Clayton Duncan – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Clayton Duncan has over 20 years’ experience as a biopharmaceutical CEO, working with scientific founders and employees to direct research toward effective drug discovery and development. He received an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MA from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
As a CEO, Mr. Duncan has raised over $150 million in venture and public capital markets, including two successful IPOs. He has built operational biopharmaceutical companies from initiation, including building management teams, hiring staff, obtaining facilities and establishing and executing a business strategy. He has negotiated and closed strategic asset acquisitions, divestitures and partnerships, including four R&D collaborations with major pharmaceutical companies and three research collaborations with established biotechnology companies. In addition, he has orchestrated and negotiated profitable exits for shareholders through the sale of three biopharmaceutical companies.
Before coming to Accele Biopharma, he served as CEO for seven biopharmaceutical companies in the Research Triangle Park area, including Synereca Pharmaceuticals, Vindica Therapeutics, Ercole Biotech, Entegrion, Incara Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Sphinx Pharmaceuticals Corporation and CRX Medical.
Richard Gammans, Ph.D. – President & Chief Operating Officer
As a corporate executive, Dr. Richard Gammans has worked with all product development activities, including market evaluation, clinical research, biometrics, regulatory affairs and manufacturing. He has extensive experience in supporting investor relations and business development efforts and more than 30 years’ experience in all aspects of medication development and scientific support of marketed products. He has contributed to the development and regulatory approval of seven new molecular entities with over 50 national marketing authorizations in Western Europe and North America, including seven approved United States NDAs. He has key management experience in large, multi-national company, small company and start-up company environments.
Dr. Gammans received his MS and PhD degrees from the University of Georgia and completed an NIH postdoctoral fellowship in the University of Minnesota’s Departments of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacology. He also holds an MS from Purdue University’s Krannert Graduate School of Management. He served as adjunct associate professor at Tufts University School of Medicine from 1994-2000, was a senior biochemist for USV Pharmaceutical Corp., and was associate director of Bristol Myers Co.’s Mead Johnson Pharmaceutical Division.
Prior to joining Accele, Dr. Gammans held executive positions with MediciNova Pharmaceuticals, Inc., INCARA Pharmaceuticals, Interneuron Pharmaceuticals, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and GFI Pharmaceutical Services., Inc. Since 2009, Dr. Gammans has been engaged in several consulting, education and public-interest activities, including service as an outside reviewer of business plans for the Marine Biology and Drug Discovery Centers of Innovation, part of a $25 million economic development activity of the State of North Carolina administered by the NC Biotechnology Center (NCBC).
Jordan Tang, Ph.D. – Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Jordan Tang is the emeritus J.G. Puterbaugh Chair in Medical Research at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF), where he led the protein studies research program. Dr. Tang came to Oklahoma from Taiwan in 1955 to attend Oklahoma State University, where he earned a master’s degree. Later, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma and completed postdoctoral training at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England. In 1957, Dr. Tang joined OMRF, where he became one of the world’s leading experts on proteases, a group of proteins crucial to human health. Over the next 51 years at OMRF, his work has led to a deeper understanding of these vital proteins and to a new treatment for HIV/AIDS, hypertension, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes. Dr. Tang a nationally-recognized leader in aspartic protease research, having spent over a decade designing selective inhibitors of BACE-2’s closest homologue, BACE-1, a regulatory enzyme implicated in Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Tang’s work was the founding basis for CoMentis (partnered with Astellas) and resulted in clinical candidate compounds.
Dr. Tang has lectured and taught at 50 universities on five continents and has published more than 200 articles in the world’s leading scientific journals. His research has been recognized and honored by the Guggenheim Foundation, National Institutes, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the United Nations. He is the only Oklahoman ever to receive the Alzheimer’s Association of America’s highest research prize: the $1 million Pioneer Award.
Kelle Deal, CPA – Chief Financial Officer
Ms. Kelle Deal has over 17 years of experience as an accountant or controller in a variety of business settings. Most recently she was controller and director of accounting for CompOne Services, a national medical billing company. Before CompOne, she spent nine years as senior accountant and then as site controller for Genzyme’s Oklahoma glycobiology research facility. Prior to joining Genzyme, Ms. Jones was an accountant in professional partnerships and in manufacturing companies.
Ms. Jones holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Accounting, from Oklahoma State University and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Justin Briggs – Director, Business Development & Operations
Mr. Briggs has over a decade of experience in venture-backed biotechnology, nanotechnology, and software companies. He has worked across all aspects of the development and commercialization for companies such as Altheus Therapeutics, Crescendo Biosciences (acquired, Myriad Genetics), PolySkope Labs, Chorus Labs, Southwest Nanotechnologies, and KemmX Corp. Mr. Briggs has a degree in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Oklahoma, an M.B.A. in Finance with High Honors from Oklahoma City University, is a certified Regulatory Affairs professional (RAC-qualified), and holds multiple U.S. and international patents.