Proterris was co-founded by Apeiron Partners, Columbia University and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center based on a globally dominant IP position in human therapeutic uses of CO to address key issues behind long transplant waiting lists and poor patient outcomes. In 2023, Proterris and Vascular Medicines combined to advance our mutual vision: building a global leader in organ preservation, repair & regeneration
Senior Scientist & Acting President
SVP Cell Therapies
Chief Medical Officer
Director of BD & Finance
Between 2011-2017, Jeff Wager was co-creator and board observer to Grupo Biotoscana SL, a Latin American specialty pharma roll-up financed by Advent International and Essex Woodlands Healthcare Ventures, focused on cancer, infectious and rare diseases, leading to its USD 1 billion 2017 IPO on sales of ~$240M and 600 staff in 10 LatAm markets. From 2006 – 2010, he formed and led Artisan Pharma, Inc. as its founding CEO, raising $53M, building the entire team and implementing a 750 patient, 17 country Phase 2b/3 study ultimately leading to Artisan’s acquisition by Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation (Japan) in 2011. In 2000, Jeff formed Apeiron Partners, a FINRA-registered (via its affiliate Commonwealth PharmaSecurities LLC) life sciences investment bank focused on corporate spin-outs, M&A, corporate venture capital and principal investments. In the process, successfully completed six spin-outs, including Targacept, Inc. (NASD: TRGT), Artisan Pharma (from Asahi Kasei), Biocritica ($120M annual revenue Xigris® franchise from Eli Lilly) and KBI BioPharma (acquired by JSR Corporation (Japan)).
Between 2003 and 2006, advised on the establishment and investment of Z-Cube s.r.l., the €60M corporate venture fund of the Zambon Group, a privately held Italian pharmaceutical company. Between 1995-2000, Jeff was with Medical Science Partners, a Harvard-founded VC fund focused on forming spin-outs from the Harvard medical system, including deCODE, ICAgen, Inspire, Oravax (subsequently Acambis), ZYCOS, Inc. and Diatide, amongst others
Dr. Ryter received his doctorate in Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Southern California with postdoctoral training at the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research. Dr. Ryter has held past academic faculty appointments at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Weill Cornell Medicine. His basic research interests throughout his career have centered on the molecular biology of the mammalian stress response, including the regulation and function of heme oxygenase enzymes, and the regulation of autophagy, inflammation and cell death. Prior to joining Proterris, Inc., he has worked with translational and clinical research teams seeking to develop inhaled carbon monoxide as a therapy for advanced lung disease, and these efforts now focus on solid organ transplantation. He has also spent much of his career in pulmonary translational medicine, including the molecular pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pulmonary fibrotic disorders. Dr. Ryter is the author of 150+ scientific publications and has served as investigator and co-investigator on several NIH funded programs including grants on metabolic deregulation in COPD, and therapeutic application of carbon monoxide in sepsis. Additionally, Dr. Ryter has performed editorial and peer-review service for numerous biomedical journals.
Dr. Lander has over 30 years of professional scientific, business and financial management experience related to biomedical research. As a trained biochemist and immunologist, Dr. Lander bridges the gap between science and business. He has had extensive experience in establishing the Sidra Medical and Research Center in Qatar as well as establishing Weill Cornell Medical College – Qatar and has deep experience with growing biotechnology / pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Lander is currently a Managing Partner of Dyo Biotechnologies, LTD where he oversees strategic consulting for biotechnology projects in southeast asia. Dr. Lander was President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regen BioPharma, Inc. a publicly traded biotechnology company. Formerly he has served as Research Chief / Administration for Sidra Medical and Research Center (Doha, Qatar) and Assistant Provost for Weill Cornell Medical College (Cornell University). He has extensive managerial and financial experience running complex organizations and establishing new ones. He founded, managed and sold The Gramercy Group, LLC, a NASDAQ market making firm in 2003 (currently Chardan Capital Management) and had multiple SEC licenses.
