the board of directors of Bioxcel Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: BTAI) since August 2017. He also served on the board of directors of SRL Pvt. Ltd., one of southeast asia’s largest clinical laboratory service company from February 2011-2012 and a member of the board of director of Parkway Holdings Ltd. (Singapore) (acquired by IHH Healthcare for $3 Billion: SGX: IHH) from May to August 2010. Dr. Laumas received his A.B. in Chemistry from Cornell University in 1990, M.D. from Albany Medical College in 1995 with a research gap year at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and completed his medical internship in 1996 from the Yale University School of Medicine.

Christopher P. Prior, Ph.D. Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Prior is a recognized industry leader both as a developer of important new therapeutics and as an accomplished serial entrepreneur. Over the course of his 30-year career, he has generated more than 25 INDs and achieved four product approvals. In addition, he founded, built-up and sold two companies (Principia, BioRexis) in deal values exceeding $0.5 Billion. Chris joined Innovate in 2015 as Chief Executive Officer. Chris received a B.Sc. (honors) in chemistry from the University of London, a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Columbia University in New York City and a research fellowship at The Rockefeller Medical Institute (New York). Chris is a member of the New York Academy of Sciences and is the author of numerous publications and patents focused on the development of therapeutics.

Jay P. Madan, M.S. Founder, President and Chief Business Officer

Mr. Madan founded Innovate Biopharmaceuticals in 2013 and has spent more than two decades in life sciences/biotech as a leader in M&A;, technology transfer, cross border licensing and project development. Mr. Madan’s experience in working across multiple teams at Reliance Life Sciences, Millipore, Baxter, Dade Behring, and Goodwin led him to develop a global network of healthcare professionals. He was the VP of Business Development at Reliance Biopharmaceuticals Pvt. Ltd. part of Reliance Industries Ltd., India’s largest conglomerate. Both at Reliance and Goodwin, he was focused on the development of their contract manufacturing businesses. Mr. Madan holds a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from University of Mumbai and an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Washington State University.

June S. Almenoff, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.P. Chief Operating Officer and Chief Medical Officer

Dr. June Almenoff joined Innovate Biopharmaceuticals in 2018, bringing expertise in early and late stage product development, gastrointestinal therapeutics and business leadership.

Dr. Almenoff was previously President and Chief Medical Officer at Furiex Pharmaceuticals where during her 4-year tenure the company’s valuation increased ~10-fold, culminating in its acquisition by Actavis plc (now Allergan) for more than $1.2B in 2014. Furiex’s lead product, eluxadoline (Viberzi R), a novel gastrointestinal drug, is approved in both the US and EU. Prior to joining Furiex, Dr. Almenoff held various positions of increasing responsibility at GlaxoSmithKline PLC. During her 12 years at GSK she was a Vice-President in the Clinical Safety organization, chaired a PhRMA-FDA working group and worked in scientific licensing. Dr. Almenoff also led the development of pioneering systems for minimizing risk in drug development, which has been widely adopted by industry and regulators.

Dr. Almenoff is on the Board of Directors of RDD Pharma, a private, GI clinical stage biopharma company, serving as Executive Chair from 2015 to 2018. She serves on the Boards of Directors of Tigenix NV since 2016, Brainstorm Therapeutics since 2017, and Ohr Pharmaceutical since 2013. Dr. Almenoff also serves on the investment advisory board of the Harrington Discovery Institute. She has recently been a consultant and advisor to numerous biopharma companies in the areas of translational medicine, clinical development and commercial strategy in product development.

Dr. Almenoff received her B.A. cum laude from Smith College, graduated with AOA honors from the M.D.-Ph.D. program at the Icahn (Mt. Sinai) School of Medicine and completed post-graduate medical training at Stanford University Medical Center (Internal Medicine, Infectious Diseases). Dr. Almenoff served on the faculty of Duke University School of Medicine, is an adjunct Professor at Duke and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.

Kendyle Woodard, MBA Co-founder and Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs

Ms. Woodard co-founded Innovate Biopharmaceuticals in 2013 and has more than 15 years in business operations and marketing supporting startups, non-profits, manufacturers, and consulting companies. Ms. Woodard oversees the company’s operations and investor relations. She was the vice president of iBiotech working with clients on technology development, operations, marketing, and business development. Ms. Woodard assisted in the management and operations of several startup companies and with the commercialization of university technologies. As the Director of Marketing for the NC Biotechnology Center she positioned North Carolina as a world leader in life sciences to support the state’s economic development initiatives. Ms. Woodard earned her Bachelor of Science degree, magna cum laude, in international business and marketing from University of South Alabama and was awarded her Master of Business Administration degree, cum laude, from North Carolina State University. Ms. Woodard co-founded the Triangle chapter of Net Impact, is a past board member of the Women in Bio Triangle chapter, and currently serves as board chair of Adaptive Risk Systems, Inc.. Ms. Woodard is also a member of BIO’s Technology Transfer Committee.

Audrey Lynn Sharbaugh, RN, PhD Executive Director of Clinical Research

A senior pharmaceutical scientist and research and development executive with an extraordinary record of achievement, Audrey Lynn Sharbaugh, has made important contributions throughout her career that include shepherding breakthrough developments from the discovery stage through clinical trials to regulatory approval and commercial release. Working for leading firms such as Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where she directed clinical trials and FDA NDA submissions, securing approval for four separate programs in four years, Entera Health, Inc., Gilead Sciences (and its acquisition, Triangle Pharmaceuticals) and Glaxo-Wellcome (now, GlaxoSmithKline). Dr. Sharbaugh also has extensive experience in clinical research organization settings and government (including a stint at the National Institute of Environmental Health (NIEHS) division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)). Dr. Sharbaugh’s early career also includes training and clinical practice in nursing.

