Philippe Walker, Chief Executive Officer

Philippe is one of the co-founders of NIMIUM Therapeutics, a Montreal-based life-sciences start-up focused on the development of an innovative therapeutic to prevent and reverse the adverse effects of excess caloric intake and to promote healthy aging.

In 2012, he was the co-founder and CSO of the NEOMED Institute, a public-private institution designed to translate academic discoveries into high quality drug candidates.

Until June 2012, Philippe was Vice-President and Head of the AstraZeneca drug discovery and development center in Montreal and member of AstraZeneca’s Global Neurosciences leadership team. In 2010, Philippe was head of Neuroscience Worldwide Drug Discovery). He has been on the Board of Directors of Arginetix and then Corridor Pharmaceuticals, representing the MediVenture Investment fund.

Philippe was born and studied in Switzerland where he obtained his Ph.D. in 1986. He then join the group of Ron Reeder at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle. From 1988 to 1994, he established and directed a molecular biology research group at the Division of Hypertension of the CHUV in Lausanne Switzerland.

Marc Prentki, Chief Scientific Officer

Marc Prentki, PhD, is Professor of Nutrition at the Université de Montréal and was a Tier 1 Canadian Research Chair in Diabetes & Metabolism for two terms until July 2019. He is Director of the Montreal Diabetes Research Center (MDRC) that he founded in 2004. This center comprises 58 teams across Quebec. His research concerns the regulation of insulin secretion in the normal and diabetic situation, metabolic transduction systems and the role of glucose and lipid metabolism in energy homeostasis. His recent work has identified two therapeutic targets for cardiometabolic diseases. He currently develops drugs with industry for these two targets (ABHD6 and PGP-G3PP). He has published over 170 peer-reviewed articles collectively cited more than 28,000 times (H index=88). He was PI of three successful CFI applications in the field of cardiometabolic disorders since 2004 totalizing $38M. He codirected the first genome wide association study of a complex disorder that lead to the identification of novel type 2 diabetes genes (Nature 2007; Genome QC/CDN 2006, $16M). He was awarded the young investigator prize of the Federation of European Endocrinology Societies in 1994; the 2011 Albert Renold Award from the European Association for the Study of Diabetes; the prize of excellence of CRCHUM in 2017; a seven-year "Foundation" funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research in 2015; and the prize of the founders from CMDO, QC in 2018.

Dan Chiche, Chief Medical Officer

Dan Chiche MD, MSc, has a successful 20-year career history in the top tier pharmaceutical companies (Glaxo and BMS) as an executive in Clinical Research and Medical Affairs. He is a Medical Doctor with additional training in biostatistics and business administration.

He has been involved in key clinical development of compounds in various therapeutic areas, including infectious diseases, HIV, hepatitis, influenza, hypertension, diabetes, asthma, pain, fibrosis and oncology and is fully familiarized with clinical research standards: ICH, FDA and EMA. Dan was NEOMED’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO), a novel type of organization which pioneer an approach to bring early innovations up to phase II. In 2007, Dan founded Kompas Medical Services Inc., a company providing services to Biotechs.

Murthy Madiraju, Chief Research Officer

S.R. Murthy Madiraju, is a Senior Scientist since 2005 in Montreal Diabetes Research Center, CRCHUM, working with Dr. Marc Prentki. Murthy obtained PhD Biochemistry in 1982 in the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences and Education, India, and moved to Montreal, Canada, at IRCM. During his career, Murthy delineated the mechanisms of fatty acid transport into mitochondria and the role of carnitine acyltransferases. He made many seminal observations in fatty acid metabolism and some of these are incorporated in the text books of Biochemistry. Murthy also identified the carnitine acyltransferase enzymes in microsomes, nucleus and peroxisomes and showed the importance of carnitine system in transcriptional regulation. Later, Murthy joined GeminX Pharmaceuticals, as Group Leader of Drug Discovery and led a team of scientists for discovering the first small molecule inhibitor (Obatoclax) of BCl2 proteins. Working with Marc Prentki, Murthy played a significant role in the discovery of mammalian glycerol-3-phosphate phosphatase (G3PP). Murthy published more than 65 peer-reviewed scientific papers and is a principal or co-investigator on many grants that supported the published and ongoing research

Kemal Payza, Chief Operating Officer

Kemal Payza earned his Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Therapeutics at the University of Florida in 1988. He then worked on neuropeptide receptors at NIH until 1994, when he was recruited to AstraZeneca R&D in Montreal. He established the Molecular Pharmacology Department, directed Lead Generatio, and contributed to AZ teams on Lead Optimization, Strategy, and Portfolio Management. Payza provided critical advice on project progression, managed resources, and evaluated in-licensing opportunities. In 2012, Payza became one of the founding members of NEOMED, where he evaluated and led projects, provided pharmacology oversight, portfolio modeling and management. One of Payza’s research efforts delivered a P2X3 antagonist, BLU5937 licensed to Bellus Health, now in Ph 2. Payza executed an HTS campaign that identified activators of the enzyme. In June 2020, he became Head of R&D at Neurasic Therapeutics, and Chief Operating Officer at Nimium Therapeutics.