IR2Dx’s management team combines leadership in diagnostic sales, marketing, product launch and development experience, and as well as general management for early stage companies.
Robert Maurer is Chairman and CEO, and Founder. Mr. Maurer began his career with 17 years at Abbott Diagnostics, initially in sales in New York City. He subsequently spent five years based in Hong Kong setting up the diagnostics business in eleven countries, covering all of East and South Asia, excluding Japan. He later held management positions at Abbott Diagnostics in charge of worldwide cancer test marketing, as a venture manager for neurological and psychiatric diagnostic tests, and in strategic planning. Robert was the business Founder and COO of an Alzheimer’s biopharmaceutical company, which in the span of four years progressed from foundation to a partnership with Upjohn. Mr. Maurer has held Business Development positions (VP/CBO) in several biopharmaceutical and diagnostic companies, including Ciphergen Biosystems. As VP Business Development at Ciphergen, Mr. Maurer created and managed pharmaceutical services and diagnostics businesses. He built a research services project business producing custom multi-marker diagnostic analyses for major pharmaceutical companies, and performing custom marker discovery projects for a variety of commercial, government, and academic clients. Additionally, he ran the business side of the ovarian cancer diagnostic program, from initiation of the discovery project with Johns Hopkins through completion of a multi-site, 500+ patient proof of principle clinical study. In the course of his career, Mr. Maurer has been responsible for the launch of ten novel diagnostic assays, as well as the development of three other novel tests. He has had sales, sales management, and marketing responsibility for the launch of numerous commercial kits. He has extensive out-licensing experience, and has consulted on strategic and marketing matters for fourteen clients.
Lesli Fellman is Chief of Strategy and Finance, and Founder. Ms. Fellman has over 25 years of experience in finance in various business sectors. Her career began as a tax consultant at Deloitte & Touche, an international accounting firm. She is a CPA (inactive). At the investment banking firm Lehman Brothers, Ms. Fellman worked in corporate finance on initial public offerings, public and private underwritings and merger and acquisition transactions. Many of her clients were in the healthcare, high technology and retailing sectors. She was a Partner at ClearCreek Partners, a boutique financial consulting group with a focus on early stage high technology companies. Ms. Fellman has over 20 years in the real estate industry with expertise in real estate development, management, pension fund advisory, consulting, land acquisition and commercial brokerage. Early in her career, as Vice President of Acquisitions at Sentinel Real Estate Corporation, one of the leading multifamily pension fund advisory firms, she acquired and managed multifamily and corporate properties throughout the U.S. At Colliers International, one of the largest commercial real estate brokerage firms, Ms. Fellman, along with her general brokerage activities, created a unique real estate practice selling over 420 acres of land to large tract homebuilders to meet environmental mitigation requirements for their development projects, and Save Mount Diablo, a non-profit for land conservation. Developer clients included, among others, Pulte Homes and Centex Homes. She also worked on a variety of mixed-use real estate transactions in the Bay Area on behalf of developers.
Ms. Fellman earned an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She holds a Bachelor of General Studies, with a concentration in Accounting and Art History from the University of Michigan, and a Masters in Business Taxation from the University of Southern California.
Robert Aubrey is Managing Director of IR2Dx Canada and Vice President, Business Development. Mr. Aubrey joined IR2Dx in July 2010, when he incorporated our research affiliate in Canada with headquarters in Edmonton, Alberta. He has extensive experience in medical products, biotechnology and diagnostics, particularly in oncology. He worked at Abbott Laboratories for over 12 years, and demonstrated success in the Cancer Business Unit, where his responsibility included worldwide marketing and support for CEA testing. He spent over 16 years at Biomira, where he drove the first pharmaceutical-like prospective randomized trial for a diagnostic. The trial demonstrated that Biomira’s breast cancer marker was the first cancer antigen providing a minimum of 10 months advance warning of recurrent disease in previously treated stage II/III women in remission following curative adjuvant treatment. Mr. Aubrey led the licensing of this test to several fully automated diagnostic companies, and it became the market leading antigen in the US following its PMA approval by the FDA in 1996. Mr. Aubrey sold this business to Centocor in 1998. As Vice President of Business Development, he has led negotiations with Merck KGaA, licensing two late stage cancer vaccines to the German partner for $33 Million in up-front license and equity fees, to a total value in excess of $160 million, not counting sales milestones and a 50/50 co-promotion arrangement in the U.S. At the time (2001), this was the largest worldwide alliance in cancer vaccines. Additionally, Mr. Aubrey has negotiated numerous other license agreements for Biomira, now Oncothyreon. He has broad experience in selling, managing a sales force, international diagnostic marketing, and introducing novel cancer diagnostics to the market.
