A member of the Heat Biologics family of Companies

A New Generation of Precision Medicines

Skunkworx uses biology to drive advanced computational design.

Skunkworx Bio is developing a new era of precision medicines where “Biology drives Innovation.” Our “Pocket Biologics” are therapeutics  derived from our antibody and small protein libraries. Skunkworx has integrated computational and bioinformatic analysis to its biology-based drug discovery paradigm.  The goal is to “accelerate” the time from discovery to moving its drug leads into formal preclinical development

what we do

Why Skunkworx is Exceptional

SkunkWorx has an exquisite approach for analyzing protein:protein interactions and identifying the pharmacologically active sites on proteins called HotSpots. 

The diversity and size of our Pocket Protein libraries give us a unique capability to differentiate only those HotSpots relevant to disease which then allows us to rapidly develop and validate either agonist or antagonist drug leads for any disease target.

We integrate bioinformatic analysis into our drug discovery
platform to identify novel targets as well to determine if a target is “druggable”. In addition, we use a computational
approach to “improve” our therapeutic candidates and
validate those leads which bind to critical HotSpots on the
target.

Precise & Versatile

Pocket Proteins

Skunkworx Bio is developing  classes of “Pocket Biologics” that are a diverse group of protein scaffolds characterized by small (2–15 kDa) size, stability and versatility for use as therapeutics in a variety of disease indications. 

Protein-Protein Interaction Hotspots

Pocket Proteins define the critical Hotspots involved in protein-protein interaction

Differentiate Disease Hotspots

Pocket Proteins can differentiate Hotspots relevant to disease

Target-Specificity

Pocket Proteins show exquisite target-specificity and can distinguish a single amino acid change

Agonists or Antagonists​

Pocket Proteins can have biological activity as agonists or antagonists

what we do

The Skunkworx Difference

At SkunkWorx Bio, we integrate biologic “wet lab” design with computational biology.

Unique Hotspot Approach

Our combination of library wet lab design and computational bioinformatics gives us an exquisite approach for analyzing protein:protein interactions to identify pharmacologically active sites on proteins called HotSpots

Method for Rapid, Validated Drug Leads

Precise differentiation of those HotSpots relevant to disease and rapidly develop validated drug leads.

Proprietary Pocket Biologics

Skunkworx Bio uses multiple interconnected technologies and platforms which involve the interaction of high diversity, randomized Pocket Proteins (PoP) and fully human Pocket Antibody libraries.

Rapid Molecular Identification

Rapid identification of bioactive molecules that can function as agonists or antagonists depending on the target and disease indication.

Unique Composition of Matter

Immediate generation of novel composition of matter which, in the case of the PoA libraries, lie outside the normal human repertoire.

Pocket Biologics

A Multifunctional Platform to Innovative Biologics

The Company believes its innovative Pocket Biologics have broad versatility and application. The Company’s technology foundation has five distinct but interconnected categories and can offer multifunctional opportunities, all being underpinned by the Company’s Pocket Biologics:

A New Generation of Biologics for Cancer & many other diseases

Next Generation Drug Targeting

Targeted Bispecific and Bifunctional Therapeutics – First in-Class

Potential for use in novel CAR-T approaches including solid tumors

Pocket-Drug Conjugates

Target Specific Leads

Target Validation

Targeted Bi-Specifics

Pocket-Drug Conjugates

CAR-T Applications

PoBs

who we are

Our Management Team

Neil Goldstein, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Goldstein is equipped with a unique blend of scientific expertise and management/business acumen.

He has more than 50+ years of experience as an academic scientist, research scientist, and manager within both start-up and established companies in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. As a result, He has experience leveraging his knowledge of molecular biology, immunology, and drug discovery to identify new areas applicable to the diagnosis and treatment of disease.  Dr. Goldstein has co-authored 70+ publications in peer-reviewed journals and books, numerous abstracts, and was a co-inventor on 15 issued patents; He has contributed to the development of 3 drugs that are currently on the market or in human clinical trials and has developed several preclinical drug leads for oncology, autoimmunity, and immunological deficiencies.  Dr. Goldstein received his PhD in Microbiology from the Waksman Institute of Immunology at Rutgers University and did his postdoctoral work at the Wistar Institute.

