Key Founders & Shareholders

Key Founders & Shareholders 2017-05-02T22:25:04+00:00

Apeiron Partners, LLC


Apeiron Partners is a U.S. FINRA-registered transaction advisory boutique and NewCo founder focused exclusively on the life sciences industry. Since 2000, Apeiron has formed companies and finalized deals which today approach $1.5 billion in combined market cap and deal value. In the majority of cases, Apeiron has either been either sell-side advisor or NewCo originator. Apeiron has originated and closed transactions throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia and in several emerging markets as the principal deal/NewCo architect and “front-line” negotiator, integrating R & D, corporate, financial, organizational and corporate partnering strategy in its work.  www.apeironpartners.com

Augustine Choi, M.D.


Dr. Choi is Professor of Medicine and the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean at Weill Cornell Medicine and Provost for Medical Affairs at Cornell University.  Dr. Choi brings over 20 years of research on carbon monoxide (CO) to Proterris.  Dr. Choi’s research interest has focused on the regulation and function of cytoprotective molecules in the pathogenesis of lung and vascular tissue injury and repair. His laboratory is focused in delineating the signaling pathways by which cytoprotective molecules impart anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic and anti-proliferative effects. He has extensively examined the molecular regulation/signaling pathways and function of anti-oxidant enzymes, in particular heme oxygenase-1 and gaseous molecule carbon monoxide, in variety of in vitro and in vivo models of lung and vascular diseases.

Amongst Dr. Choi’s many accomplishments in the CO field are the following:

  • Dr. Choi led the first study in the scientific community to show that inhaled gas CO at low dose protected against tissue injury in an animal model of lung inflammation injury (AJP Lung, 1999; Nat Medicine, 2000).  These two studies were seminal papers in the field as publications prior to Dr. Choi’s papers cited above demonstrated only toxicity of CO at high environmental ambient levels.
  • Dr. Choi served as a scientific advisor to AGA-Linde (unpaid) when safety Phase I trials were conducted in Europe, assisting with the study design; in particular, the kinetics and dose of CO  delivery.  Dr. Choi served as a scientific advisor to Ikaria (unpaid) to the CO delivery device (CoVox) when the device was  formulated and  presented at Woods Hole prior to FDA approval
  • Dr. Choi and his collaborators at Brigham and Women Hospital, Massachusetts Hospital and Duke Medical Center are performing a Phase I trial of CO in sepsis-induced ARDS.
  • Dr. Choi and his collaborators at Brigham and Women Hospital,  UCSF, University of Michigan, Tulane, University of Michigan, University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Arizona conducted a Phase I/II trial of CO in IPF

David Pinsky, M.D.


David J. Pinsky, M.D. is the Ruth Professor and Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine, the Director of the University of Michigan’s Samuel and Jean Frankel Cardiovascular Center, and a Founding Scholar of the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute. He graduated with top honors from both the University of Toledo and the Ohio State University College of Medicine, then trained in internal medicine at Mount Sinai. After training in cardiology, nuclear cardiology, and vascular biology at Columbia, he joined the Columbia faculty where he served until his recruitment to the University of Michigan in 2003.

Dr. Pinsky is an inventor on over a dozen patents, is an author of over 200 scientific papers and book chapters, and leads an active NIH-funded laboratory focused on understanding how natural blood vessel defense mechanisms may be amplified to protect in conditions such as stroke, heart attack, or organ transplantation. His studies focus on biological gases and on a protective enzyme which lines blood vessels, which amplify natural defense mechanisms against unchecked inflammation and coagulation. His lab was the first to directly measure nitric oxide in a living animal, as well as to directly measure nitric oxide real-time in the beating heart. In the early 1990s, he discovered that very small amounts carbon monoxide may actually protect blood vessels following flow interruption. Pinsky’s goal is to understand, amplify and harness a blood vessel’s natural defenses in order to develop novel therapeutic strategies for human disease.

Dr. Pinsky is an elected member of honorary scientific societies including the ASCI, AAP, ACCA, and the Association of University Cardiologists. He has served on and chaired numerous national peer-review and strategy panels for the AHA, DOD, and NIH, and is a popular lecturer world-wide.

12th Man Technologies, Inc.


12th Man Technologies, Inc. (formerly the Advanced Technologies Respiratory Team of CareFusion) has unparalleled experience in designing innovative drug and medical device programs for pulmonary and critical care medicine. Alex Stenzler, President of 12th Man, was Vice President, Advanced Technologies at CareFusion and served in that capacity for twenty years as the corporations changed names and ownership. 12th Man provides external consulting and internal product development in the areas of pulmonary medicine, critical care and infectious disease-related medical device development and commercialization (Class I through Class III). The 12th Man team are holders of more than 65 patents and patent applications for devices and technologies covering a wide variety of potential uses, including inhaled gaseous drug delivery, inhaled aerosolized drug delivery, and carbon monoxide delivery.

Alfama, Inc.


Alfama was the leading company in the development of Carbon Monoxide-Releasing Molecules (CORMs) for therapy. Founded in Portugal by Werner Haas (formerly of Hoffman-La Roche), Carlos Romão (Professor at ITQB, NOVA University of Lisbon) and entrepreneurs Stan Kugell and Nuno Arantes-Oliveira, Alfama has produced hundreds of CORMs and obtained exceptional results in various animal models of chronic and acute human diseases. CORMs have the potential to expand CO-based therapy to a wide range of high-value indications, can be administered orally or intravenously, and offer a very attractive therapeutic window and safety profile. After acquiring hemoCORM Ltd of London, UK, Alfama came to control a diverse set of families of patents and patent applications on CORMs which together position the company as the undisputed leader in CORM technology. Alfama received over $15 million in funding from venture capital agencies such as Portugal Ventures, from private investors based in the U.S., the U.K., Spain and Portugal, and from major European and American grant agencies.