Brenda Christian is Director of Product and Project Management. Ms. Christian has over 15 years of experience in the Biotech industry, from research & development to late phase (Phase III) clinical trials, with a Project Management Profession (PMP®) accreditation since 2005. As Director of Project Management at Oncothyreon (formerly Biomira Inc), Ms. Christian has worked with established biotech companies and managed project teams comprised of midsize biotech and large pharmaceutical team members across several geographic locations. As Project Leader for the cancer vaccine L-BLP25, she was responsible for development of the vaccine up to the point of Merck acquiring the vaccine at Phase III stage of clinical development. She has the expertise to lead project teams with team members in several cross-functional portfolios, coordinating key activities required to develop and maintain project plans and schedules in all phases of clinical development of biotech products. Additionally, Ms. Christian has the experience to guide the execution of project plans to align with corporate strategy. She has significant experience in identifying risk factors in the development of products, working with the project team to develop mitigation strategies to address these risks, proactively define problems, develop sound creative solutions with a project team, and implement solutions with a project team to meet aggressive timelines. She has developed Project Management Offices in organizations for the purpose of standardizing methodology for managing all corporate projects.
Barry Ginsberg, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Barry Ginsberg is our Medical Director. Dr. Ginsberg is the Chief Executive Officer of Diabetes Technology Consultants and has over 30 years of experience in the diabetes field. He currently serves as Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Boards at SFC Fluidics and Facet Technologies, and consults with a number of companies. Prior to his time at Diabetes Technology Consultants, Dr. Ginsberg served first as the Corporate Medical Director for World Wide Diabetes Care, and then as Vice President of Worldwide Medical Affairs in the Diabetes HealthCare Division at Becton Dickinson during his 17 year tenure there. Prior, he was Principal Investigator of the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial and a Professor of Internal Medicine and Biochemistry at the University of Iowa. He also held positions as Acting Director of the Diabetes-Endocrinology Research Center, and was on the Graduate Council on Nutrition Education. He began his research in diabetes as a Fellow at the NIH in 1974, followed by clinical practice with research in the course of his 13 years at the University of Iowa. Dr. Ginsberg was a Clinical Professor of Medicine at Robert Wood Johnson College of Medicine for 14 years. He presently sits on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, and is a Technical Advisor for the JDRF Artificial Pancreas Project. He has served on numerous other medical, editorial, and corporate boards. Dr. Ginsberg is well published in numerous medical journals, with almost 200 publications.
Dr. Ginsberg earned a B.A. in Chemistry, Magna Cum Laude, at Harpur College SUNY Binghamton. He also earned both an M.D. and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY. He was a resident in Internal Medicine at Harvard University at Beth Israel Hospital and was a fellow in Diabetes and Endocrinology at the Diabetes Branch of National Institutes of Health.
Harry Rittenhouse, Ph.D.
Harry Rittenhouse, PhD, is Director of Assay Development, and joined us in 2012. He started his corporate career as a research scientist at Abbott Diagnostics, and focused his 11 years there in cancer research and immunoassay development. He then became head of In Vitro Diagnostics Cancer Research for Specialty Laboratories in California, leading scientists bringing in new specialty clinical tests and developing strategy for new test and licensing opportunities. Dr. Rittenhouse subsequently worked at Hybritech for six years as the head of In Vitro Diagnostics Cancer Research, spearheading the collaboration between Hybritech and the SRL reference lab in Japan. Together he and SRL developed the PSA testing algorithm in Japan and the marketing of SRL for PSA and Free PSA. Following the acquisition of Hybritech by Beckman Coulter, Dr. Rittenhouse worked as Senior Staff Scientist, Cancer Research. During his nearly seven year tenure, he led his research team to identify for the first time components of free PSA for more specific detection of aggressive prostate cancer and a molecular form of free PSA, BPH PSA, which has the potential to aid in the management of clinical BPH. He was an inventor for several issued patents. Dr. Rittenhouse then joined Gen-Probe and became Senior Director, Cancer Program, developing their strategy for oncology, and focusing on PCA3 and other prostate cancer management tests. During his seven years there, he led his research team for molecular diagnostic measurement of cancer genes, to detect cancer cells directly in biological fluids. They eventually received FDA approval for the leading novel molecular urine test for prostate cancer, utilizing the over-expression of the PCA3 gene in prostate cancer. Dr. Rittenhouse is a worldwide authority on prostate cancer testing and has written numerous publications.
Herbert Fritsche, Jr., Ph.D.
Dr. Herbert Fritsche, Advisor, is one of the world’s leading experts on tumor biomarkers. He has recently worked extensively on laboratory test result reporting and interpretation, including pattern recognition, algorithms, and related software development, connected with personalized medicine in oncology. Dr. Fritsche served as Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Chief of the Clinical Chemistry Section at The University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas until 2010. During his 41 years at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Dr. Fritsche focused his research activities on the development and validation of cancer diagnostics. He has been involved with the commercialization of every serum cancer biomarker product in use in the United States, and many of the new tissue based molecular markers. Dr. Fritsche has served as President of the Clinical Ligand Assay Society (CLAS) and is a Fellow of the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry. He has served on the Expert Panel for Tumor Marker Practice Guidelines for the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the Laboratory Practice Guidelines Committee for the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry, as a consultant/advisor to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). He has also consulted with many major international diagnostic companies and biotech start-up companies. Dr. Fritsche has published over 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers, invited articles and book chapters, holds three patents, and serves on the Editorial Board of six international scientific journals.
Dr. Fritsche holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Texas A&M University, and a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Houston.