Kourosh Saeb-Parsy, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer. Kourosh is Professor of Transplantation at the University of Cambridge UK and a kidney, pancreas and liver transplant surgeon in the NHS, UK. He leads a research group at the Department of Surgery, University of Cambridge, focused on transplantation, regenerative medicine cancer and regenerative medicine. His program leverages unparalleled access to human tissue and comprehensive in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo experimental models and he has been the PI or Co-PI on several clinical trial. Kourosh’s research has resulted in >100 peer-reviewed publications (>25 in Nature or Science family journals) that have been cited >11,000 times. He has obtained >$40m in grant funding and has established major partnerships with big pharma, delivering millions of dollars of academic and commercial services and contracts. Kourosh has extensive commercial experience and network, including as Managing Director of Excelect Ltd, a successful biomedical consulting company he founded in 2001. He has co-founded several spin-out companies in the UK and US to commercialise the output of his research program. Kourosh holds a B.A., a Ph.D. and an M.B., B.Chir. (MD), all from the University of Cambridge in the UK. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England and has received numerous prizes and awards, including The Bulkley-Barry-Copper Professorship from the King’s Health Partners in London.
Ben is the Director of Business Development & Finance at Proterris. He has ~10 years experience building and transacting at early- and clinical stage biopharmas, including EnBiotix and Spexis AG. He additionally joined Apeiron Partners, LLC as a Senior Associate, where he assisted on corporate advisory engagements including in-licensing of international rights for a approved or late-stage clinical specialty pharma assets, and representing early-stage companies in transactions with large pharma. He has a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University, where his research focused on sensory neural coding in various animal models, and a BA in Physics from the University of Chicago.
Peter Barton Hutt is a senior counsel in the Washington, DC law firm of Covington & Burling LLP, specializing in Food and Drug Law. He began his law practice with the firm in 1960 and, except for his four years in the government, has continued at the firm ever since. From 1971 to 1975 Peter was Chief Counsel for the Food and Drug Administration. During his tenure as FDA Chief Counsel, Peter led the transformation of the agency from outdated law enforcement to modern administrative law. He promulgated regulations to implement the review of GRAS food ingredients, require nutrition labeling for half the food supply, to define “imitation” food, to establish the emergency permit controls for low acid canned food, and to modernize food standards; to implement the prescription drug requirements of the Drug Amendments of 1962 following a sweeping victory in four Supreme Court cases and to create the OTC Drug Review for nonprescription drugs; to create a process for reevaluating the safety and effectiveness of all biological products that had been licensed since 1902; to rationalize the application of the Delaney Anticancer Clause to animal drugs; to require ingredient labeling for cosmetics and premarket safety substantiation for all cosmetic ingredients; and to prepare FDA for enactment of the Medical Device Amendments of 1976. He created the requirement of preambles for all proposed and final FDA regulations, initiated the use of guidelines (later named guidance) to establish informal FDA policy, and established the use of regulatory letters (later named warning letters) as an inexpensive and efficient enforcement approach. Just before leaving FDA, he wrote the comprehensive proposed procedural regulations that govern all FDA administrative action to this day
Mr. deBethizy has 30 years of experience in research and development and financial, business and operating management in the biotechnology and consumer products industry. He is the president of White City Consulting ApS. Previously, Mr. deBethizy served as president and chief executive officer of Santaris Pharma A/S until October 2014, when the company was sold to Roche. From August 2000 to June 2012, Mr. deBethizy was co-founder and chief executive officer of Targacept, Inc., a U.S. biotechnology company listed on NASDAQ. He currently serves on the supervisory boards of Albumedix A/S, Newron Pharmaceuticals SpA, Noxxon Pharma NV and AG, Rigontec GmbH and Proterris, Inc. From May 2013 to November 2014, he served as executive chairman of Contera Pharma ApS. He previously served on the boards of Asceneuron SA, Serendex Pharmaceuticals A/S, Enbiotix Inc., Targacept Inc. and Biosource Inc. Mr. deBethizy has held adjunct appointments at Wake Forest University Babcock School of Management, Wake Forest University School of Medicine and Duke University. Mr. deBethizy holds a B.Sc. in biology from the University of Maryland, and an M.Sc. and a Ph.D. in toxicology from Utah State University.
