Clayton I. Duncan serves as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors (also a founder). He is an experienced financial and biotech executive who has served for the past 19 years as a CEO in the biotech industry. He was founding Chairman of CRX Medical, Inc., which developed the first wound closure products manufactured by Closure Medical (Nasdaq:CLSR, acquired by Johnson & Johnson). Mr. Duncan became CEO of Sphinx Pharmaceuticals Corporation and led the company through three rounds of venture funding, an IPO, and an acquisition by Eli Lilly. Prior to its sale to Lilly, Sphinx moved compounds from early discovery through Phase 2 clinical trials in oncology and dermatology. In 1995 Mr. Duncan became CEO of Incara Pharmaceuticals Corporation, which he took public in 1996. Under Mr. Duncan’s leadership, Incara conducted Phase 2 and 3 clinical trials for compounds intended to treat gastrointestinal and cardiovascular diseases, advanced a cell therapy program from start-up through an IND filing, and completed the preclinical development of a compound currently in clinical development for ALS. During 2005 Mr. Duncan was CEO of Entegrion, a company focused on hemostasis. Beginning in 2006, Mr. Duncan was Chairman and CEO of Ercole Biotech, Inc., an RNA therapeutics company focused on directing alternative splicing to create therapeutic proteins for the treatment of a variety of diseases. Ercole was acquired by AVI Biopharma, Inc. (Nasdaq:AVII) in 2008.
Richard E. Gammans, PhD serves as Chief Operations Officer. As a corporate executive, Dr. Gammans has worked with all product development activities, including market evaluation, clinical research, biometrics, regulatory affairs and manufacturing. He has extensive experience in supporting investor relations and business development efforts and more than 30 years’ experience in all aspects of medication development and scientific support of marketed products. He has contributed to the development and regulatory approval of seven new molecular entities with over 50 national marketing authorizations in Western Europe and North America, including seven approved United States NDAs. He has key management experience in large, multi-national company, small company and start-up company environments.
Dr. Gammans received his MS and PhD degrees from the University of Georgia and completed an NIH postdoctoral fellowship in the University of Minnesota’s Departments of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacology. He also holds an MS from Purdue University’s Krannert Graduate School of Management. He served as adjunct associate professor at Tufts University School of Medicine from 1994-2000, was a senior biochemist for USV Pharmaceutical Corp., and was associate director of Bristol Myers Co.’s Mead Johnson Pharmaceutical Division.
Prior to joining Accele, Dr. Gammans held executive positions with MediciNova Pharmaceuticals, Inc., INCARA Pharmaceuticals, Interneuron Pharmaceuticals, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and GFI Pharmaceutical Services., Inc. Since 2009, Dr. Gammans has been engaged in several consulting, education and public-interest activities, including service as an outside reviewer of business plans for the Marine Biology and Drug Discovery Centers of Innovation, part of a $25 million economic development activity of the State of North Carolina administered by the NC Biotechnology Center (NCBC).
Scott F. Singleton, Ph.D. is Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Singleton is the company’s scientific founder and will maintain his role as Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Natural Products in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to his appointment to the faculty of UNC in 2003, Dr. Singleton was an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry & Cell Biology at Rice University (1996-2003). Dr. Singleton’s areas of research interest lie at the interface of chemistry and biology, and his NIH-sponsored research program endeavors to understand the molecular basis for the evolution of drug resistance in pathogenic microorganisms. His research to understand the molecular mechanisms of RecA’s functions and their roles in antibiotic resistance has been continuously funded by NIH since 1998. Since 2001, He has been the corresponding author on 19 peer-reviewed publications concerning RecA and its inhibition. Dr. Singleton is also an award-winning teacher of Organic Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Dr. Singleton holds B.A. degrees in Chemistry and Biology from Trinity University (San Antonio, TX) and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology. Following his doctoral research with Professor Peter B. Dervan at Caltech, Dr. Singleton was an NSF postdoctoral fellow with Professor Stephen J. Benkovic at the Pennsylvania State University.
Elaine Hamm, Ph.D. is Vice President of Research Operations. Dr. Hamm has 8 years of professional leadership experience in the commercialization of early stage pharmaceutical therapeutics and diagnostics with experience in technology transfer, market analysis, and commercialization of preclinical and clinical stage products. She has designed and served as the Director for several start-up accelerator programs. Dr. Hamm also has experience in equity and nonequity funding of early stage companies and, in 3 years, closed almost $8M in equity investment deals, with a focus in the pharmaceutical industry. In addition to her commercialization experience, Dr. Hamm has also worked a Senior Protein chemist in discovery and pre-clinical development of new chemical entities. Dr. Hamm received her PhD in Microbiology from the University of Oklahoma and holds several licensed US and International patents.
Justin Briggs, MBA, RAC is Vice President of Business Development and Operations. Mr. Briggs has over a decade of experience in venture-backed biotechnology, nanotechnology, and software companies. He has worked across all aspects of the development and commercialization for companies such as Altheus Therapeutics, Crescendo Biosciences (acquired, Myriad Genetics), PolySkope Labs, Chorus Labs, Southwest Nanotechnologies, and KemmX Corp. Mr. Briggs has a degree in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Oklahoma, an M.B.A. in Finance with High Honors from Oklahoma City University, is a certified Regulatory Affairs professional (RAC-qualified), and holds multiple U.S. and international patents.
Kelle Jones, CPA is Chief Financial Officer. Ms. Jones has over 17 years of experience as an accountant or controller in a variety of business settings. Most recently she was controller and director of accounting for CompOne Services, a national medical billing company. Before CompOne, she spent nine years as senior accountant and then as site controller for Genzyme’s Oklahoma glycobiology research facility. Prior to joining Genzyme, Ms. Jones was an accountant in professional partnerships and in manufacturing companies. Ms. Jones holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Accounting, from Oklahoma State University and is a Certified Public Accountant.