Dean J. Aguiar, PhD

Director, Preclinical Research

Dean joined the TS Alliance in November 2018 with more than 17 years of research and development (R&D) leadership in biopharmaceutical and medical device industries, leading teams and technologies from discovery to investigational new drug (IND) and investigational device exemption (IDE), a pre-requisite for clinical trial evaluation. He brings an entrepreneurial and collaborative approach to R&D, identifying opportunity, defining strategy and developing a scientific data package to warrant clinical translation of technologies to benefit the patient, the family and care provider. In Dean’s prior role as Program Director at The Hartwell Foundation, he gained significant experience in pediatric disease from oncology and inflammation to neurodevelopmental disorders including autism, ADHD and epilepsy. He provided guidance to academic investigators regarding the scientific evidence and regulatory path required to successfully translate technologies toward commercial viability. He also established partnerships with industry to gain access to proprietary drugs and a possible path for licensing. Dean cofounded Pendant Biosciences, a Johnson & Johnson Innovation JLABS company, with a mission to develop a novel polymer biomaterial for targeted drug delivery improving efficacy and minimizing toxicity. Dean contributed to the leadership team that identified opportunities for the company’s core technology to address unmet patient needs and was responsible for developing an R&D strategy and data package to attract strategic partners. In addition, Dean has a breadth of pharmaceutical R&D experiences from early discovery to clinical translation that provides a unique perspective on project management and mitigating risk. As the former Director of Product Development at Biomimetic Therapeutics, a medical device company, he led a team focused on the development of drug-device combination products and drug-only products bridging the regulatory framework for a drug and a device. Dean’s early career landed him at Pfizer, where he led cross-functional project teams in the areas of inflammation spanning discovery to preclinical development of both small molecules and protein biologic drugs. He played a key role while ensuring a robust decision funnel for translatable cell, animal models and biomarkers of human disease. Dean earned his PhD in Biochemistry from Rush University at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center in 1996 and completed post-doctoral training at the University of Minnesota. Dean and his wife, Missie, have three boys – Ryan, Cole and Chase.

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