An internationally renowned physician-scientist in the field of lung disease, Dr. Augustine M.K. Choi has focused his research on understanding how chronic and acute lung diseases develop in response to molecular, cellular and genetic triggers. His laboratory studies how oxidative stress and inflammation affect stress response genes and antioxidant enzymes in the lung, and it has contributed much to our understanding of the molecular regulation and function of heme oxygenase-1 and gaseous molecule carbon monoxide in lung and vascular disease. He has published more than 350 peer-reviewed articles and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, American Society of Clinical Investigation, and the Association of American Physicians. He is currently funded by multiple NIH R01 grants. Among his many awards and honors are the 2011 Ho-Am Prize in Medicine, which is often referred to as the Korean Nobel Prize, and the 2015 J. Burns Amberson Lecture, which recognizes a career of major lifetime contributions to pulmonary research.
Dr. Choi received a bachelor’s degree in 1980 from the University of Kentucky and an MD in 1984 from the University of Louisville. After completing his internship and residency in internal medicine at Duke University and a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins University, he began his academic career in 1990 in the division of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins. In 1998, he moved to an appointment at Yale University, and in 2000, he became chief of the division of pulmonary, allergy and critical care medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. In 2007, he was appointed the Parker B. Francis Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He served as the Sanford I. Weill Chairman and Professor of Medicine in the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Department of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and as physician-in-chief of NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, prior to his appointment as dean in January 2017.
David J. Pinsky, is the division chief of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Michigan, as well as the scientific director of the Frankel Cardiovascular Center. Prior to joining U-M in March 2003, Pinsky was director of research for the Cardiovascular Disease Training Program at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York and associate professor of Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. He served at Columbia University from 1992-2003. He earned his medical degree from Ohio State University and performed his medicine residency, as well as his research fellowship in heart failure at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. He also performed research fellowships in cardiology and vascular biology at Columbia. As a result of his groundbreaking research, Dr. Pinsky has earned a reputation as one of the country's foremost experts in understanding the relationship between blood flow and heart and brain diseases. His research efforts have earned him numerous grants and awards, including the American Heart Association Melvin Marcus Young Investigator Award in cardiovascular physiology and the AHA Established Investigator Award.
MD is a Hematologist-Oncologist, Vascular and Stem Cell Biologist, who is appointed as Arthur Belfer Professor of Genetic Medicine, Founding Director of Hartman Institute for Therapeutic Organ Regeneration, Ansary Stem Cell Institute and Division Chief of Regenerative Medicine, at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York. He has conceived of the foundational knowledge of endothelial cell organotypic development and heterogeneity, enabling translation of the pro-regenerative functions of vascular cells to clinic for organ repair and tumor targeting. He has devised genetic models to prove that endothelium form vascular niches that by supplying instructive angiocrine factors choreograph stem cell self-renewal, organ repair or aberrantly incite malignant stem cells provoking tumor growth and metastasis. He has discovered organotypic transcription factors that confer generic endothelium with their tissue-specific signatures and zonation, including cardiac, liver, kidney and lung vasculature among others.
He has engineered technologies to manufacture the first-in-man infusional endothelial cells to repair injured organs, including those injured to radiation damage. He has founded companies enabling phase III trials for infusion of endothelial cells repairing injured tissues in particular tissues exposed to irradiation. He has also engineered adaptable human endothelial cells that functionally vascularizes organoids, including intestines, marrow, liver, and lung. His work has lay the foundation for therapeutic organ repair after chemical and radiation injury as well as pre-clinical pharmaceutical drug screening to mitigate radiation-induced fibrosis, tumorigenesis and organ dysfunction. His current work will enable manufacturing of scalable mini-organs for therapeutic organ-regeneration, including innovative approaches for treatment of diabetes, heart, lung and kidney disorders.