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Our pipeline

pacDNA strives to use our Brushield™ oligonucleotide enhancer technology to bring life-changing medicines to patients. Our technologies enable rapid candidate validation with significantly greater accumulation in target organs, enhanced potency, better safety, and improved pharmacological profile. While we are seeking partnership and out-licensing opportunities, we are also internally  developing a robust pipeline of clinical-stage assets that leverages the unique benefits of the Brushield™ platform with favorable clinical development pathways and a significant unmet clinical need.

Meet the team

Carl LeBel, PhD
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Dr. LeBel is the founder of CPL Bioconsulting, LLC., a consulting firm that assists biotech clients with their corporate and drug development strategies. He also serves as Chief Executive Officer for pacDNA, Inc., a Northeastern University spinout focused on improving the potential of oligonucleotide therapeutics. From 2018-2023 Dr. LeBel served as Chief Development Officer for Frequency Therapeutics, Inc., a development stage biotech company focused on treatments for sensorineural hearing loss. Before that he was Entrepreneur-in-Residence and Affiliate Associate Professor in the Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University, where he assisted faculty, students, and alumni with forming and guiding their startups. Prior to that Dr. LeBel was the Chief Scientific Officer at Otonomy, Inc., from 2009-2017 where he was responsible for all R&D activities focused on discovery and development of biotherapeutics to treat conditions of the ear. Before that he was President and CEO at Akesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a public metabolic disease firm. Additionally, he held numerous R&D management positions during a 14-year tenure at Amgen Inc. Prior to that he held pharmacology/toxicology positions at Alkermes, Inc. and Arthur D. Little, Inc. Dr. LeBel obtained a BS in Chemistry from the University of Detroit, a PhD in Biomedical Sciences/Toxicology from Northeastern University, and he was a NIEHS postdoctoral fellow in Community and Environmental Medicine at the University of California, Irvine.
Ke Zhang, PhD
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Prof. Zhang received his PhD in polymer chemistry with Prof. Karen Wooley at Washington University in St. Louis MO, where he focused on block polymer materials for gene delivery. Thereafter, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Chad Mirkin at Northwestern University to develop hollow spherical nucleic acids. Prof. Zhang joined Northeastern University in 2012 as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry and was promoted to Associate Professor and Full Professor in 2017 and 2022, respectively. Prof. Zhang has devoted his career to facilitating the marriage of synthetic polymers and nucleic acids. His key inventions include several forms of DNA-polymer amphiphiles, conjugates, and nanoparticles, which are being directed towards materials science and disease treatment. Prof. Zhang was recognized as a Kabiller Rising Star in Nanomedicine, Pioneering Investigator by Polymer Chemistry, Emerging Investigator by Journal of Materials Chemistry B, ACS PMSE Young Investigator, Nano Research Young Innovator, ACS PRF Doctoral New Investigator, and by an NSF CAREER award. Prof. Zhang founded pacDNA, Inc. in 2023, a Boston-based biotech company focused on developing safer and more potent oligonucleotide medicines for non-liver targets. Early accolades for the company include more than $3M federal grants, a Golden Ticket from BioMarin Pharmaceuticals, an Invented Here Award from the Boston Patent Law Association, participation in the MassBioDrive accelerator program, and finalist in the BIO Startup Stadium.

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