Hossein A. Ghanbari, Ph.D. is a co-founder of Panacea Pharmaceuticals and now serves as its CEO, President, Chief Scientific Officer, and Chairman of the Board. The Company has three drug candidates for cancer (immunotherapy), one of which is currently in Phase 1 clinical trials, and another candidate for treating neural damage (treatment of chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment). Panacea has developed diagnostic tests for prostate cancer (PC Detect®), breast cancer (BC DetectSM), lung cancer (LC Detect®), and colorectal cancer (CC DetectSM). LC Detect was selected as one of 2007’s Top 10 Medical Breakthroughs by Time magazine. Panacea also has a late-stage pre-clinical cancer imaging program to complete its integrated cancer management approach.
Dr. Ghanbari began his career in the pharmaceutical industry at Abbott Laboratories in Chicago, Ill., where he developed several pharmaceuticals and the first ever commercialized diagnostic test for Alzheimer's Disease (AD). He was part of the New Drug Application (NDA) team for Leupron, the very successful prostate cancer drug, as well as for Survanta, the current drug of choice for preventing and treating respiratory distress syndrome in premature infants. He directed the Analytical sections of the Investigational New Drug (IND) application for an antibody-based antiviral drug, and was a member of Abbott's Technical Advisory Board. Dr. Ghanbari was inducted into the prestigious honorary organization, the Volwiler Society, established by Abbott to recognize the company’s most distinguished and accomplished scientists. After nearly a decade with Abbott, Dr. Ghanbari left to form Molecular Geriatrics Corporation, (a biopharma company focused on developing drugs for neurodegenerative diseases) and served as its Senior Vice-President for R&D. Subsequently, Dr. Ghanbari was instrumental in establishing Nymox Pharmaceutical Corporation (NASDAQ: NYMX), and served as Senior Vice-President for R&D and Strategic Planning as well as a Director on its board. While with Nymox, he developed the first commercially available cerebral spinal fluid- and urine-based diagnostics tests for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), and identified opportunities for complementary technologies that Nymox in-licensed, which together established the company’s international presence as a leader in AD diagnostics and therapeutics.
Prior to entering private industry, Dr. Ghanbari held professorships at Pennsylvania State University, University of Florida, and Arya-Mehr University of Technology (now Sharif University). He was also on the academic staff of The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences as an Adjunct Professor. He currently serves as a Board member of the Gastric Cancer Foundation. Dr. Ghanbari received his bachelor of sciences degree, with distinction, from the American University in Beirut, and his master’s and doctorate degrees in Biochemistry from Pennsylvania State University. He has authored over 70 peer reviewed publications, and is an inventor on nearly 100 patents and patent applications worldwide.
Steven A. Fuller, Ph.D. joined Panacea in 2007 and serves as Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Fuller has over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries working on a range of therapeutic and diagnostic products. Prior to joining Panacea, Dr. Fuller served as Vice President, Product and Process Development at Nabi Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., Rockville, MD. While at Nabi, he held positions of increasing responsibility in the development, GMP manufacture, quality control, quality assurance and clinical testing of vaccine and immune globulin products for infectious disease and drugs of addiction. At Nabi, Dr. Fuller was an integral part of a team that filed two biologics license applications for immunotherapeutic products and also filed numerous Investigation New Drug (IND) applications for vaccine products. At ADI Diagnostics, Inc., Toronto, Ontario, Dr. Fuller was Director of Operations for ADI’s diagnostics development and manufacturing of tests for cancer and infectious disease. He is author of numerous peer-reviewed publications and multiple patents. Dr. Fuller received his B.S. degree in Biology from Wheaton College and his Ph.D. in genetics from Michigan State University.
Michael S. Lebowitz, Ph.D. is the Senior Director of Research for the Company. He has been working on Panacea’s projects in cancer and neurodegenerative disease since the Company commenced laboratory operations in 2000. Dr. Lebowitz has more than 18 years of experience in biomedical research within the biotech industry having previously served as the Director of Research at 20/20 GeneSystems, Inc. and Vice President of Research at Ariadne Diagnostics, LLC. He has been directly involved in the commercial launch of six cancer diagnostic tests and the research leading up to Panacea’s recent IND approval. Dr. Lebowitz holds a Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Biochemistry, Cellular, and Molecular Biology where he subsequently completed a three-year fellowship in immunology in the Department of Pathology, Division of Immunopathology. He remains associated with JHU as an adjunct Lecturer in the Advanced Academic Program in Biotechnology within the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.
Zhi-Gang Jiang, M.D., M.Sc., Ph.D. serves as Director, Neurodegenerative Diseases previously held positions as Acting Director of China Rehabilitation Research Center where he conducted clinical research on paraplegia for two years and established the Center’s Laboratory of Cell Biology in 1988. Just prior to joining Panacea Pharmaceuticals in 2002, Dr. Jiang had carried out an additional eight years of research in the fields of oncology and neuroscience at Ohio State University as a Postdoctoral Researcher and at the National Institutes of Health as a Research Fellow. Dr. Jiang’s scientific research and leadership have led to the development of a number of very promising neuroprotective compounds for Panacea. He has authored numerous publications and is an inventor on over a dozen patents pending worldwide in the Company’s portfolio. His team’s published research was lauded as “important in the continued progress in the development of new therapies for stroke” by Nature Review Neuroscience and Nature Review Drug Discovery. His current research focuses on development of neuroprotective drugs for chemotherapy-induced cognitive disorders.
Dr. Jiang has served on the International Panel of Expert Referees for the New Zealand Neurology Foundation for the DRTC Pilot/Feasibility Grant program at Michigan State University, a member of the General Council at the University of Glasgow, as an Editor for Frontiers in Biosciences journal, a Grant Reviewer for the Alzheimer’s Association, and a Panel Reviewer for NCI SBIR/STTR in Development of Cancer Therapeutics. Dr. Jiang received his M.Sc. and M.D. degrees from Norman Bethune University of Medical Sciences (now Jilin University), Changchun, China in 1982. He was awarded his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the Institute of Medicine at the University of Glasgow, UK in 1994, and granted an IRTA Fellow by NIH, Bethesda, Maryland, in 1997.