As Chief Scientific Officer, Jerry is responsible for the overall scientific focus of the company including lead compound evaluation, preclinical development, IND-enabling studies, and design of first-in-human studies for Zehna’s lead candidates.
Jerry has over 35 years of scientific and management experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. During this time, and in a series of roles including Chief Scientific Officer, Jerry has lead target identification, compound library screening (small molecules, natural products, polymer molecules), pharmacology (PK, PD, drug-drug interactions), mechanism of action studies, proof of concept animal efficacy and safety evaluations, animal toxicology, and early clinical development including design and implementation of Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical studies.
Jerry has used these skills in the discovery, development, and regulatory approval of products for nephrology [bixalomer (Kiklin; Ilypsa, Inc), patiromer (Veltassa; Relypsa, Inc)] and infectious disease [oxazolidinone (Zyvox; Pharmacia and Upjohn, currently Pfizer)] indications. In addition, Jerry guided the team at Tricida, Inc that discovered and completed pre-clinical development of veverimer for the treatment of metabolic acidosis associated with chronic kidney disease. Prior to joining Zehna, Jerry worked in government (Walter Reed Army Institute of Research), academic (The National Research Council, Tufts University School of Medicine), pharmaceutical (Upjohn, Pharmacia and Upjohn, Pfizer) and biotechnology (Microcide, Ilypsa, Relypsa and Tricida) settings. A Michigan native, Jerry has a BS in Microbiology and Biochemistry from The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor and a PhD in Immunology and Microbiology from The Wayne State University School of Medicine.