Team

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David Tabatadze, PhD – President & CEO

Dr. Tabatadze cofounded ZATA in partnership with Dr. Paul Zamecnik in 2008 and serves as the President since then. He has a PhD in oligotherapeutics and a MS in organic chemistry. In the early 2000s, he co-invented a gene insertion construct for the correction of the mutated Cystic Fibrosis gene at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is a major architect and leader of the development of modern oligonucleotides with improved therapeutic properties while also overseeing ZATA’s current anti-pathogen program.


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Ivan Yanachkov, PhD – Director of Chemistry

Dr. Yanachkov joined ZATA in June 2016. Prior that, he had served as a consultant for ZATA, and in collaboration with Dr. Tabatadze, led the development of the chemical methodology enabling the synthesis of ZATA’s new oligonucleotides and anti-pathogenic compounds. Also, before joining ZATA, Dr. Yanachkov served for over 15 years as Senior Scientist, Head of Quality Control, and Vise-President at CLSynthesis, Inc. (Worcester, MA), where he led the development of new drug candidates, and was a Principal Investigator of numerous Small Business Research Innovation Grants from the National Institute of Health. At ZATA, Dr. Yanachkov is in charge of all chemistry related R&D activity.


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Boris Zavizion, PhD – Director of Biology

Dr. Zavizion joined ZATA in 2014 and is the current Director of Biology. He spent his earlier years as VP at BioSense, Inc. (Waltham, MA), as Principal Scientist at VITEX, Inc. (Watertown, MA), and as a professor at NH Medical School (Dartmouth, NH). He brings with him over three decades of R&D experience in cell and microbiology. A couple of decades of unique experience in the donor blood sterilization industry has made him a key figure for further development of ZATA’s blood sterilization program. At ZATA, he is in charge of all biology related R&D including the collaborative development and optimization of ZATA’s anti-pathogens with academia & biotech industry in related fields.


Board of Directors

Mr. Paul S. Weiner – Chairman

Mr. Weiner has been affiliated with ZATA since 2013, and beginning in 2014, serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors. Mr. Weiner brings to ZATA over two decades of leadership experience at publicly traded companies in the field of medical devices and biotech. Since 2015, he serves as the CFO at ConforMIS, Inc. (NASDAQ; CFMS, Bradford, MA). Prior to ConforMIS, for over a decade he served as CFO Palomar Medical Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ; PMTI). At ZATA he has been playing an active role in its strategic planning and development.

Mr. Kevin O’Sullivan – Director at ZATA

Mr. O’Sullivan has been involved in the structuring and development of ZATA’s operation from the very beginning of the company’s development. Since 2009, he has been affiliated with ZATA and assisted Dr. Tabatadze in the many aspects of its activity, including helping set up of the labs for operation, establishing contact with counterparties in the field, and business planning. Since 2014, Mr. Sullivan serves as the Director at ZATA and participates in the curving of ZATA’s activity in all essential business planning and decision. Mr. O’Sullivan is an active member of the biotech community in the Greater Boston Area and currently serves as the President and CEO of Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives (MBI), a private economic development organization that promotes the growth and expansion of the Biotechnology, Medical Device, and Bioinformatics industry. MBI operates four life science business incubator facilities in Worcester, home to over 20 start-up biotech companies.

David Tabatadze, PhD – Director at ZATA

Dr. Tabatadze, cofounder and current president of ZATA, also serves as a Director at ZATA and participates in all aspects of the company’s activity including R&D and business.


Scientific Advisors

Alexander Sigalov, PhD -President of SignaBlock, Inc.

Prior to founding SignaBlok, Inc. (Worcester, MA) in 2009, Dr. Sigalov worked at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA), and later, as a faculty at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is the sole inventor of methods and compositions created through the SCHOOL platform and integrated nanosystems for drug targeted delivery that can be used to prevent or treat multiple diseases with unmet needs. Dr. Sigalov has been advising ZATA since 2016. 

Marcus Horwitz, MD

A distinguished Professor of Medicine and Microbiology, Immunology, & Molecular Genetics at UCLA. His awards include the Squibb Award from the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Dr. Horwitz collaborated with the co-founders of ZATA since 2000 and co-published with them several R&D papers about pathogen inactivation by using oligonucleotides.

George Wright, PhD

President of GLSynthesis, Inc. and full-time professor emeritus at University of Massachusetts Medical School (Worcester, MA) in the Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology department. Dr. Wright is a well-known expert in the field of the medicinal chemistry and has collaborated with the cofounders of ZATA for over two decades. For collaborative development projects, GLSynthesis and ZATA have received National Institute of Health Small Business Innovation Research funding.

Valery G. Metelev, PhD, D.Sc.

Principal investigator at Lomonosov University (Moscow, Russia). Dr. Metelev possess tremendous experience in the field of oligonucleotide development and has been an active collaborator and part of ZATA’s oligotherapeutics program development for over two decades. His scientific affiliation with the cofounders of ZATA started in the middle of the 90-ties. Dr. Metelev has co-published with ZATA up to a couple dozen R&D papers about the application of the novel oligonucleotides.

G. Michael Blackburn, Ph.D.

Professor of Chemical Biology at Sheffield University (Sheffield, UK). Dr. Blackburn is well-known scientist in the field of nucleic acid chemistry, leading expert in the field of diadenosine polyphosphates. Dr. Blackburn has been collaborating with the co-founders of ZATA for over two decades and has been advising ZATA since the founding of the company.

Kurt Isselbacher, MD

A distinguished Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director Emeritus of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. Dr. Isselbacher has a distinguished career as a physician, innovative scientist, and Chief of Gastroenterology. In the early 2000s, Dr. Isselbacher’s active support enabled the co-founders of ZATA and colleagues to develop a mutated genes correction approach at the Massachusetts General Hospital.


Business Advisors

Paul Wengender, MBA, MS in microbiology, BS in genetics

Paul is Founder & CEO of Crows Nest Biosciences (Worcester, MA). He has more than two decades of experience in creation, managing, and successful commercialization of business projects in the field of biotechnology. From 2015 to 2017 he served as a Chef Business officer at Beryllium Discovery (Medford, MA), and from 2015 to 2014 as a Chief Strategist (Executive-In-Residence) of Strategia Therapeutics, Inc. (Boston, MA). Earlier (2003-2016) he founded and led Blue Sky BioTech (Worcester, MA, now Lake Pharma), a preclinical Contract Research Organization (CRO). During this period Paul gradually built Blue Sky team from 2 to 45 employees. Mr. Wengender will advise ZATA in the development and licensing medical product and drug candidates enabling by ZATA’s platform technologies.

Jon Weaver, MBA

Jon is the Chief Operating Officer of Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives, has 10 years of experience in commercial real estate including experience in large commercial transactions, project development, brownfields revitalization, and asset management. He has been of big help for ZATA in the management of lab operation related issues as well as in the strategic development of the company.

Legal and IP Advisors

Managed by group of attorneys at DLA Piper LLP (US) – 33 Arch Street, 26th Floor, Boston, Massachusetts 02110 – http://www.dlapiper.com and The Harbor Law Group, 300 West Main Street, Bldg. A, Unit 1 Northborough, MA 01532 – http://www.harborlaw.com