David Barrett, PhD
Site Head, Nanna Therapeutics
David has spent most of his career working in Japan with Astellas and the predecessor company, Fujisawa. He is a senior-level leader and drug hunter with extensive expertise in infectious diseases and oncology, project management and has a track record of delivering quality, differentiated development candidates to the pipeline and market. In recent years, he has developed extensive management and leadership experience within Astellas with a focus on scientific excellence, effective global cross-functional interactions, leadership, responsibility, productivity, mentorship and influence. David has extensive experience working with internal and external research programs, Divisional governance, decision-making and reporting processes and interactions with domestic/overseas affiliates and partners, including CROs to help drive creation of innovative product candidates. David received his Ph.D. degree in synthetic organic chemistry from Newcastle University in the UK and carried out post-doctoral research at Stanford University in the laboratory of Professor Barry M. Trost.
Bharat Lagu, PhD
Head of Drug Discovery
Bharat brings to Mitobridge a successful track record of delivering NCEs in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Prior to joining Mitobridge, Bharat headed External Drug Discovery (EDD) at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR), where he developed effective collaborations with CROs worldwide. Through his effort, he advanced multiple research programs into the clinic in a variety of therapeutic areas. Preceding his role in EDD, Bharat was a Group Leader at NIBR in Global Discovery Chemistry, where he contributed to discovering compounds that have progressed into late stage clinical development in oncology. Previous to NIBR, Bharat was a Team Leader at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical R&D, where his group targeted inflammatory and metabolic diseases. Bharat began his industrial career at the Synaptic Pharmaceutical Corp. where he worked numerous G-protein coupled receptor targets. His work at Synaptic (in collaboration with Merck) and Johnson & Johnson also led to identification of clinical candidates. Bharat received his Ph.D. degree in chemistry from Clemson University and carried out post-doctoral research at Emory University.
Olivier van Till, MD, PhD, PharmMed
Head of Translational Medicine
Olivier van Till has worked in the pharmaceutical industry since 2009, as a medical director in Pharmacovigilance and Medical & Development at Astellas Europe in Leiden, the Netherlands; and from 2017 to 2021 at Astellas Headquarters in Tokyo Japan, where he helped set up global development capabilities. In his role of Global Medical Lead he conducted drug development projects from preclinical to approval phases in various therapeutic areas, including urology, nephrology, infectious diseases, pain, pediatrics and immunology. Before his work in the pharmaceutical industry he worked as a medical doctor in the fields of general surgery and urology. He received his medical degree and PhD (in immunology/surgery, dissertation: “Attack and Defense, the Immune Response to Secondary Peritonitis”) from the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He completed a post-doctoral program Advanced Studies in Pharmaceutical Medicine and Medicines Development at the European Center of Pharmaceutical Medicine at the university of Basel, Switzerland.
Controller, Director of Operations
Paul Perkins has over 20 years of corporate business management, finance and operations experience; and since 2006 he has held senior-level positions within the biopharmaceutical industry. Currently, he serves as Controller and Director of Operations for Astellas Pharma/Mitobridge, Inc., where he directs the Finance and Operations departments. In this role, Paul oversees the company’s Corporate Compliance and Records Retention processes, and manages select accounting and finance functions, including budgets and managerial reporting. Prior to joining Astellas/Mitobridge, Paul was Controller for Intellia Therapeutics and directed the company’s entire financial operation and managed all corporate finance and accounting functions. Previously, Paul was Senior Director of Finance for Eyegate Pharmaceuticals where he directed all company Finance, Human Resources, and Information Technology operations. Outside of the biopharmaceutical industry Paul has held senior management positions within the finance/accounting functions, including IMO Corp., Masonic Health System, Wellspace, Inc., and Deering Lumber Co. Paul holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Northeastern University.
Heather Halem, PhD
Senior Director, Translational Science
Heather Halem brings more than 18 years of pharmaceutical experience to Mitobridge with strong expertise in rare diseases, metabolic disorders, oncology, endocrinology and in preclinical pharmacology. A senior, cross-functional project team leader, she has led research programs that have taken molecules from early identification to clinical candidates. Most recently, Heather served as vice president of research at Tiburio Therapeutics, a clinical stage biotech dedicated to advancing treatments for neuroendocrine disorders. Prior to that she spent 15 years at Ipsen Bioscience, serving as director, endocrine modeling. In the role, she led research project teams from early-stage target identification and concept assessment through lead optimization and into the clinic. She also led the research group focused on developing and utilizing models, both for the elucidation of disease mechanisms and for the screening and optimization of therapeutic compounds. Heather received her post-doctoral training at Massachusetts General Hospital where she researched drug resistance mutations in HIV. She received her Ph.D. in Neuroendocrinology from Boston University and her B.A. in Biology from Macalester College.
Senior Director of Strategy and Partnering
At Mitobridge, Amit is responsible for strategically positioning the team to most effectively utilize external partnerships and internal resources. Amit has worked across the healthcare value chain with expertise in strategy & operations with emphasis on innovation, cultural transformations, and drug hunting. At Astellas, he worked with Corporate Strategy division to identify gaps and opportunities in organization innovation. He also worked with M&D Strategy & Operations’ business informatics team. Prior to joining Astellas, Amit worked in PwC’s Pharma Consulting team where he worked with Pfizer and Bristol Myers Squibb on projects involving operational improvements. Amit received PHD in organic chemistry from University of Louisville in collaboration with Eli Lilly in 2003 and subsequently completed his postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School.