Damaris B. Skouras | Founder, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer
Ms. Skouras, a co-founder of Olatec, served as President until 2013 when she became Chairman and CEO. Under her leadership, Ms. Skouras and the team she built have developed and are now executing a development strategy for Olatec’s lead drug candidate from its initial discovery to its current clinical stage in the first indication. In parallel, Ms. Skouras expanded the number of clinical programs for the lead compound, attracted the interest of investors and pharmaceutical companies in the US and Europe, generated the preclinical data to build and maintain an extensive intellectual property portfolio, scaled manufacturing and has laid the groundwork for commercialization activities while advancing clinical development towards a potential approval. Her results to date include: the completion of six clinical trials for the lead compound, dapansutrile; the synthesis and early screening of 60 OLT Analogues (potential drug candidates); the formation and maintenance of a world class drug development team/program; over 130 patents granted; data related to our research and development activities published in 10 peer-reviewed scientific publications; and raised over $75 million in private capital since inception.
Ms. Skouras has over 30 years of drug development experience in the biotechnology industry. Prior to becoming Olatec’s Chairman & CEO in 2013, she previously served as co-President & CFO. In this role she assembled the initial team of key opinion leaders in the field of inflammation (that she continues to expand upon) and conducted a strategic assessment of the drugability of the dapansutrile. Ms. Skouras began her career in finance in 1982 as a Vice President at Allen & Company Inc., where she was responsible for investments in several biotech and technology start-up companies from early inception through exit, and frequently served as a board member or advisor. In 1985, she became Founder, Chairman and CEO of Global Reach Management Company, an international advisory firm that has provided investment banking services to Olatec with a focused niche in biotechnology investing.
Ms. Skouras sits on several for-profit and not-for-profit boards of directors, including those in the field of life sciences and healthcare. Ms. Skouras received a BA from Stanford University with honors and an MBA with honors from Harvard University. Ms. Skouras speaks French and Spanish, and has working knowledge of Greek, Portuguese and German
Charles A. Dinarello, MD | Chairman of the SAB, co-Chief Scientific Officer
Charles A. Dinarello, MD serves as Chairman of Olatec's Scientific Advisory Board and Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Dinarello joined Olatec’s Drug Development Team in January 2014 and became a member of the Scientific Advisory Board in May 2014. Dr. Dinarello elucidated the mechanism of action of dapansutrile (OLT1177) as an NLRP3 inhibitor that prevents the formation of the NLRP3 inflammasome, which in turn inhibits the production of bioactive IL-1β and IL-18. Dr. Dinarello’s ongoing translational research for Olatec is on the molecular mechanism and pharmacology of dapansutrile and the OLT Analogues. Dr. Dinarello is considered one of the world’s leading experts on cytokine biology, with a focus on interleukin IL-1 and IL-18 as mediators of inflammation. Dr. Dinarello is considered one of the founding fathers of cytokines. Dr. Dinarello was the first to identify IL‑1α in 1974 and completed the purification of IL-1β in 1977. His group reported the first cDNA for IL-1β in 1984. He has published over 1000 original research articles and 250 reviews and book chapters on inflammatory cytokines, particularly on IL-1, the IL-1 family and related cytokines. He has trained over 50 investigators, many of whom are recognized experts in their fields. The Institute for Scientific Information listed Dinarello as the world’s 4th most-cited scientist during the 20 years 1983 to 2002; and from 1996 to 2011 he was listed as one of 400 of the world’s most influential biomedical researchers. In 1998, Dr. Dinarello was elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences, and in 2010, he was made a foreign member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences. Dr. Dinarello received his medical degree from Yale University, clinical training at the Massachusetts General Hospital and from 1971 to 1977, he was senior investigator at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda. Dr. Dinarello is presently Distinguished Professor at the University of Colorado’s School of Medicine, where he is Professor of Medicine and Immunology; he is also Professor of Experimental Medicine at Radboud University in the Netherlands. Dr. Dinarello has received numerous honorary degrees, awards and medals from among the most prestigious universities and research institutes around the world. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Weizmann Institute (Israel) and Ben Gurion University (Israel) and former Vice President of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and President of the International Cytokine Society. Dr. Dinarello has received honorary degrees from the University of Marseille (France), the Weizmann Institute (Israel), the University of Frankfurt (Germany), Roosevelt University (USA), Albany Medical College (USA), Radboud University (Netherlands), Trinity College (Ireland), the University of Bonn (Germany) and Aarhus University (Denmark). For his contributions to the field of cytokines and medicine, he received the Squibb Award (USA), Ernst Jung Prize in Medicine (Germany), Gold Medal of the Heilmeyer Society for Internal Medicine (Germany), Chirone Prize (Italian National Academy of Medicine), Carol Nachman Prize (Germany), Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashdid al Maktoum Award (United Arab Emirates), Beering Prize (USA), Albany Prize in Medical Research (USA), Crafoord Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (Sweden), Paul Ehrlich Prize (Germany), Bonfils-Stanton Prize (USA), the Novartis Prize in Clinical Immunology (Switzerland), the Bonazinga Award (USA) and Drexel Prize in Immunology (USA). Dr. Dinarello received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Eicosanoid Foundation for his pioneering studies on the role of lipids in cytokine-mediated inflammation. In 2017, Dr. Dinarello was awarded the Meinhard von Pflaundler Medal, Ludwig Maximillan University (Germany) and the Cerami Prize (USA). In 2020, Dr. Dinarello received the Tang Prize (Taiwan). Dr. Dinarello donates the monies from his awards and prizes to The Interleukin Foundation, a charitable foundation he established in 2009, which supports research on cytokines, particularly to young investigators.
Joseph St. Laurent | co-Chief Scientific Officer
Joseph P. St. Laurent serves as the Olatec’s co-Chief Scientific Officer. Since July 2005, Mr. Laurent has been responsible for all aspects of the chemical drug development and analysis of dapansutrile and the OLT Analogues. Mr. St. Laurent is President and Chief Scientific Officer of Chemic Laboratories Inc., which he co-founded in 1998. Prior to establishing Chemic, Mr. St. Laurent served for 10 years in various technical and management roles at several New England contract research organizations. Mr. St. Laurent served as a research associate at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center, where his research surrounded the area of childhood genetic disorders (specifically those caused by abhorrent levels of lysosomal enzymes) and implications of outside influences on the causation of such disorders. Mr. St. Laurent’s educational credentials include a BS degree in Biology-Biochemistry from Bridgewater State College (now Bridgewater State University) in 1988; advanced postgraduate organic and physical chemistry studies at Bridgewater State College from 1988-1989; advanced studies in mass spectral data interpretation in 1991 at Analytical Education Center, Atlanta, Georgia; and management development studies at Suffolk University in 1991.
Mustafa Noor, MD, FACP| Chief Medical Officer
In April 2022, Mustafa Noor, MD, FACP joined Olatec’s Drug Development Team as Chief Medical Officer. At both large and small pharma companies, Dr. Noor has contributed to numerous clinical drug development programs, leading and collaborating with teams in the development of novel therapeutics for inflammation, cardiometabolism, lipid and endocrine disorders as well as rare diseases. From 2001 to 2006, as medical director at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Dr. Noor held positions of increasing responsibility in metabolic, cardiovascular, and antiviral programs. From 2006 to 2014 at GSK and at Pfizer he served as vice president and clinical head for GSK’s Center of Excellence in External Drug Discovery and for Pfizer’s Centers for Therapeutic Innovation focusing on open innovation, translational research and collaboration with biotech and academic partners on a portfolio of early-stage programs in indications for inflammatory diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and sarcoidosis. For the last several years Dr. Noor has been a consultant CMO to emerging companies in the Boston/Cambridge area. Dr. Noor completed his medical training at the University of Chicago and fellowship training in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the University of California, San Francisco. He holds a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation from Vanderbilt University and is a board-certified Internal Medicine specialist in Endocrinology and Metabolism.