Stephen C. Benoit
Chief Executive Officer
Stephen Benoit is a results-driven serial entrepreneur known for turning innovative ideas into business ventures with strong profit potential. He has created and led businesses in the life sciences, packaged goods, education services, and financial services industries. At MSDC, Mr. Benoit is committed to maximizing shareholder value through the efficient use of equity capital, monetizing and maximizing assets through strategic partnerships, mitigating and reducing risks, and inculcating accountability, teamwork, performance, and leadership at all levels of the organization.
Before joining MSDC, Mr. Benoit was founding president and COO of the Global Food Protection Institute, where he secured funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to establish and build this global collaborative network influencing the adoption of food protection policies and practices that lead to improved public health. Before that, he raised venture funding for, and served as president and CEO of NanoMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company developing nanoparticle-based drugs to treat cancer and other serious diseases. Mr. Benoit’s previous experience includes serving as a corporate officer and member of the USA Executive Management Committee of Kellogg Company where he ran a $250 million division following the acquisition and integration of Worthington Foods and Kashi Company; VP of marketing and sales for AMBI, Inc., an antimicrobial peptide manufacturer; and VP of marketing for Calgene Fresh, Inc., a subsidiary of a leading biotechnology company that developed the world’s first genetically modified whole food. Mr. Benoit began his career at Bank of America.
Mr. Benoit is a Visiting Executive Lecturer at the Darden School of Business, University of Virginia where he teaches a case on post-merger integration. He received a BBA and an MBA in finance from Loyola Marymount University and is a member of Alpha Sigma Nu, the honor society of Jesuit institutions of higher education.
Jerry Colca, PhD
President and Chief Scientific Officer, Co-Founder
Jerry Colca is a widely recognized expert in the pathophysiology of insulin resistance and the pharmacological mechanisms of action of insulin sensitizing drugs. He has dedicated his career to studying the endocrine control of metabolism as it relates to diabetes and has been focused on insulin sensitizers from the early days of their discovery, especially on the safety and pharmacology of pioglitazone. His long-held commitment to treating and preventing diabetes underpins the mission of MSDC, which he co-founded in 2006. This vision forms the basis for the company’s research and development into compounds that may treat the root causes of age-related metabolic diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Under his leadership, MSDC is advancing its discovery of a novel mitochondrial protein complex that is believed to be the mechanism through which insulin sensitizing drugs achieve effective glucose control.
In 1984, Dr. Colca joined The Upjohn Company to study the mechanism of action of the thiazolidinediones and served as project leader for the selection and early development of pioglitazone hydrochloride (Actos®), one of the most successful insulin sensitizers ever developed for the treatment of diabetes. Following The Upjohn Company’s decision to exit the diabetes field in 1993, Dr. Colca continued his metabolic disease research with the company through its mergers with Pharmacia, Monsanto-Searle, and Pfizer, building a new diabetes drug discovery capability in Sweden for Pharmacia, and developing a new target discovery effort in St. Louis for Pfizer.
Dr. Colca has published widely on the mechanism of action of insulin sensitizers, and is the author of more than 80 publications, chapters and presentations. He is a section editor for Expert Opinion in Investigational Drugs and is a member of numerous organizations including American Diabetes Association, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and The New York Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Colca received a BS in biology and an MS and PhD in physiology and biochemistry from the University of Houston, where his early studies focused on the regulation of the secretion of pancreatic hormones. His post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Pathology at Washington University, School of Medicine in St. Louis concentrated on the biochemistry of isolated pancreatic islets and the study of stimulus-secretion coupling in the control of metabolism.
Rolf Kletzien, PhD
Senior Vice President of Research, Co-Founder
Dr. Rolf Kletzien is internationally known for his scientific and clinical contributions to the understanding of the molecular and cellular basis of human therapeutics. He holds numerous patents and is the author of more than 70 publications focused mainly on endocrine control of intermediary metabolism and cell growth, including the seminal 1996 study published in Biochemical Pharmacology that first showed the effect of thiazolidinediones on brown adipose tissue differentiation. He co-founded MSDC in 2006 and helped create a new pharmaceutical business model based on replacing the services and infrastructure of large pharmaceutical companies with a capital-efficient yet robust combination of internal and external world-class drug discovery and development scientists.
