About The Company
Tetherex Pharmaceuticals Corporation, located in Oklahoma City, is a privately held clinical-stage development biopharmaceutical company focused on development of therapeutics for the treatment of inflammation and tumors across a broad range of severe diseases. Its lead program is built around an antibody called SelK2 directed against the cell adhesion molecule P-Selectin Glycoprotein Ligand-1 (PSGL-1). SelK2 is currently under clinical development in asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Dr. Rollins is Chairman and CEO of Tetherex Pharmaceuticals. He was previously President and CEO of Selexys Pharmaceuticals from 2008 to 2016 and was instrumental in the acquisition of Selexys by Novartis in 2016 for $665M. Dr. Rollins brings over 25 years of experience in the discovery, development and commercialization of antibody-based drugs. He was a co-founder of Alexion in 1992 and served as Head of Drug Development at Alexion Pharmaceuticals. Alexion raised over $800M in the private and public markets between 1992 and 2007 and currently has a market cap of over $30B. He was responsible for the discovery, preclinical and clinical development of eculizumab (Soliris), a humanized monoclonal antibody that was approved by the FDA and the EMEA in 2007 and currently has yearly sales of $3.5B. Dr. Rollins has extensive experience with the FDA and led the drug development team that generated the regulatory approval filings (BLA, MAA) for Soliris. In addition, Dr. Rollins has managed more that 24 clinical trials and generated and filed 11 IND's. Dr. Rollins received a Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Oklahoma in 1990, followed by postdoctoral work at Yale University. In 1992 he co-founded Alexion Pharmaceuticals. His work has led to more than 50 publications, 20 patents and $20 million in SBIR grant funding.
Dr. Rother is President and COO of Tetherex Pharmaceuticals. He is responsible for the drug development programs at Tetherex. Dr. Rother was previously Executive Vice President and COO of Selexys Pharmaceuticals from 2010 to 2016 where he was instrumental in the scientific, clinical and regulatory operations that led to the successful conduct of a Phase 2 international sickle cell disease trial and the subsequent acquisition of Selexys by Novartis. Prior to working at Selexys, Dr. Rother was Chief Scientific Officer at Alexion Pharmaceuticals where he managed the Departments of Research, Scientific Communications, Medical Information, Bioanalytical Development and Biometrics. Dr. Rother was one of the original scientists at Alexion where he played a critical role in the engineering and development of Alexion's antibody therapeutics and led discovery efforts in the identification of new indications and novel drug targets. He was instrumental in strategic decisions to initiate the paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) program, playing a major role in the bench to bedside development of Soliris (eculizumab), the first therapy approved for the treatment of PNH. Soliris was the recipient of the 2008 Prix Galien USA award for best biotechnology product. Dr. Rother received a doctorate degree in microbiology and immunology from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in conjunction with the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Immunobiology at Yale University School of Medicine. His work has led to more than 90 scientific papers and patent/patent applications in the fields of hematology, complement biology, transplantation, autoimmunity and gene therapy.
Mr. Alvarez is the principal business architect of the company and is responsible for day-to-day operations and research. Mr. Alvarez is a co-founder of Selexys Pharmaceuticals and served as COO from 2005-2008. Prior to joining Tetherex, he served as VP of Operations and Research at Selexys Pharmaceuticals from 2008 to 2016. Prior to Selexys, he was Director of the Protein-Carbohydrate Interaction Core H for the Consortium for Functional Glycomics, a large scale initiative funded by NIH to better understand the role of sugars in biology and disease. Mr. Alvarez has co-authored more than 35 scientific publications, 3 book chapters and 4 patents.
Dr. Stocker is Executive Director of Clinical Development for Tetherex. He has more than 15 years of experience in drug discovery and clinical research. Dr. Stocker was previously Executive Director of Clinical Development for Selexys Pharmaceuticals from 2012 to 2016. Prior to joining Selexys, he held positions of increasing responsibility at Icagen, Inc. a biopharmaceutical company focused on ion channel drug development, where he spent more than 6 years leading Icagen's sickle cell disease drug development program. He has expertise in translational research, specifically in the design and implementation of early phase proof-of-concept clinical research studies. Dr. Stocker has authored more than 30 clinical protocols and has more than 20 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Dr. Stocker received his doctorate degree in biophysical chemistry from the Department of Chemistry at Stanford University. Dr. Stocker continued his training as a Postdoctoral Visiting Scholar in the Physiology Department at Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo followed by a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at the Stanford School of Medicine.
Mr. Briggs serves as Senior Director of Drug Development and Program Management for Tetherex, where he leads project management activities and manages the quality and regulatory affairs surrounding SelK2. For 15 years, Mr. Briggs has managed drug development programs from preclinical through mid-stage clinical trials in the areas of inflammatory, cardiometabolic, neurologic, and infectious diseases. Previously, he served as Vice President of Business Development and Operations at Accele BioPharma as well as Venture Associate at Accele Venture Partners, an early-stage biotechnology accelerator and venture capital fund. Prior to that, he served as Director of Corporate Development and Operations for Altheus Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing a treatment for inflammatory bowel disease. Mr. Briggs holds a degree in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Oklahoma, an M.B.A. in Finance with High Honors from Oklahoma City University, and a Regulatory Affairs professional certification (RAC). He is an author or inventor on multiple U.S. and international publications and patents.
Dr. Kawar is Senior Scientist in charge of antibody development. Dr. Kawar manages the development of pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic bioanalytics as well as cell line development and analysis. Dr. Kawar served in the same role at Selexys Pharmaceuticals from 2006-2016. Dr. Kawar received his doctorate degree in Genetics from Texas A&M University and continued his postdoctoral training at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center under the guidance of Dr. Richard Cummings. Dr. Kawar has 13 scientific publications.
Mr. Stefanko is responsible for archival document management and information technology for Tetherex. He also manages the distribution of supplies to clinical trial sites. In addition, he plays a major role in interactions with the FDA including the preparation of regulatory submissions. He formerly performed the same duties for Selexys Pharmaceuticals from 2012-2016. Prior to working at Selexys, he served as CFO for DormaTarg, Inc., a small a biopharmaceutical company focused on cancer drug development from 2009-2012.
Dr. McEver serves on the Board of Directors of Tetherex. Dr. McEver is a co-founder of Selexys and previously served on the Selexys Board. Dr. McEver is a Member and Program Chair of the Cardiovascular Biology Research Program at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and Alvin Chang Chair in Cardiovascular Biology. Dr. McEver is a hematologist and a distinguished expert in the field of vascular biology. Dr. McEver discovered and characterized the adhesion molecule P-selectin and co-discovered the adhesion molecule P-Selectin Glycoprotein Ligand-1 (PSGL-1).
Dr. Cummings is a co-founder of Selexys. He is the director of the National Center for Functional Glycomics and a Professor in the Department of Surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Cummings is a Biochemist and a leader in the emerging field of Glycobiology. Drs. Cummings and McEver co-discovered and characterized PSGL-1 and defined the key carbohydrate determinants necessary for binding P-selectin.