Barry Kappel, Ph.D., MBA
President, CEO and Director
Barry Kappel is the founder, President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Sapience Therapeutics. As a biotechnology entrepreneur, executive and native New Yorker, Dr. Kappel is driven to help develop and foster the biotechnology community in New York, and Sapience is the latest example of this effort.
Prior to founding Sapience, Dr. Kappel was a senior executive of ContraFect Corporation, a company which he played an integral part in founding in 2009. As the Senior Vice President of Business Development, he was involved in all aspects of the company, including financing activities, licensing of the company's key technologies, establishing scientific collaborations with academic and corporate partners, presenting to regulatory authorities and developing a corporate strategy. Prior to ContraFect, Dr. Kappel was a Senior Consultant at Easton Associates, LLC, a boutique life science consulting firm located in Manhattan. Easton Associates has since been acquired by Navigant Consulting.
Dr. Kappel holds a B.A. in Chemistry from Emory University, a Ph.D. in Immunology and Pharmacology from the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and an MBA from the S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. Dr. Kappel was also chosen as a Howard Hughes Pre-Doctoral Fellow and has published 17 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Gene Merutka, Ph.D.
Head of CMC
Gene Merutka is the Head of Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls (CMC) at Sapience Therapeutics. Gene has over 25 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry and specializes in the development of peptide therapeutics, including CMC, preclinical, quality and regulatory CMC. Prior to his role with Sapience, Gene cofounded and served as Vice President and Head of Non-Clinical Development and CMC at Merganser Biotech, Inc., which was developing a Hepcidin mimetic to treat iron storage diseases. Previously, he served as the Head of CMC Development and Vice President at Azelon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (alternate name Zelos Therapeutics Inc.), where he focused on novel formulations and delivery routes for parathyroid hormone (PTH 1-34). He also worked at Vicuron Pharmaceuticals, where he was responsible for product development and played an important role in the submission of two approved NDA filings, and at Trimeris Inc, where he was part of the team that developed Fuzeon (Enfuvirtide).
Dr. Merutka holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from The University of Iowa and a B.S. in Chemistry from The University of Chicago. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at The Scripps Research Institute.
Jim Rotolo, Ph.D.
Head of Research
Jim Rotolo is the Head of Research at Sapience Therapeutics, where he is leading the Company's discovery and pre-clinical development efforts. Prior to Sapience, Dr. Rotolo was Director of Pharmacology at ContraFect Corporation with roles in R&D, non-clinical development and clinical operations. He was responsible for directing in vivo studies supporting progression of the Company's lead candidate from proof of concept into Phase 2 of clinical development, including PK/PD assessments to inform dose selection for Phase 1 and 2 studies. In addition, Dr. Rotolo designed and directed toxicology, immunogenicity and efficacy experiments to evaluate discovery-phase molecules and in-licensed candidates. Prior to ContraFect, Dr. Rotolo's research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center culminated in the invention of an engineered antibody-fragment-based therapeutic for medical radiation countermeasures and autoimmune indications. This antibody has been licensed for commercial development and is supported by the NIH Radiation Nuclear Countermeasures Program.
Dr. Rotolo holds a B.S. in chemistry from Emory University, a M.S. in Pharmacology and Toxicology from Long Island University, and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Immunology from the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. His work has resulted in over 20 publications and multiple patents/patent applications.