InCube Labs Adds Pharmaceutical Expertise, Creates Drug Delivery Group
Mon, 05/04/2009 - 7:51am
InCube Labs, one of America’s most successful medical innovation centers, has broadened its focus to include pharmaceuticals and cell biology, and created an interdisciplinary team focused on tissue engineering and innovative drug delivery platforms. The company has added deep pharmaceutical expertise to support this aggressive research agenda, most notably with the addition of M. Hashim, R&D expert and former head of the Pharmacology Section at GlaxoSmithKline, North Carolina. Joining Hashim to drive InCube’s development of groundbreaking drug delivery methods is clinical development expert Sanjay Patel. The tissue engineering team welcomes Emily Arnsdorf (previously at Stanford University), biophysicist Lu Wang and micro-scale manufacturing design expert Paren Shah. “Other companies have dabbled in cross-functional research, but InCube is the first company to pursue drug-device combinations with a team equally expert in drugs and devices,” said Mir Imran, founder and CEO of InCube. “Too much of today’s research is focused on trying to adapt existing technologies and therapies to tackle new clinical problems; at InCube, we are creating innovative platforms to address specific medical challenges. The best way to do this is with an interdisciplinary team; and the breadth and depth of expertise that we now have under one roof is unprecedented.” Founded by Imran in 1995, InCube has a successful track record that includes groundbreaking innovations and 14 successful medical device companies. One of America’s most prolific medical innovators and inventors, Imran has more than 200 patents and more than 20 successful companies to his name; and he is best known for the invention of the first implantable cardiac defibrillator. InCube is now applying its trademark approach of fostering groundbreaking innovation in medical devices to novel site-specific drug delivery platforms and tissue engineering. With the addition of Hashim, Patel, Wang, Arnsdorf and Shah, along with Imran’s own multi-disciplinary background, InCube is creating a true merger of device and drug expertise. The revolutionary approach overcomes chronic deficiencies that have long plagued traditional pharmaceutical and device companies. Unlike other companies that develop new technologies and then seek to apply them to a problem, InCube’s research and innovation is driven by clinical needs. InCube’s drug-device combination team is already tackling such ills as migraine, atrial fibrillation, epilepsy, anemia, diabetes, obesity, renal disease, depression, anxiety and Alzheimer’s with an array of novel drug delivery platforms and drug formulations, including intrapulmonary, transdermal, intranasal, gastrointestinal, and intramuscular. In addition to pharmaceuticals delivery, the group will focus on the delivery of biotherapeutics, including proteins, peptides and vaccines. The group is led by Hashim, a scientist and R&D expert who has been involved in the discovery and development of numerous drugs in a variety of therapeutic areas including CNS, cardiovascular, anesthesia, cancer diabetes and obesity. Most recently, he served as the head of the Pharmacology Section within the Division of Biology/Metabolic Diseases at GlaxoSmithKline, where he was responsible for both the organization and management of the section. Hashim brings extensive experience in physiology, pharmacology, and drug discovery and development to InCube. He has authored numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, patents, scientific briefs and expert reports for regulatory submissions. “After more than twenty years in the Industry, I know firsthand that big Pharma is starting to exhaust the number of blockbusters it can create using the same old methods,” said Hashim. “Drugs fail today not because they are ineffective, but because they have harmful side effects. The next wave of pharmaceutical innovation is as much about new molecules as about how they are delivered. We’re combining expertise in drug development, biology, engineering and material science to approach medical treatments in a new way that maximizes efficacy and minimizes side effects.” Hashim is joined by Sanjay Patel, a pharmaceutical industry veteran with 20 years experience. He has contributed to numerous clinical development programs of FDA-approved drugs across several therapeutic areas including anesthesia, multiple sclerosis, chronic intractable pain, Crohn’s disease, diabetes, and arthritis. Patel has led clinical development teams at several small- and medium-sized public pharmaceutical companies. InCube’s tissue engineering team is led by Arnsdorf, a scientist with a Ph.D. in bioengineering and expertise in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. She is joined by Wang, a biophysicist and a Ph.D in physiology and neurobiology, and Shah who brings 20 years of engineering experience in robotics, lasers and bio-medical device design.