The world’s first commercial research organization for developing biotechnology for the International Space Station and beyond
What We're About
Aspera Biomedicines, Inc. (“Aspera”) is a privately-held platform company that focuses on developing RNA modulatory and immuno-oncology drug assets to treat patients with refractory malignancies that have hijacked stem cell properties including the capacity to self-renew (divide without differentiating) and become dormant, albeit in a dysregulated manner. This property of “cancer stemness” is the main target of our drug development platforms.
The first asset, Rebecsinib (17S-FD-895), is currently undergoing IND enabling studies as a selective splicing modulator that inhibits both ADAR1-mediated immune silencing and pro-survival MCL1-L expression that collectively drive therapy resistant cancer stem cell generation in a broad array of malignancies.
Other selective ADAR1 inhibitors are uniquely enabled by our purified human ADAR1 and lentiviral reporter technologies.
Because ADAR1 inhibition overcomes immune checkpoint blockade resistance and prevents self-renewal of cancer stem cells (CSCs) while MCL1 inhibition prevents CSC survival, initial clinical trials will focus on relapsed/refractory myelofibrosis (MF), myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), and secondary AML that have high levels of ADAR1 and MCL1.
The Aspera management team founded Impact Biomedicines, Inc, which translated a $22 million investment into a $7 billion milestone-driven acquisition and resurrection of a cancer stemness blocking JAK2 inhibitor, Inrebic ®, which is now FDA and EMA approved to eradicate cancer stem cells in myelofibrosis.
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Aspera Biomedicines
Dr. Catriona Jamieson is a co-founder and CEO of Aspera Biomedicines. She was a co-founder of Impact Biomedicines. Dr. Jamieson is a specialist in leukemia and myeloproliferative neoplasms. She is Deputy Director of the MooresCancer Center at UCSD, Director of the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center, and Professor of Medicine. She has a PhD in Microbiology/Immunology and an MD from the University of British Columbia. She trained in hematology, bone marrow transplantation and stem cell biology followed by being an attending hematologist at Stanford University prior to being recruited to UCSD.
Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board, Aspera Biomedicines
John Hood is the founder or co-founder of Aspera Biomedicines, Impact Biomedicines, Endeavor Biomedicines and Samumed. Currently John is Executive Chairman of Endeavor Biomedicines. Most recently he was the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Impact Biomedicines, a company that was acquired for up to $7 billion by Celgene in 2018. Prior to founding Impact, Dr. Hood was the Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Samumed. Prior to that, Dr. Hood was Director of Research and co-inventor of fedratinib at TargeGen, Inc. He is an inventor on 100+ patents and author on 50+ scientific articles. Dr. Hood obtained a Ph.D. in medical physiology and B.S. in biochemistry from Texas A&M University.
Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer, Aspera Biomedicines
Dr. Sheldon Morris is a co-founder and the CMO of Aspera Biomedicines. He is currently a Professor of Infectious Diseases and Public Health at the UCSD School of Medicine. He has an MD from the University of British Columbia and an MPH for Harvard School of Public Health. He has board certifications in Preventive Medicine and Family Medicine. His expertise is in clinical trial design, management and conduct.
Co-Founder and Chief Financial Officer, Aspera Biomedicines
Raghu Saripalli is a co-founder and the CFO of Aspera Biomedicines. He is currently the CFO of Endeavor Biomedicines. Prior to this he was co-founder of Impact Biomedicines. Before that he was the CFO of Rocket Gaming Systems and HemoLifeMedical. Previously he was an investment banker specializing in mergers & acquisitions at Wasserstein Perella& Co., Deutsche Bank and Barclays Capital. He has an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and dual MS degrees in Engineering and Computer Science from Virginia Tech.
Co-Founder, Aspera Biomedicines
Mike Burkart is a co-founder of Aspera Biomedicines. He is currently a Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry University of California, San Diego, with research expertise in natural products, medicinal chemistry, and drug discovery. Mike grew up in Texas and received a B.A. in Chemistry from Rice University. After a PhD from the Scripps Research Institute and postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School, he initiated his own research group at UCSD in 2002.
Board of Directors