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Ralph A. Rivero, Ph.D.

Ralph Rivero Ph.D., is an accomplished and passionate “drug hunter” with over 31 years of pre-clinical drug discovery experience in large pharma. He earned his B.S. in Biochemistry from Lehigh University and received a Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania, under the direction of Professor Amos B. Smith III. After 8+ years at Merck Research Labs in Rahway NJ, where Dr. Rivero began his industrial career as a medicinal chemist in the Department of Discovery Chemistry, he joined Johnson & Johnson where he established a high throughput chemistry unit and helped with the establishment of high throughput screening and the subsequent medicinal chemistry follow-up. In 1999, he moved to SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, which became GlaxoSmithKline in 2000, where he rose through the ranks to senior director of medicinal chemistry. He worked for GSK for 20+ years prior to retiring in 2019. A common theme throughout his career has been the application of new technologies to reduce discovery cycle-times. His credentials include:

  • A strong background in synthetic, high throughput and medicinal chemistry – over 60 publications in peer-reviewed journals; 20 presentations at conferences and symposia; inventor or co-inventor on 45 patents

  • Experience in multiple therapeutic areas, including antibacterial, antiviral, cardiovascular, dermatology, inflammation, immunology, neuroscience, and oncology

  • Experience prosecuting a variety of target classes, including kinases, proteases, ion-channels, GPCR, epigenetic enzymes, and transcription factors

  • Experience devising and implementing novel drug discovery modalities – PROTAC and ARMS

  • Extensive due diligence activity experience – evaluation of drug discovery and technology opportunities, analysis of drug discovery strategies, analysis of small molecule lead series and research programs

  • Well-established track record for successfully advancing initial screening hits to viable lead molecules, and for identifying innovative solutions to complex drug discovery challenges

  • Expertise analyzing and decision-making from large volumes of screening data

  • Strong program leadership experience – directing the research of internal and external R&D activities, including medicinal chemistry, scale-up chemistry, biology and DMPK toward a clinical asset

  • Designing molecules for oral, intravenous and topical routes of administration 

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