About the founders

ApoRx founders bring two decades of experience in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. They are all seasoned managers with a proven track record in managing and leading drug discovery campaigns, R&D teams, applying drug discovery platforms and technologies, designing screening strategies, validating therapeutic targets, and delivering new molecular entities designed to address patients’ needs.

Together with Nobel laureate Prof. Aaron Ciechanover, ApoRx founders bring world leadership in science and in drug discovery efforts focusing on the ubiquitin system.

 

Avishai Levy, co-founder, CEO

Mr. Levy is an experienced manager and a business development professional specializing in establishing and managing technology companies in the areas of drug discovery, with specific vast experience in protein degradation. Between 2013 and 2019 he served as the General Manager of The Galilee Research Institute, a 300+ employees multidisciplinary applied research Institute. Mr. Levy was the CEO of Proteologics Ltd, a publicly-traded drug discovery company that focused on discovery in the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, and among its shareholders were Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (“Teva”) and Glaxo Smith Kline (“GSK”). He serves as a board member in several ventures including Immpact Bio, which develops disruptive CAR-T therapies based on an invention by the co-inventor of CAR-T, and among its shareholders are J&J, Takeda Ventures, Orbimed, and Novartis Venture Fund. Mr. Levy's academic record includes Executive LL.M from the Northwestern law school Chicago IL, an M.Sc. (Genetics), an LL.B degree from Tel Aviv University, and BSc, Agr. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Mr. Levy is a member of the Israeli bar specializing in IP and commercial law.

 

Dr. Philippe Nakache, co-founder

Dr. Nakache is a highly experienced medicinal chemist and a biotechnology professional with specific vast experience in protein degradation. Since 2014, Dr. Nakache serves as Vice President Chemistry of Metabomed, a drug discovery company focusing on cancer metabolism who among its shareholders are Pfizer, BI, and Merck Serono. Prior to that, Dr. Nakache served as Head of Chemistry of Proteologics from 2006 to 2013, where he developed novel E3 ligase small molecule modulators. Dr. Nakache brings more than 15 years of experience in drug discovery and medicinal chemistry. Over the years Dr. Nakache overviewed 10 discovery programs in the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway and worked or designed projects in collaboration with R&D teams of GSK, Teva, Sanofi, BMS, BI, Pfizer, and Merck Serono. Dr. Nakache's academic record includes an M.Sc from Universite de Mediterranee (Marseille, France), a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Bar-Ilan University (Israel). Dr. Nakache was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Hanessian Laboratory at the Universite de Montreal.

 

Dr. Omri Erez, co-founder

Dr. Erez is a highly experienced translational biologist, an expert in pathway analysis, target identification and validation, and a biotechnology professional with specific vast experience in protein degradation. Dr. Erez worked or designed projects in collaboration with R&D teams of GSK, Teva, Sanofi, BMS, BI, Pfizer, and Merck Serono. Since 2014 Dr. Erez is serving as the VP of Biology at Metabomed, a drug discovery company focusing on cancer metabolism who among its shareholders are Pfizer, BI, and Merck Serono. Dr. Erez brings more than 15 years of experience in drug discovery. In Metabomed Dr. Erez is leading the biological aspects of multidisciplinary small-molecule drug discovery and development. Prior to joining Metabomed, Dr. Erez worked at Proteologics LTD, a biotech company that was exploiting the ubiquitin system for the discovery and development of novel small molecule inhibitors. Dr. Erez served as the Head of Biology at Proteologics and was promoted to the Head of Discovery. As the Head of Discovery, Dr. Erez led a group of researchers in several drug discovery campaigns targeting various types of E3 ubiquitin ligases. These drug discovery campaigns involved the development of complex E3 ubiquitin ligases activity assays for small-molecule HTS hit discovery and mode of activity studies. Some of these campaigns were done in tight collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (Collegeville, PA) and Teva. Dr. Erez holds a Ph.D. in Biology from the Weizmann Institute of Science.

 

Dr. Orna Harel, co-founder

Dr. Harel is an accomplished executive with extensive experience in value creation for early-stage projects, including developing financing strategies and raising R&D funding. Between 2013 and 2019 she served as the acting CEO of GAVISH Bio-applications Ltd., the Technology Transfer, and commercialization arm of The Galilee Research Institute. While at the Institute, Dr. Harel co-founded and managed a technology accelerator within the institute leading to the establishment of several startup companies. She was the facilitator of several startups such as Immpact-Bio, Gentibio, and Projini. Dr. Harel served as a board member of the Israeli Technology Transfer organizations (ITTN), and was a board member of Immpact-Bio, which develops disruptive CAR-T therapies based on an invention by the co-inventor of CAR-T and among its shareholders are J&J, Takeda Ventures, Orbimed, and Novartis Venture Fund. Dr. Harel earned her Ph.D. degree in Biology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and was a postdoctoral fellow in the Cell Biology and Metabolism Branch at the NIH.