John Prendergast, Ph.D., Co-Founder

Dr. Prendergast is co-founder of Palatin Technologies, a biopharmaceutical company developing targeted, receptor-specific peptide therapeutics for the treatment of diseases with significant unmet medical need and commercial potential. 

He has been chairman of the board at Palatin since June 2000 and director since August 1996. Dr. Prendergast is also president of Summercloud Bay, an independent consulting firm providing services to the biotechnology industry, and director and executive board chairman of Antyra, a privately-held biopharmaceutical firm. From 1991 through 1997, he was managing director of The Castle Group Ltd., a medical venture capital firm. Dr. Prendergast received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of New South Wales, and a C.S.S. in administration and management from Harvard University.

Matt Seavey, Ph.D., Executive Director of Scientific Operations

As Vice President of Research, Dr. Seavey, holds over a decade in preclinical drug development experience.  

Originally trained as an immunologist and an expert in early drug development, Matt has been involved in the development of different drug modalities (biologics, small molecules, cellular therapeutics, vaccines) across multiple therapeutic areas including, GI, CNS, immuno-oncology, respiratory, inflammation and cardio-metabolics.  Matt has held former positions as Drug Discovery Team Leader at Cephalon, Global Pharmacology Project Leader at Teva Pharmaceuticals, and Oncology Program Director at United Therapeutics.  Matt is a co-inventor on several patents and has contributed to the intellectual property base of Advaxis and founding of Oncoceutics.  Most recently Matt was Director of Preclinical Pharmacology for CinRx Pharma and founding partner of BioPoint Consulting, LLC.  Matt holds a BS in Microbiology from the University of Vermont, an MSc and PhD in Immunology from the University of Rochester and an MBA from West Chester University.

Our Scientists

Karla Frietze-Miller, Ph.D.

Dr. Frietze-Miller has a background in molecular biology, proteomics, bioinformatics, and neuroscience.  She received her bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in chemistry from the University of Texas at El Paso. 

She completed her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at Princeton University with a focus in neuroimmunology studying how classical immune proteins contribute to synaptic plasticity and brain development. Dr. Frietze-Miller completed her postdoctoral training at Weill Cornell Medicine. Her research was part of the “Children’s Brain Tumor Project” where she worked on pediatric brain cancer, dissecting the biochemical and epigenetic contributions to tumor progression in the developing brain. Following her postdoctoral work Dr. Frietze-Miller went into biotechnology working on drug discovery on immune related targets.  Since arriving at Skunkwork Bio, she has utilized molecular and computational biology to develop novel approaches for therapeutic discovery.

Joshua Wayne, MSc.

Joshua Wayne is a cell biologist with over 12 years of experience in academic settings, biotechnology start-ups, and S&P 500 companies.  His broad experience in applied cellular signaling research ranges from therapeutic large molecules for orphan diseases to addressing unmet needs in the immunology space. 

Areas of expertise include in-vitro assay development and the implementation of laboratory automation in support of High-throughput Screening campaigns in drug discovery.  An avid angler, when he is not in the lab, you can find him out on the water fishing.  Mr. Wayne received his Master of Science Degree from Johns Hopkins University, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.

Leigh-Ann Ricks, BSc.

Leigh-Ann Ricks joined Skunkworx as a Research Associate II in July 2021.  She is excited to be a part of a company that is cutting-edge and pioneering.  

As a highly-trained individual with over 20 years of molecular lab experience, Leigh-Ann likes the “hands-on” work of being in the lab.  Expression cloning procedures, DNA preps, PCR, as well as general lab maintenance are among her responsibilities. She graduated from the University of Delaware with a biology degree. She is married with two daughters.  Mrs. Ricks is an avid sports fan and coaches her daughters’ softball teams

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