Dr. Sharbaugh’s scientific, research and development, management and administrative skills are significant; and they are complemented by an equal measure of communications, relationship management and other intangible talents. Together, this arsenal of skills has enabled her to build, motivate and guide high-performance multidisciplinary teams, as well as to win cooperation from stakeholders at all levels, in meeting challenging clinical development missions. Her track record of directing clinical programs from inception to FDA submission and approval includes four successful NDAs in one four-year period.

B. Radha Krishnan, Ph.D. Research & Development

Dr. Krishnan has more than twenty-five years of pharmaceutical industry experience in pre-clinical research, pharmaceutical development, manufacturing and drug development of peptide to small molecule drugs from innovation to IND clinical phases in the therapeutic areas of anti-infective, diabetes & endocrinology and gastroenterology. Dr. Krishnan has held several senior level positions was co-founder of Seachaid Pharmaceuticals where he served as Sr. VP of Pharmaceutical Development. While at Seachaid Dr. Krishnan oversaw formulation, analytical, and manufacturing activities and invented novel oral formulation technology for oral enablement of a 4th generation cephalosporin drug. He is an inventor of long acting next generation Echinocandin anti-fungal drug Rezafungin (CD101) for life threatening systemic fungal infections which is currently in Phase 3 clinical development at Cidara Therapeutics for once weekly IV treatment for Candidemia and invasive Candidiasis and prophylaxis for Candida PCP and Aspergillus.
Prior to Seachaid, Dr. Krishnan worked at Matrix Bioscience, Protein Delivery, and Nobex Corporation. While at Nobex Corporation, Dr. Krishnan held positions of increasing responsibility, bringing many innovations to drug research, API manufacturing and pharmaceutical development. Among his many accomplishments, he led the oral insulin and ulcerative colitis azoprodrug (APAZA) programs, designing the recombinant sequence as well as the dosage form for oral insulin (now in Phase 3 development by Biocon, Ltd.) and developing manufacturing pathway for making azoprodrug APAZA (INN-108, now in Phase 2 development at Innovate Biopharma). Dr. Krishnan received his BS degree with honors in Applied Chemistry from Kingston University (UK) and MS and PhD degrees in Chemistry from the University of Florida. Prior to his work in pharmaceuticals, he conducted post-doctoral research at the Research Triangle Institute, NC. Dr. Krishnan is an author on more than 35 scientific publications and is an inventor of 30 issued US patents.

Wendy Perrow, MBA Celiac Program

Ms. Perrow previously served as CEO of Alba Therapeutics. Under her leadership, Alba Therapeutics completed a licensing agreement with Innovate Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. on February 29, 2016. The company conducted seven clinical trials in patients with Celiac Disease, completed the largest Phase 2b clinical trial in patients with celiac disease and validated the 1st Celiac Disease Patient Reported Outcome (CeD PRO) with the lead compound larazotide acetate. Prior to joining AsclepiX, Ms. Perrow held senior executive positions with private and public pharmaceutical companies. From 2004 to 2007, she was Vice President of Marketing for Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a company focused on creating novel therapies for the unmet needs of patients with Rare and Orphan Diseases. From 1989 to 2003, Ms. Perrow was at Merck and Co., Inc. in Global markets including Europe, Asia, and Latin America and U.S. At Merck, she held positions in marketing, marketing promotion, international business research analysis, training, and sales. A skilled marketer and business leader, she has led U.S. and Global launches/ initiatives for Zocor®, Vasotec®, Varivax®, Cozaar® and Hyzaar®. Ms. Perrow began her career in a division of Johnson & Johnson. Ms. Perrow received her MBA in International finance and marketing from The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and received her bachelor’s degree from Eastern Illinois University. She is a member of the Duke Fuqua School of Business Alumni Board, Maryland Life Sciences Advisory Board, Maryland TEDCO Review Board, Healthcare Business Women’s Association, and Women in Bio.

Gary Musso, Ph.D. Manufacturing / CMC

Dr. Musso has worked for over 30 years in the biotech industry with the most recent roles yielding approved oncology drugs; VP of Development at Praecis (Plenaxis®- prostate cancer) and VP of Operations at Proteolix (Kyprolis® – a proteasome inhibitor for multiple myeloma) which was acquired by Onyx for about $850 million and Onyx was acquired by Amgen for $10 Billion. In 2005, Dr. Musso started Musso and Associates LLC and has worked with over 60 development programs for clients and supported successful M&A; activities for several companies. His scientific interests are in peptides, small molecule drugs, and sophisticated drug delivery systems. Assisting smaller organizations and research institutes with effective strategies and efficient drug development processes are the focus of his company’s efforts. Dr. Musso received his Ph.D. in 1984 from the University of Chicago.

Jennifer Richards Regulatory Affairs

Ms. Richards is providing regulatory consulting services with more than 30 years of regulatory affairs experience with drugs, biologics and devices. Jennifer was an associate director at Salix Pharmaceuticals, where she successfully managed the US approval of Fulyzaq, the first oral botanical drug product for use in HIV-associated diarrhea, and Uceris Foam, a rectally administered drug-device combination product for the treatment of ulcerative colitis. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Philosophy from Miami University.