Our Business

We are building the preeminent biotechnology company around humankind's first ‘therapeutic’ targets – taste receptors – to develop therapies for the treatment of metabolic and immunologic diseases and conditions. We are exploiting an endogenous system, predominately designed as a defensive barrier to toxins and noxious substances, to produce a series of systemic- and tissue-specific biological responses which we believe can modulate immune-metabolic pathologies sufficient to return a patient to homeostasis.  We expect that our discovery platform will identify multiple indications for which taste receptor modulation, at the systemic and tissue level, creates potent complimentary and synergistic biological effects.  We believe the breadth of indications treatable through taste receptor modulation is broad and encompasses both niche patient populations as well as large heterogenic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and NASH.

Scientist
 

Our Team

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J. Michael French

Business

Michael has held numerous positions within the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry including President and CEO of Marina Biotech; Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, Sirna Therapeutics; Chief Business Officer, Entelos Inc.; and Senior Product Manager, International Strategic Marketing, Bayer, Ag.  Michael led the financing efforts for a publicly traded company as well as having sourced, negotiated, and closed of over fifty collaboration and licensing transactions. Michael is a former U.S. Army officer who served in Operation Desert Shield/Storm. Among his military decorations are the Bronze Star Medal and Defense Meritorious Service Medal.  He holds a B.S. in aerospace engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a M.S. in physiology and biophysics from Georgetown University.

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Caroline Kurtz, Ph.D.

Science

Caroline is a Scientific Advisor at Amaro Therapeutics. She is currently is Chief Development Officer at Synlogic Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing treatments for metabolic and immunologic diseases. Previously, Caroline was Vice President and GC-C platform lead at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, where she led the Linaclotide Program from IND stage through marketing authorization, resulting in approval of Linzess®.  Caroline received her Ph.D. in immunology from Harvard University and conducted post-doctoral work in the field of autoimmune neurological diseases at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City UT, in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Fujinami.

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Robert W. Busby, Ph.D.

Biology

Rob was previously Vice President of Analytical Pharmacology/DMPK/Clinical Pharmacology at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals.  At Ironwood, Rob played a critical role in bringing Linzess® to patients and was part of that drug development program from early discovery through approval and launch.  In his 15 years at Ironwood, he led the initial effort to build essential drug discovery capabilities and helped the company evolve from start-up to a successful public company. Rob has been a scientific advisor to dozens of life science companies helping them transition new therapeutics from discovery into clinical trials. He has extensive IND experience having written reports and module 2 summaries for over 30 INDs.  Rob holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Drexel University and a Ph.D. in Bioorganic Chemistry from The Johns Hopkins University under the mentorship of Craig Townsend. His postdoctoral research was in the laboratory of Professor Michael Marletta at the University of Michigan.

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Richard T. Ho, M.D., Ph.D.

Technology

Richard advises Amaro in the areas of systems biology, in silico modeling and artificial intelligence.  Richard is currently the Chief Scientific Officer at Cotinga Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  Previously, Richard was the Executive Vice President of Research and Development at Marina Biotech, Inc. and Senior Medical Director at Entelos, Inc.  Dr. Ho founded the Disease Simulation Group at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development; where he built and led a team which championed systems biology and personalized medicine approaches to understanding and treating human disease.  While at J&J, he helped develop the first FDA-approved SGLT2 inhibitor.  Richard received his undergraduate degree at Harvard University and completed his M.D./Ph.D. at the State University of New York at Buffalo.