Dr. Kletzien entered the pharmaceutical industry in 1989 with The Upjohn Company and played important roles in the discovery and development of therapeutics in diabetes, infectious diseases, and cancer. He held numerous leadership positions there, as well as with Pharmacia & Upjohn, Pharmacia, and Pfizer, including executive management posts overseeing domestic and European scientists in cancer research, cellular & molecular biology, protein sciences, genomics, and biotechnology. Until 2005 he served as vice president of genomics and biotechnology for Pfizer. He is currently an adjunct professor of biology at Western Michigan University.
In 1983, Dr. Kletzien was named to the scientific advisory board for the US Air Force, where he was awarded the “Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service” in 1986. He has served on the boards of the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health Endocrinology and Medical Biochemistry Study Sections, and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and is a member of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Kletzien was named a research fellow in pharmacology at Harvard Medical School and the Dana/Farber Cancer Center and later accepted a faculty appointment in the department of biochemistry at West Virginia University School of Medicine. There he received the Outstanding Teaching Award and was the recipient of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Research Career Development Award in diabetes.
Dr. Kletzien has a BS in biochemistry and a PhD in oncology from the University of Wisconsin. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at McArdle Laboratory of Cancer Research and was a post-doctoral research associate in the department of biochemical sciences at Princeton University.
Angeline Shashlo, RPh
Vice President of Development
Angeline Shashlo’s 30-year career, which spans both the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, has focused on the development and registration of pharmaceuticals, biologicals and devices. She has worked extensively with the FDA and EU regulatory authorities, leading initiatives to obtain and maintain product registration in a wide range of therapeutic areas including metabolic diseases and diabetes. She has broad experience in product development and management, manufacturing, foreign and domestic regulatory affairs and quality assurance, with numerous Investigational New Drugs (IND), Investigational Medicinal Product Dossiers (IMPD), Canadian and foreign clinical trial applications, New Drug Applications (NDA), Marketing Authorization Applications (MAA), and international registration dossiers and product launches to her credit. She was instrumental in obtaining the industry’s first export exemption to Japan and represented the pharmaceutical industry in negotiations with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Defense to secure revision of the legislation regarding the export of technical information.
Before joining MSDC in 2009, Ms. Shashlo served as senior vice president of regulatory affairs, quality assurance and project management at Tobira Therapeutics, Inc., a company she co-founded. Prior to that, Ms. Shashlo was vice president of regulatory affairs and project management at Incyte Corporation, senior vice president at Genaera Corporation, and director of regulatory affairs at Ligand Pharmaceuticals. She also has held positions at Wyeth and The Upjohn Company. She began her career as a staff pharmacist at Harper Grace Hospitals in Detroit before joining The Upjohn Company in 1982.
Ms. Shashlo received a BS in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Michigan and is a registered pharmacist in the state of Michigan.
Jim VanderLugt, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Jim VanderLugt, MD has more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry conducting clinical research in Phases I through IV. Dr. VanderLugt has led and designed numerous clinical studies, including those for the early development of pioglitazone. He joined MSDC in 2008 and brings to the company his wide-ranging drug development and research experience, which spans several therapeutic areas including metabolic diseases, cardiovascular and dermatological diseases, thrombosis, inflammation, ophthalmology, and diseases of the central nervous system and gastrointestinal tract.
He began his career at The Upjohn Company’s Clinical Research Unit in 1981. There he directed the first Phase II study of pioglitazone. Beginning in 1989, he led the development of the antiarrhythmic drug, Corvert®, and designed and conducted the Phase I, II and III studies, which culminated in the filing of an NDA in October 1994 for the use of this agent in the pharmacologic termination of atrial fibrillation and flutter. In 1996, following the merger of Upjohn and Pharmacia, Dr. VanderLugt became director of ophthalmology and cardiovascular medicine. Four years later he was appointed senior director of global medical services, and then served as executive director of global drug information and medical services at Pfizer until 2005. He is currently medical director of Jasper Clinic, Inc., in Kalamazoo and serves on the Institutional Review Board of the West Michigan Cancer Center.
Dr. VanderLugt has a BA in biology from Calvin College in Grand Rapids and a MD from the University of Michigan. He completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at Grand Rapids Area Medical Education Consortium (St. Mary’s and Blodgett hospitals) and the Southwestern Michigan Area Health Education Center (Bronson and Borgess hospitals), and a fellowship in clinical pharmacology at Michigan State University. He maintains medical licensure in Michigan.